Horizontal/vertical integration

Strengthening the value chain

Integration systems for the information systems in the supply chains, from the raw material to the finished product.

To move towards an Industry 4.0 model, it is necessary to work on more complex and demanding processes. In particular:

production must be organised in a more flexible and quick way to be able to achieve mass customisation;

it is essential to have control over the resources, so as to avoid any waste, maximise profits and operate within constraints;

information on production processes and products must be fully available in real-time. In fact, each phase is managed and influenced by the information that has been collected, communicated and accumulated from the design right up to the use of the after-sales service.

To be able to reach these requirements the Industry 4.0 concept intensively promotes the integration of the systems, both hardware and software and the systems embedded in the production and along the supply chain. The goal is to implement a transformational process that allows the “old” static systems to evolve into cyber-physical production systems that exploit intelligent solutions in a total “smart factory” system.

In vertical integration, there is great potential for optimisation for both logistics and production. If the production procedures in the ERP system and also the machine control in the factory were up to now areas that were divided between each other and often distributed among different IT systems, in the integrated industry the IT and control processes are increasingly networked and carried out in a combined way. In this way, all the company departments will have access to production and logistics data. The effect is a horizontal integration all throughout the company.

It is therefore easier to be able to detect and trace a product and its life cycle with all relevant data (compliance with specifications, the presence of defects and the identification and the cause of them, order fulfilment times). In this new approach to production, the new dynamic and innovative technologies allow both physical and digital production to join, creating a more intelligent production.

They play a decisive role in the idea of an integrated company. These are solutions that are supported by RTLS (Real-Time Location System) marketing and monitoring technologies. They make data acquisition automatic. Some examples of these technologies are:

 

  • RFID (together with advanced versions of RFID such as NFC, RFID + OTP, RFID + Fides Code, EPC);
  • Beacon;
  • Smart Label;
  • the systems Pick and Put to Light;
  • Voice Picking.