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Connecting OT and IT at Porsche

Connecting operational technology and IT to enable digital solutions along the Volkswagen Group's production and supply chain

The digitalization of production and logistics in the automotive industry is happening through many small solutions that are being developed along the entire manufacturing chain. For fast and effective development of compatible use cases, factory modernization needs a neutral technical framework that connects shopfloor and operational technology (OT) with plant IT. Porsche has taken on this challenge and worked with Industrial Cloud community partner Cybus to develop an overarching data strategy. Porsche Leipzig and Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen are the pilot plants to build a solution that can be scaled to the entire Volkswagen Group in the future. The solution is based on the Cybus Manufacturing Data Platform and enables universal, cloud connectivity as well as a common data infrastructure. Read this success story to find out how Porsche, together with Cybus, has laid the foundation for the digitalization of production and logistics at Volkswagen’s factories around the world. 

Our vision is to shape the future of production and logistics. By building a scalable and flexible infrastructure on which digital solutions can be developed, we came one step closer to this vision.

Robert Lange, Leader Shopfloor Connectivity at Porsche

Challenge – laying the foundation for the digitalization of more than 100 production facilities

Over 1000 machines from a wide range of different vendors can already be found in one single shop of the Porsche plant in Leipzig. This illustrates the complexity of digitizing production sites, as for almost every machine a special digital solution must be developed or integrated into the cloud to enable cross-factory analysis and the ability to identify optimization measures.

The knowledge and expertise are available among the employees in the local plants and enable decentralized development of use cases. Nevertheless, common APIs and data processing are needed so that the applications and systems can communicate. A prerequisite for this is the connectivity of the shopfloor and the cloud, which must be secure, resilient, and stable as well as easy to maintain. Furthermore, the increasing payload traffic from the various applications must be distributed to the cloud in real time. The demands on the infrastructure are also high: it must be performant, avoid downtimes, enable flexibility and be able to handle a high data load.

The Porsche Factory Use Case shows that Volkswagen Group is making great steps towards a scalable and future-proof production IT landscape. As an Industrial Cloud community partner, Cybus is proud to support this.

Peter Sorowka, CEO Cybus

Solution – a scalable and flexible infrastructure for automotive manufacturing: The Manufacturing Data Platform by Cybus

To meet the challenges of digitizing production and create optimal conditions for developing digital solutions, Porsche has created a comprehensive data strategy as the basis for modernizing its factories. The Manufacturing Data Platform from the Industrial Cloud community partner Cybus, a Hamburg-based specialist in on-premises Industrial IoT solutions, is a key component of Porsche’s new data strategy. The software establishes a technology-neutral layer that seamlessly integrates OT and IT at the Porsche plants. It collects operational data, which is then harmonized and transmitted to the cloud. This layer creates autonomy of applications, systems, and environments and covers overarching security and specific data protocol requirements. Cybus’ software is highly performant, easy to maintain and runs 24 hours without downtime in the three-shift system of the production facilities. This is achieved by using Kubernetes clusters running the Cybus Connectware – a breakthrough in production IT. The software is already productive in the Porsche plants Leipzig and Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, and there is great potential for rollout to other Volkswagen Group plants

Key benefits – in high-tech automotive factories, OT and IT are no longer separate

The first use cases in the area of logistics, maintenance and production have already been realized with the Manufacturing Data Platform from Cybus. Examples include the applications Industrial Computer Vision, which enables guided installation, documentation and quality control of signs and labels in production, as well as the Call Rocker Solution, which automates replenishment in SAP logistics systems. For both use cases, the Cybus solution has already ensured high application availability and the re-use of system and production data.

The implementation of Cybus’ Industrial IoT edge layer in the Porsche plants allows the holistic management of data streams across OT and IT boundaries and realizes the high demands on IT infrastructure and security. As a pioneer for the entire Volkswagen Group, Porsche thus achieves full flexibility and scalability for its digital projects as well as a flexible transformation from petrol to hybrid to fully electric automobile production – the course for the future of automobile production has made another step forward.

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