Optimize Your Shop Floor with Adaptable Solutions

Optimize Your Shop with Adaptable Solutions Image

When making plans to create a new product, manufacturers are often flying blind. They can make educated estimates on production costs and timelines, but sometimes they can’t know the exact numbers until it’s time to ship the product and pay the bills.

Even making adjustments to the production of existing products can result in fuzzy math. “If we spend $1 million to improve shop floor processes, will it get us back $2 million in savings? Or only $500,000?”

Siemens now has a tool for manufacturers that takes off the blinders and removes the fuzz when it comes to designing and improving their production processes.

The gift of insight

Using the Mendix low-code application development platform, Siemens has created an adaptable solution called Optimize My Plant. This application, part of the Siemens Xcelerator ecosystem, brings the power of the digital twin right to the shop floor.

Optimize My Plant lets manufacturers use high-fidelity simulations to model production processes and run scenarios. It provides plant managers and shop floor leaders unprecedented insights into the impact they can expect their decisions—about staffing the line, customizing processes, ordering materials—to have on production.

It also gives them foresight into the impacts that unexpected events might have. (Supply chain managers still have nightmares about Ever Given!). You can’t prepare for every emergency, but Optimize My Plant equips managers to make the best possible plans for worst-case scenarios.

With Optimize My Plant, plant managers can:

  • Improve on-time delivery
  • Make best use of equipment
  • Predict delivery dates
  • Identify production bottlenecks
  • Reduce energy usage and CO2 emissions

What is an adaptable solution?

Every organization has challenges. But no organization’s challenges are identical. It stands to reason then that no software solution is going to be equally effective at solving every challenge. This leads many manufacturers to choose to build custom solutions rather than buying one from the marketplace. But custom solutions require a much greater investment in time and resources than one purchased off-the-shelf.

An adaptable solution offers the best of both worlds. It offers a manufacturer an affordable and proven tool that’s applicable to the most common challenges. But an adaptable solution comes with a wealth of customization options—extensions, integrations, modules—to make it effective even against the most uncommon of challenges.

Optimize My Plant comes with ready-to-use modules that cover typical manufacturing needs such as production schedules, bills of materials, and shift calendars. These modules can be used right of the box. But it also comes with a broad library of extensible features manufacturers can use to address their unique use cases.

Adaptability in action

For example, Inoprod helps manufacturers explore innovative ways to develop their production systems. They cater to multiple sectors: automotive, aeronautics, food and beverage, pharmaceutical.

Inoprod’s client base is too diverse to serve with a generic set of solutions. With an adaptable solution like Optimize My Plant, Inoprod can provide each customer with solutions precisely designed to answer the challenges common to their sector.

Pascal Dubuis, CEO and Founder of Inoprod, says he chose to make his company a Mendix partner because he believes that adaptable solutions are the future of his industry.

“Optimize My Plant has finally allowed Inoprod to provide a way for small and medium industries to leverage the predictive power or the digital twin and flow simulation. With this solution, a technology that used to be restricted to a few experts can now be put in the hands of production people.”

The advantages of low-code

Why did Siemens use the Mendix platform to build their new adaptable solution? Building Optimize My Plant with Mendix offered two advantages.

1. A composable marketplace

Siemens is committed to supporting manufacturers striving to build a composable organization. Mendix supports composability by providing reusable, modular low-code components for building applications.

The flexibility and adaptability these components add to the development process helps manufacturers:

  • Reduce costs
  • Improve efficiency
  • Allocate resources more effectively

Composability makes data integration incredibly easy. The Mendix Marketplace has a library of these composable components designed for shop floor applications. In the Marketplace manufacturers can find a wealth of connectors for integrating their enterprise and shop floor systems.

2. Democratization in action

Mendix is not a platform reserved for professional developers only. The simplicity of low-code and the intuitive Mendix UI empower everyone—regardless of their development experience—to reap the full benefits of sophisticated applications.

Although powered by advanced modeling software, Optimize My Plant was not designed for simulation experts. It’s a solution for plant managers and shop floor leaders who want to be able to generate accurate production predictions using a simple interface.

Stay dependable, stay flexible

Succeeding in the marketplace is a two-headed coin. You need to prove to your customers that your solutions are steady and dependable. At the same time, your customers need to have confidence that when they face an unexpected shift in challenges, your solutions can shift just as quickly to meet them.

Adaptable solutions from Mendix lets you build a reliable foundation for your business while still maintaining the agility to always be able to provide the answers your customers are looking for.

To learn more about how Mendix is re-defining how modern manufacturing software is built, feel free to contact us.