SAP Manufacturing Automation

What Is Manufacturing Automation?

Manufacturing automation is used by companies to automate systems or processes for greater efficiencies, cost reduction, and increased productivity. In its blog post, “The Growing Use of Automation in Manufacturing,” Machine Metrics describes the three types of manufacturing automation: fixed, programmable, and flexible.

What Is Manufacturing Automation?

Manufacturing automation is used by companies to automate systems or processes for greater efficiencies, cost reduction, and increased productivity. In its blog post, “The Growing Use of Automation in Manufacturing,” Machine Metrics describes the three types of manufacturing automation: fixed, programmable, and flexible.

SAP Supports Manufacturing Automation

To support companies in their manufacturing automation initiatives, SAP provides a few different solutions. According to SAP, it offers:

  • SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud — Increase operational visibility with a manufacturing execution system (MES) that provides near-real-time visibility and analytics.
  • SAP Manufacturing Execution — Achieve centralized processes and automated data collection while improving manufacturing reliability and product traceability.
  • SAP S/4HANA Manufacturing — Supports digital collaboration and capabilities by extending the SAP S/4HANA digital core.

Manufacturing Automation Trends

As more companies invest in manufacturing automation, several trends have emerged that are influencing the landscape in the years to come.

Predictive analytics. Manufacturers need their assembly line machines operational. Any downtime is a significant loss in revenue. An EY survey found that the average oil and gas company experiences nearly 27 days of unplanned downtime annually, resulting in losses ranging between 38 million and 88 million US dollars every year. Motor Oil Group, an oil refiner and retailer of oil and gas products based in Greece, wanted to invest in digital technology to significantly lower unplanned downtime and cut costs. The company needed a more accurate way to predict and address potential equipment problems before they occurred. After speaking with the experts, the company identified several benefits of predictive maintenance: cost savings, downtime and equipment failure avoidance, increased safety, greater quality and effectiveness of maintenance planning, and expanded technical knowledge about correlations and interactions of past abnormal events concerning equipment.

Sustainability and social responsibility. For many companies around the world, sustainability within manufacturing processes is a key initiative. In this article, FORCAM describes how its customers are achieving their goals of automation and sustainability. Sustainability reporting based on valid and actual data requires collecting energy consumption of the production process and the ability to attribute this to the individual product produced. This provides the transparency needed to uncover potential energy savings and calculate the carbon footprint of each product. Furthermore, it allows the tracking of the company’s optimization efforts and their impact on the bottom line. To achieve the full data picture, it’s critical to integrate brownfield machines that are 20, 30, and 40 years old that remain in production.

Use of robotics. Whether it’s on the assembly line or within a warehouse, robotics is being utilized to repurpose human labor, provide employee safety, and maintain a 24/7 operation. With the surge in e-commerce, warehouse design is now incorporating robotics as a critical component. In this article by Kumar Singh, Research Director at SAPinsider, learn that there are no “standard blueprints” for e-commerce warehouse designs. According to Singh, there are many aspects that go into the planning process. For example, the size of the warehouse will depend not only on the volume but also on the type of automation used. Similarly, flow paths will be dependent on use of robotics for picking.

Vendors in the manufacturing automation space include: Tech Mahindra, Stellium, and Vaizva.


8 results

  1. Boomi

    SAP Partner Boomi: Democratized Innovation Through Automation

    Reading time: 2 mins

    In a recent partner webinar, SAP partner Boomi spoke about the importance of democratized innovation and its enablement through automation.
  2. Integrating and Automating

    Leveraging AI-Driven Automation to Build Resilient Supply Chains & Enhance Customer Experience

    September 13, 2022

    Today’s business leaders are increasingly looking to the benefits of AI-driven automation. The benefits include reducing manual touchpoints, improving process quality, and increasing end-to-end visibility and integration are critical actions for any company hoping to nurture a better customer experience (CX) and more resilient supply chain. Watch this webinar to learn how supply chain automation…
  3. cloud

    Roundtable Discussion: Intelligent, Connected Manufacturing with SAP

    November 16, 2021

    The global pandemic has forced manufacturers to operate in unprecedented ways – remotely, virtually and digitally – while also presenting challenges such as new consumer behaviors and supply chain constraints. The more technologically advanced businesses are better equipped to quickly reset production requirements, manage supply chain fluctuations and engage employees, by investing in enterprise software…
  4. SAP Industry 4.Now: SAP’s Strategy to Accelerate Industry 4.0/ IIoT Adoption and Achieve Outcomes

    Understand SAP’s Industry 4.0 strategy and its four priorities – intelligent products, factory, assets, and empowered people – for discrete and process industries. In this session, you will meet SAP’s Industry 4.Now Innovation Hubs that are tasked with helping customers implement and navigate their Industry 4.0 journey right now. This content is for SAPinsider Premium…
  5. Belimo Increases Warehouse Productivity and Order Fulfillment by More Than 30%

    Reading time: 4 mins

    Warehouse pickers leverage ASRS, machine learning, and shipping solutions integrated with SAP ERP by Pierce Owen, VP of Research and Publishing According to research conducted by SAPinsider, only 14% of SAP customers currently use machine learning (ML) applications in their supply chains or manufacturing operations. Using these technologies can have significant benefits, however. For example,…...…
  6. Event-Driven Messaging Empowering Real-Time Factory Analytics Beyond the Plant

    Reading time: 4 mins

    SAPinsider has started to produce a research report titled, “Integrating SAP Systems with the Factory Floor,” which will show that leaders – SAP customers with integrated IT and operational technology (OT) systems – improve operations through increased visibility into the factory floor. The report presents findings that demonstrate that leaders focus on extracting data from…
  7. Building Intelligence at the Edge and a Pipeline to the Cloud

    Reading time: 5 mins

    As we have posted before, SAPinsider has started work on a report titled “Integrating SAP Systems with the Factory Floor: Road-Mapping IT/OT Integration,” focused on collecting data from manufacturing facilities and maximizing the value and utility of that data. To build on that research, and to gain deeper insight into how SAP partners support customers…
  8. What SAP Customers Can Expect with Industrial IoT and Artificial Intelligence

    Reading time: 3 mins

    SAPinsider recently interviewed leadership at Accenture Digital to obtain a greater understanding of Accenture’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) platform strategy with Connected Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) and the Applied Intelligence Platform (AIP) and gained some insight into what it might mean for SAP customers. What IIoT Capabilities Does Accenture…