By Rex Jesudas P, Edge and Connectivity Practice Head – LTIMindtree
By Meenakshi Muralidharan, Chief Architect, IoT Practice & AWS Ambassador – LTIMindtree
By Prashant Advani, Sr. Partner Management Solutions Architect – AWS

LTIMindtree
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In today’s industrial world, smart manufacturing is crucial and helps emphasize sustainability and efficiency gains. The main challenge for organizations, however, is how to effectively gather and combine data from multiple (and frequently out-of-date) sources on the manufacturing floor.

For operational transparency and uniform key performance indicator (KPI) tracking across several sites, overcoming this challenge is essential. Intelligent manufacturing depends on turning heterogeneous data into insightful knowledge and encouraging teamwork to support well-informed decision-making inside the company.

The Digital Command Center (DCC) represents LTIMindtree’s AWS-powered solution tailored for modern manufacturing environments. It’s a bundled solution for data acquisition, data management, real-time KPI monitoring, and insights driven through powerful analytics. The unique differentiation is that it performs operations on an edge device installed on the shop floor and shares personas-driven insights.

DCC is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) using the AWS Well-Architected Framework and is aimed at improving the manufacturing process and persona productivity, enabling real-time collaboration to take informed business decisions.

AWS Well-Architected helps customers build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for integration with the shop floor equipment to enable the smart manufacturing journey. Built around six pillars—operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability—the Well-Architected Framework provides a consistent approach for customers and partners to evaluate architectures and implement scalable designs.

Larsen and Toubro Infotech (LTIMindtree) is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and Managed Service Provider (MSP) with the AWS IoT Consulting Competency. The domain experts and consultants at LTIMindtree help build AWS-based smart manufacturing solutions and adopt Well-Architected best practices.

In this post, we explore how the Digital Command Center helps manufacturers build the factory of the future through complete operational visibility and intelligence to optimize business KPIs.

Customer Challenges

Within the environment of a manufacturing shop floor, various stakeholders hold responsibility at distinct levels, with each accountable for a range of business KPIs related to production, quality, production costs, maintenance, and so on, as well as technical KPIs that focus on system availability and performance.

These stakeholders can be typically mapped to the following personas:

DCC is a fit-for-purpose solution that provides right data in the right form to the right personas at the right time and enables real-time collaboration to take quick decisions.

Business Benefits

Here are some key business benefits that LTIMindtree Digital Command Center on AWS offers:

  • Proven mechanism to unleash data from disparate and legacy systems on the shop floor at an accelerated pace.
  • Plug-and-play solution with modular architecture for real-time actionable insights.
  • Data acquisition from plant applications and legacy machines using universal connector and AWS.
  • Leverages the power of advanced analytics using Amazon SageMaker at the edge and on AWS. This includes predictive scenarios related to machine and production batch performance.
  • Preconfigured dashboards for KPIs such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and cycle time.
  • DCC at the edge keeps a close watch on critical business KPIs, even if there’s a temporary disconnection with cloud.
  • Health monitoring of operational technology (OT) assets such as manufacturing execution system (MES), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and historians for better incident management. The solution also generates alerts before the occurrence of critical incidents.

Solution Overview

Keeping in mind the above challenges and impact on different personas, DCC is pivoted around three main aspects:

  1. Asset and app monitoring
    • Monitor critical assets, applications, databases and service parameters
    • Alert generation before the critical incidence
    • Real-time dashboard tracking of parameters
  2. Business KPI monitoring
    • Monitor business KPIs of a production line including asset uptime, scrap, cycle time, OEE
    • Alerts generation below threshold KPIs
    • Real-time dashboard tracking business KPIs
  3. Incidence monitoring
    • Monitor tickets – P1, P2, P3, P4 through ServiceNow integration
    • Alerts generation for possible service-level agreement (SLA) violations
    • Real-time dashboard tracking of tickets and SLAs

DCC leverages the Industrial Machine Connectivity (IMC) solution which is a purpose-built offering from AWS to unlock data from disparate plant machinery and control systems. It leverages LTIMindtree Universal Connector and AWS IoT SiteWise to acquire data from disparate systems on the shop floor.

The DCC solution is built on microservices-based architecture, and utilizes the AWS framework to ingest and stream data from various types of control systems into the cloud architecture.

Reference Architecture

DCC is built on the following AWS architecture components:

Figure 1 – DCC solution deployment example.

The diagram above depicts the process flow in a left-to-right sequence according to the following specifics:

  1. On-premises configuration: Establish the foundational layer by setting up on-premises infrastructure that integrates with plant equipment like programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and SCADA systems, as well as OT systems including MES, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and historians.
  2. Edge-level integration: Utilize the Universal Connector for integration with SCADA, PLCs, and historians, and connect these to AWS using protocols like OPC-UA, MQTT, and Modbus. Implement service monitoring and OT application health monitoring services, alongside establishing data acquisition, aggregation, filtering, and processing mechanisms.
  3. Data processing and local storage: At the edge level, process the aggregated data through data pipelines and Kafka streams. Use local data storage solutions and environments suitable for DCC applications to facilitate the provision of real-time operational insights.
  4. Cloud-level data management: Transfer the processed data to the cloud, where AWS IoT SiteWise helps in data ingestion, asset modeling, and further data processing. This includes time series data management, storing data in hot or cold data stores (like Amazon S3), and executing data analytics through services such as Amazon Athena.
  5. Advanced analytics and model deployment: Apply advanced analytics techniques using Amazon SageMaker for machine learning and deep learning tasks, both at the edge and in the cloud. Use AWS IoT Greengrass to deploy models remotely, ensuring continuous learning and adaptation.
  6. Visualization and KPI tracking: Present the processed data and insights through visualization tools such as AWS IoT SiteWise Portal and Amazon QuickSight. This allows for near-real-time monitoring of KPIs and custom business metrics to assess downtime, cycle time, and other critical parameters.

Customer Success

LTIMindtree’s DCC solution has enabled customers to diminish unplanned downtime, augment worker productivity, enhance manufacturing production efficiency, and cut operational expenses.

Here are some highlights where LTIMindtree has successfully implemented this solution, leading to substantial gains for renowned companies:

  • Achieved a 12% enhancement in operational uptime for a leading natural gas processing and natural gas liquid (NGL) production entity.
  • Enhanced machine connectivity and achieve a 10-15% increase in OEE for a prominent American-Irish power management multinational.
  • Realized a 10-15% improvement in mean time between failure (MTBF), boosting equipment efficiency and availability for a major American multinational corporation in the medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods sector.

How to Get Started

LTIMindtree proposes to do a pilot to kickstart your smart manufacturing journey through the Digital Command Center solution.

Pilot scope: OEE for 5 machines for 4 weeks

Activities involved:

  • Identifying the machines for the pilot and tag sources
  • Mapping of tags with derived tags and KPIs
  • Edge device readiness
  • Agreement on preconfigured dashboard and reports​
  • Integrate SCADA system with edge device on open platform communications (OPC)​
  • Data acquisition at edge level
  • Hosting solution on AWS cloud

Conclusion

In this post, we described the need for a centralized solution capable of addressing data acquisition challenges at the manufacturing shop floor, and provides real-time information and predictive insights to different personas at the right time.

Digital adoption is no longer an option but a necessity for manufactures if they want to stay relevant in today’s competitive world. LTIMindtree’s Digital Command Centre (DCC) is an AWS-powered solution helps manufactures lay the foundation for digital and smart manufacturing, providing powerful insights to make intelligent decisions for positive business outcomes.

Sign up for the pilot and get your smart manufacturing journey started.

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LTIMindtree – AWS Partner Spotlight

LTIMindtree is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and MSP with domain experts and consultants that help build AWS-based smart manufacturing solutions and adopt AWS Well-Architected best practices.

Contact LTIMindtree | Partner Overview | AWS Marketplace