Interview with Sistek
In order to accelerate the advancement of Industry 4.0 in Turkey’s consumer electronics sector, Sistek collaborated with Advantech to provide a suitable MES integration solution. Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are process-based computerized systems used to track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished goods. MES has direct connection to the various systems at the operating level and Sistek used Advantech’s WebAccess/SCADA software to help production managers understand how current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve output to maintain a competitive advantage.
The durable consumer goods sector in Turkey is one of the biggest production centers in the European market and worldwide ranks second as a major producer for white goods. Local manufacturers are now looking to upgrade their technological and manufacturing capacities to attain similar market success with their consumer electronics portfolio. With the developments in new industrial technologies such as Industry 4.0, and emerging trends in IoT, advancing the integration of new technologies and the digital transformation of manufacturing have become the primary strategies for gaining a competitive advantage.
Many manufacturers at the early stages of digitalization had to overcome the challenges of finding effective solutions to make their existing equipment smarter and better connected. Operations requiring personal management and direct manual operation caused unpredictable and undetectable results, and this inability to monitor their processes end-to-end also prevented them from making accurate decisions for improvements.
Strong Collaboration to Lead the Market
For many years, Advantech has recognized that Turkey offered ample business opportunities and market potential for industrial IoT, especially in the white goods sector. In 2018, Advantech entered a joint venture with Alitek, a VIP partner of Advantech’s WISE-PaaS Alliance, to open a Turkish branch for expansion into the Middle East and North Africa. Advantech’s decision to expand into Turkey is due to the country’s strong strategic advantage. These advantages derive from the country being situated on the Europe–Asia boundary and its close link with Europe, making it an ideal manufacturing and distribution hub for European manufacturing and the world’s largest automakers. In 2019, the Advantech Turkey office was officially established to provide local services with industrial IoT products and solutions, as well as grow and support the local Industry 4.0 ecosystem.
Sistek, as one of the leading system integrators in Turkey, shares the same vision of Industry 4.0 with Advantech. With more than 25 years of experience, Sistek is a development house for hardware/software integration, cloud computing, machine learning, data acquisition and data analytics. Sistek aims to develop process-based innovative business applications to boost productivity of work and provide a competitive advantage. Sistek prioritizes data analytics in the sense that they aim not only at meeting customers’ operational needs but also translate that data into valuable information that will pave the way for adding extra value.
Industry 4.0 Solutıon to Seamless Integration with MES/ERP
While looking for a suitable MES solution for one of its Turkish consumer goods customers, Sistek decided to utilize Advantech’s WebAccess/SCADA software platform to facilitate data flow from the PLCs positioned at the four production lines. The business has over 80 conveyor lines at their new smart electronics manufacturing plant which has an annual production capacity of 3.2 million TVs. WebAccess/SCADA streamlined the installation process and strong global sales and technical support enabled local support whenever it was needed. The cost effectiveness of this approach gave Sistek a strong advantage and they were also reassured by their customers’ positive experience with Advantech’s hardware products during the evaluation period. They were confident that Advantech’s solutions were not going to cause any problems that could delay 24/7 production.
WebAccess/SCADA software was used as the middleware software platform for this application. WebAccess/SCADA provides open interfaces for IoT application development suitable for various vertical markets. It also acts as a gateway for collecting data from ground equipment and transferring data to the cloud or 3rd party applications via SignalR, RESTful API, C# APIs, etc. For this solution; WebAccess/SCADA communicated with Siemens PLCs that manage the production lines and Sistek’s MES software collected production line data via RESTful APIs with support from WebAccess. Thus, production data and ERP/SAP information were merged successfully. Finally, the solution enabled the customer to visualize and control all aspects of each production line individually with real time data and detailed analysis. They are now able to track their conversion rates through ERP and quickly take measures to improve efficiency. Through the value chain synergy between Sistek and Advantech, the consumer goods sector in Turkey will keep growing, get smarter, and become more efficient.
Win-Win Partnership in the Industry 4.0 Ecosystem
To further encourage the Industry 4.0 business, Advantech has adopted a co-creation model for global deployment. The idea is to recruit more and more WISE-PaaS VIP partners to co-create an industrial IoT ecosystem that will foster the development of domain-focused applications. Advantech is working with Sistek in Turkey to develop successful projects both in Turkey and elsewhere in the region. By working together, both companies are committed to the performance and success of the Industry 4.0 business in the next phase of IoT.