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Embracing the Future: Unified Namespaces and Unified Manufacturing Platforms in Modern Manufacturing

Craig Scott

Craig Scott

Founder and CEO of Fuuz

Centralized data is a hallmark of digital transformation.

Did you know that a smart factory can generate more than 5 petabytes (PB) of data per week? This data is gold for manufacturers and the key to streamlining production, reducing waste, and improving quality, yet all of it needs to be transmitted, stored, and analyzed. Doing so is not only difficult to scale, but very difficult to do with traditional industrial architecture that relies on point integrations. 

A more effective solution would be a single platform ecosystem that captures and stores data in real time.

Breaking Down Silos Is Fundamental To Smart Manufacturing

Centralized data is a hallmark of digital transformation, and a must-have for full visibility into the plant floor and true digital maturity. Traditional technological hierarchy requires multiple skill sets across the plant to access and connect data from multiple machines, sensors, and platforms. In the past, this network was built up of layers of software that transfer data between immediate layers in a pyramid-type structure. Data was siloed and missing information from a single machine resulting in flawed inputs.

According to a recent Google Cloud survey, 86% of manufacturing CXOs agree that organizational data and knowledge direct their strategy and create a competitive difference by optimizing and predicting business outcomes. The ability to connect humans and machines will improve quality assurance and pave the way for powerful manufacturing solutions.

Middleware quickly emerged as an option, but it can be ineffective and costly. The answer lies in distributed architectures composed of multiple components on various networks all working together. Unified Namespaces (UNS) and Unified Manufacturing Platforms (UMP) are empowering manufacturers with this real-time visibility across the architecture. 

Unified Namespaces Enable Real-Time Production

Modern manufacturers are replacing workflows based on disparate software solutions and connected by unreliable middleware with UNS. The transition presents an opportunity to reduce costs, improve accessibility, and gain real-time visibility into your operations.

At a high level, UNS uses a universal language of common names for data points in all your systems to bring data from each piece of hardware and software into a unified space. It brings data from your enterprise resource planning (ERP), industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and MES systems into a centralized database. 

Common names specify, implement, and enforce agreed-upon naming conventions (e.g., a combination of business unit, product code, work order, and production schedule) across the plant architecture. Instead of looking to a specific machine for data, users use the UNS tag to quickly find information. The result is greater productivity and data reliability, and everyone wins — whether you’re a worker on the plant floor or working on finance in the main office. 

Since the vast majority of UNS data is stored in a centralized location, standardized naming conventions are essential. Manufacturers can continue to adapt their namespace as they create new products and deploy new, automated technologies. The process enables one source of informationacross your organization. It’s also scalable and supported by consistent data and easy access.

Unified Manufacturing Platforms Elevate Efficiency and Security

The Fuuz MES Platform takes UNS a step further. It’s a Unified Manufacturing Platform (UMP) that eliminates the need for middleware with platform tools like the Device Gateway and powerful machine integration capabilities. Fuuz’s multi-enterprise, multi-tenant architecture is also incredibly secure, defending your organization against data breaches and production disruptions. Our cloud-native platform ensures extensibility beyond Industry 4.0, MES, SCADA, and IIoT  all within a single-platform ecosystem platform.

One way we do this is by layering UNS on top of messaging queuing telemetry transport (MQTT), a bi-directional messaging protocol that connects thousands of devices and consistently organizes data across different systems for searchability. The Fuuz MES Platform is easy to configure and was designed to grow and evolve with your organizational needs. 

Industry 5.0 Requires a Platform-Centric Approach

Industry 4.0 is fully underway with IoT, production process improvements, and predictive maintenance. However, it is time to break away from being dependent on software and move toward a more resilient platform-based ecosystem. 

Searching for and implementing point solutions has been a time-consuming, costly process for many of us. We all know the drill, deploy a powerful new solution, plug gaps with third-party bolt-ons and middleware, customize, and bring in more third-party solutions. Just when you think you’ve got it right, your business changes, and the process restarts. Suddenly, your new solution is just as inflexible and cumbersome as the one you replaced. 

The cycle has to stop, especially if you want to achieve Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0 connectivity. The solution is the Fuuz MES Platform, a UNS and UMP system that’s agile, collaborative, accessible, and reliably connects human-machine interfaces. 

Our solution features everything you need for a digitally mature manufacturing operation. It’s built on powerful MES and platform infrastructure but also offers pre-built connectors for the software solutions you use every day and modules for Warehouse Management, Quality Management, Advanced Production Scheduling, Computerized Maintenance, and much more.

Interested in discovering how a UMP could transform your operations? Request a free manufacturing operations assessment now or get in touch with our team. We are always here to help.