itelligence AG and the HARTING Technology Group announced a technology and development partnership at the itelligence World IT conference in Bielefeld. Both companies are to develop an integrated RFID tracking and weighing solution for monitoring containers in production on the basis of the HERMES Award-winning HARTING MICA (Modular Industry Computing Architecture) Edge Computer. The SAP consulting company itelligence will be using its it.x-connect solution with the prize-winning modular industry-compatible MICA Edge Computer, which will itself be feeding data captured via RFID from locations and weighing procedures over into SAP processes.
“We employ digitalization to generate value-added for customers, relying on intelligent partnerships such as the one with itelligence AG,” says Philip Harting, Chairman of the Board of the family-owned and managed HARTING Technology Group.
“We are pleased with our close partnership with HARTING – an acknowledged technology partner for digitalization solutions in the Industrial IoT environment. Through our joint efforts, we are able to offer an integrated solution for classic networked Industry 4.0 and IoT scenarios,” underlines Norbert Rotter, Chairman of the Board of itelligence AG. “Our pilot project for the confectionary manufacturer Cavendish & Harvey is designed not only to provide greater transparency in production, but also improve the control of manufacturing costs.”
The project was developed at the Center for Connected Industry at the FIR, a research and teaching institution at RWTH Aachen University. The brief from Cavendish & Harvey is for tracking containers, boxes and pallets in production automatically with sensors – a significant step towards networked, digitalized production. Things become mobile, containers “learn how to think,” automatically reporting filling level and status to the system. The whole scenario will be highly automated with SAP processes in production and extended in warehousing with innovative solutions from HARTING (MICA Edge Computer), itelligence (it.x-connect) and SAP (IoT Edge Gateway, SAP Leonardo, SAP Cloud and SAP S/4HANA). Seamless networked data flow is vital to the success of the value-generating digitalization and automation of logistics and manufacturing processes.
There are barriers to the progress of digitalization. Philip Harting pointed to country-specific regulations in Europe, new cyber security laws in China and burgeoning protectionism and nationalism in global trade, saying, “These disruptive influences are encouraging us to work even more closely with our customers and partners.”
HARTING is making MICA available as the hardware platform for this joint development partnership with itelligence. This makes it a quick and easy process to complete digitalization projects for equipment and machines. Work is conducted via the HARTING MICA.network – a community for IoT and Industry 4.0. The MICA.network is the user community around the MICA Open Computing Platform. MICA.network partners like itelligence develop innovative concepts and solutions here, enabling companies to co-design the digitalization and networking of processes and things.
For an initial pilot project, itelligence developed a solution for tracking assets – such as containers, pallets and stacker and weight detection via HARTING MICA. An existing itelligence product component was ported to MICA and extended with future-proof IoT functionality. The basis is RFID technology – but further developments may draw on other transmitter-receiver systems. The new pilot solution gives Cavendish & Harvey greater transparency in Production, improves the control of manufacturing costs and inventory control in the production process.