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eQ’s Closed Loop Manufacturing Solution 

eQ’s Closed Loop Manufacturing Solution

Close Loop Manufacturing (CLM) is a critical step in your digital transformation journey that helps you enhance your product, create a sustainable production process, and gain competitive advantage by breaking data silos and creating feedback loops across the production lifecycle.  

What is Closed Loop Manufacturing?

Closed Loop Manufacturing is an integrated system of processes that continually feed information about how the products perform back into the production cycle to drive efficiencies and optimizations. 

CLM integrates Product Lifecycle Management (product design and manufacturing planning), Manufacturing Execution Systems (production execution and quality control) and Enterprise Resource Planning (business planning, intelligent asset management and product delivery) systems. By bringing together engineering, operations, and business, it enables organizations to create a Digital Thread and offer enterprise-wide visibility and insights across the product lifecycle process. It helps you design, build, manufacture, implement, and refine products in a data-driven and insights-led approach. It enables enterprises to get PLM (Product Life Management), MES (Manufacturing Execution System), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems to talk to each other and work in perfect harmony/ synchrony to enable a smarter and more efficient product manufacturing cycles.

Need for CLM

In very large organizations, there can be multiple PLM, MES, and ERP systems to manage and track the entire manufacturing cycle. But the data residing in these heterogeneous systems is often in silos which creates roadblocks in the organizations’ ability to harness the power of this data to get a complete picture and gain efficiency.

By connecting the IT infrastructure that powers the design, development, manufacturing, and maintenance of products, organizations can collect product performance data, analyze it, leverage actionable insights for R&D, and make refinements in the next production cycle for: 

  • Increased product quality, efficiency, accuracy, performance  
  • Optimized resource utilization by recycling, reusing and reducing waste  
  • Streamlined and data-driven manufacturing processes  
  • Customer delight and retention by delivering better products 
  • Maintaining competitive advantage with valuable product updates  
  • Faster innovation cycles and time to market  
  • Sustainable innovation that promotes a circular system  

This is feasible when data is exchanged seamlessly through well-defined touchpoints from PLM to MES, MES to ERP, ERP to PLM as well as other native systems and applications. The output of one system/process becomes the input for another laying foundations for a sustainable production process. 

What happens in a CLM process?

 As we established, the basic CLM process hinges on the following 3 pillars for data exchange:  

  • PLM: Windchill, Teamcenter, Enovia
  • MES: Solumina, Op Center 
  • ERP: SAP, Oracle eBusiness Suite, CostPoint  

Typically, data flows across designated touchpoints from PLM to MES, MES to ERP and from ERP back into native systems and applications. The de facto data flow touchpoints between the systems are:  

  • PLM > MES: 
  • Parts, Tools, BOM, ECN, Std Operations, Process Planning, Catalog Notify 
  • ERP <> MES:  
  • ERP > MES: Production Requests, Lot Creation, Inventory, Employee/ Resource Master  
  • MES > ERP: Production Response, Equipment Status, Scrap, Downtime, Labor Hours 
  • PLM <> ERP:  
  • PLM > ERP: Parts, mBOM, BoP/R  
  • ERP > PLM: Employee/ Resource Master  

The interoperability of data through these 3 pillars of data exchange facilitates end to end manufacturing visibility, waste elimination, better production planning, enhanced adherence to production schedule, material management and inventory control as well as seamless distribution and logistics. By adopting CLM manufacturers gain a competitive advantage, make room for data collection, gain better reporting and analytics to improve their processes and remove bottlenecks if any, and take more informed decisions backed by data to drive better business outcomes. 

Customer challenges with existing CLM solutions: 

The problem of connecting the 3 systems is not new. It has existed for a while but there has been no efficient solution in the market. Companies are often unable to deliver solutions in prescribed amount of time. Solutions are usually handwritten and hardcoded, which is time consuming. Maintaining the connected systems is an added pain especially as the systems are upgraded with revised versions. This calls for another round of coding to ensure the system continues to stay connected.  

eQube’s CLM Solution: 

eQube®-Data as a Service (DaaS) weaves an enterprise-wide Data Fabric and accelerates your Digital Transformation. eQube’s CLM creates a bi-directional golden triangle between PLM, ERP, MES by integrating the three systems. With eQube®, customers are able to select business entities (like BOMs, BOPs, etc) to create a CDM, create APIs out of that, and use the APIs to build interfaces. We ship the entire package out of the box with 7 interfaces supported by the eQube® server underneath TM (Transformation Modeler) server, configured maps, processing pipelines, APIs, etc.  

eQube’s comprehensive CLM solution, along with iBase-t Solumina, works towards exchanging and integrating data between PLM, MES, and ERP platforms. 

iBase-t Solumina is a manufacturing execution system (MES) software solution that helps manufacturing companies enhance their production processes. This happens by providing real-time visibility, control, and analytics of their digital operations. iBase-t Solumina integrates with multiple ERP systems across the manufacturing value chain to cover and optimize different functions like Production Schedule, Electronic Work Instruction, Inventory and Planning, Forecast for future-proofing orders, predictive maintenance, and quality management at large. 

Our first solution focusses on connecting Solumina and Windchill, and in the next release, we plan to go from Solumina to Teamcenter. 

The eQube® platform allows seamless exchange of data and data pull through its plug and play connectors that allows customers to leverage data on a tap. Therefore, Data Virtualization allows secure and consistent data view to monitor the entire manufacturing lifecycle and establish operational efficiencies, streamlining of manufacturing processes. 

Thus, eQ is excited to collaborate with iBase-t Solumina series to ensure that manufacturers are continuously monitoring their key metrics, have end to end visibility, and are able to optimize their processes to drive stronger business outcomes. 

What are the benefits of the eQ’s CLM Solutions? 

 eQ’s CLM solution moves the needle for customers by tacking two of the biggest challenges companies face by empowering the customers with:

  1. Value to realization at speed and cost: With our low/no code platform, we can connect the dots and bring these solutions to life without having to write lines and lines of code over and over again. Our customers can be up and running with integrations in just a couple of weeks instead of months.  
  2. Future proof architecture: The solution is powered by our upgrade tolerant platform, eQube®-Data as a Service, which will simply provide you with new connectors for upgraded versions of systems and the solution will work!  

Deployment of eQ’s CLM Solutions: 

 eQ’s CLM solutions can be deployed on Prem as well as on Cloud. The CLM solutions on Cloud can be accessed and configured through eQube® Cloud which is hosted on AWS.  


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