Automotive SOA exchanges live information between plant floor, enterprise solutions

The sticking point when trying to connect the top floor with the shop floor is they usually aren't on the same common platform or infrastructure, claims Fred Yentz, COO, ILS Technology LLC. “What makes matters worse,” he says, “is manufacturers don't want custom middleware.” But for some companies in the automotive industry, that's changing due to collaboration starting ...
By Jim Fulcher (jimfulcher@comcast.net) May 1, 2008

The sticking point when trying to connect the top floor with the shop floor is they usually aren’t on the same common platform or infrastructure, claims Fred Yentz, COO, ILS Technology LLC . “What makes matters worse,” he says, “is manufacturers don’t want custom middleware.”

But for some companies in the automotive industry, that’s changing due to collaboration starting last year on a reference architecture amongst ILS, factory automation specialist Mitsubishi Electric Corp. , and IBM .

The companies have since delivered a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based solution for auto industry suppliers that want to meet industry standards more quickly, and achieve device-to-enterprise IT connectivity.

Fred Yentz, COO of ILS Technology LLC, says new frameworks are available to connect the device
tier to the enterprise-IT tier for
live factory-to-enterprise information exchange.

ILS Technology’s deviceWISE embedded software is integrated with Mitsubishi Electric’s e-Factory Portfolio, and linked with IBM’s plant-floor technologies. These frameworks are used to connect the device tier to the enterprise-IT tier to enable exchanging live information between the factory floor and enterprise, Yentz says.

“What it essentially means is an automotive manufacturer can bring device data from the plant floor to enterprise applications via SOA,” Yentz says. “It reduces architecture requirements and reliance on disparate vendor technology.”

SOA allows manufacturers to leverage their key legacy components to extend their value and their life,” says John Ward, an Industrial Sector leader with IBM Software Group. “Extending their intellectual property allows performing what we call ‘urbanization.’ They can build a new platform that leverages the past while progressing to the future with new functionality and technology.”