Suppliers continuously urge their manufacturing customers to bring IT and operational (OT) teams together in order to successfully implement their digitalization plans. But this collaboration is just as essential for the suppliers, and in many cases requires close partnership between companies with different strengths.
Aiming to tackle the business proposition around the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for process industries, SAP and Endress+Hauser are intensifying their cooperation. The IT- and OT-facing suppliers announced their intent—at process show Achema this week in Frankfurt, Germany—to work more closely together in the development of joint solutions, sales and customer implementation.
Endress+Hauser, known for field measurement instrumentation in a variety of process industries, is looking to fully integrate digital twins of its instruments into SAP’s cloud platform, taking advantage of the Leonardo suite of services and apps that SAP launched last year. Through an open platform concept, the two companies will tightly integrate master and sensor data and measurement values into customer business, logistics and production processes to develop new digital services focused on predictive maintenance and predictive quality.
“Two innovative companies have come together here to realize the end-to-end OT/IT integration from field instrument all the way to business processes,” said Hala Zeine, SAP’s president of digital supply chain and manufacturing.
Tighter integration of production processes into an enterprise’s business objectives is of course the ultimate IIoT goal—being able to more closely monitor how operator decisions affect the bottom line.
“When it comes to digitalization, successful companies will be those able to tie their systems directly to business processes, thus reliably and fully opening up or circumventing the classic automation pyramid,” explained Matthias Altendorf, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group. “We and SAP share a common vision of implementing this strategy to the benefit of our customers.”
Endress+Hauser’s role in the partnership focuses on delivering field instrumentation knowledge in the form of digital services by integrating existing Endress+Hauser IIoT services with the SAP platform. The instrumentation supplier will support its customers’ digitalization strategies from the initial creation and automatic updating of a digital twin across the entire product lifecycle to end-to-end connectivity from the sensor to the SAP IT platform.
The field instruments are represented as digital twins in the SAP Asset Intelligence Network. Using SAP Leonardo technologies like machine learning, analytics and blockchain, intelligent services can be flexibly enabled for the production environment. Innovations in the area of maintenance and optimization will help customers achieve both reduced operational costs and increased productivity.