Manufacturing in Transition: SAP S/4 HANA Simplifies the Future of Manufacturing

Today we are inundated with data to the point that the volume of raw data is too massive and too complex to understand. The extent of this complexity is significant enough that manufacturers are having to ask tough questions about how it affects their business. What does this mean for the future of manufacturing? Will automation on the shop floor fade away? Will the technology of the internet of things revert to a disconnected world? All manufacturers are experiencing pressure to increase data collection, quickly analyze the data and make business decisions that streamline operations and improve the company’s operating margins.

In a world that is increasingly complex and data-centric, manufacturers only have one course of action – simplify. One of the best ways to do this is by adopting new platforms like SAP S/4HANA.

SAP S/4HANA handles the proliferation of data created by the internet of things within a smaller and more powerful database than older platforms. Compared to older systems that extracted data from large databases and aggregated and analyzed data exclusively in the application layer, SAP S/4HANA is able to quickly determine the relationship between data sources and perform computations within its own database.

How can manufacturers apply the simplification of S/4HANA to survive? One use could be  the combination of the S/4HANA system—which allows real time monitoring and alerting of multiple data streams—and wearable tech to simplify the shop floor. For example, manufacturers could build in active location information to the S/4HANA implementation by issuing wireless positioning badges to employees. With this combination, an employee can simply walk into a work cell and they will be automatically registered in that area.

Additionally, S/4HANA can track automated data collected on the line and track the quantities of goods produced per employee per machine in real time. If, at any time during the production shift, an employee’s productivity or the line equipment’s operational effectiveness falls below required standards, a real-time alert is dispatched to the employee and their supervisor. Corrective actions would be instantaneously pushed to the display monitor in the work cell. This would reduce the knowledge the employees need to complete their tasks, increase employee and equipment output, and ensure the process is operating in the optimal range at all times.

The real question, though, is, “How will you and your company meet the realities of the world today and tomorrow without S/4HANA?”

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