The evolution of industrial organizations towards Industry 4.0 poses a set of challenges to the management. The CPS (cyber-physical system) interconnection assumes the creation and massive exchange of real-time data originating from the factory floor, gradually flowing to the decision makers. Data is the core of Industry 4.0. The large amount of data within the companies without treatment and analysis instead of being beneficial has no use at all. Before any decision is made the data needs effective transmission, cleaning, treatment, marshalling and storage.

The data collection implies the existence of a network infrastructure, and adequate data capture from the equipment (through its sensing). Taking into account the massive amount of data produced and exchanged, “Big Data” technologies are of fundamental importance. Nonetheless, generation, communication, and adequate replacement of organizational process data is only a necessary – but not sufficient – condition for value creation in Industry 4.0. In this sense, data should serve not only to create processes for decision-making autonomy throughout the value chain, gradually freeing employees and decision makers from the time-consuming tasks of decision-making that would require a great deal of time for analysis and consideration, but also for making predictions and optimal decisions accordingly, leading to resource savings and increased quality.

SISTRADE has the right tool to push your company to the fourth industrial revolution, optimizing, automating, and controlling your production line. One of Sistrade’s key applications is Manufacturing Execution System (MES), which delivers solutions to plan, collect data, supervise, and control the industrial process. SISTRADE offers solutions to generate information for quick decision support, incrementing productivity.

Within the spectrum of shop floor data acquisition and processing one of the main solutions that SISTRADE offers is Supervisory control and data acquisition – SCADA which is web-based software, automatically retrieving data from operators, machine sensors, PLCs (Programmable logic controllers) and various devices within a plant. SCADA has the ability to present a 3D plant of all machines, operators, and processes in real time, allowing to reduce unproductive time.

It is important to understand why automatic data collection is beneficial to the companies. Among the major benefits we recognize the increased data reliability as the human intervention is minimized thus also minimizing the possibility of an error. Companies also gain a better control of the machine speed and have reliable data record regarding the downtimes on the shop floor.

How can you achieve goal of cutting on costs and increasing profits as well as reducing waste in the company if you analyse the production information from the past, basing your decision on the information that is off-dated? More often than not, to guarantee a good control, the managers need the correct information here and now. The automatic data acquisition allows the production management related decisions to have a solid base on the latest, up-to-date data, coming directly from the machines and operators which assures the maximum efficiency of production.

With automatic data acquisition system at hand, you can retrieve data on the machine status, instantaneous and average speed, you know the setup and production time as well as the consumed material and production quantities. To secure an effective asset maintenance and timely deliveries, the information regarding the downtimes is provided. The access to all this information in real time, not only contributes to a greater industrial performance but also makes quality control much easier to monitor, supporting your company’s commitment to meeting the highest quality standards.

The main purpose of our solution is to reduce human intervention in production data records while at the same time significantly improving data reliability. The data acquisition from the shop floor can be done by the use of proprietary acquisition cards as well as standard PLC (e.g. Omron or Siemens), we also use standards protocols such as OPC server or XML and relational database – SQL Server. There are different platforms that can be implemented according to the requirements of each project.

As a result, Sistrade® software allows organizations to automate their production processes, and optimize their production lines and transform into a Smart Factory. The concept of Industry 4.0 is gradually becoming a reality, generating proven gains in efficiency, economy and agility to react to market changes, allowing companies to extract the most value from their processes and resources. The printing and packaging industry could also adopt this reality, taking advantage of the management software solutions for Industry 4.0 that SISTRADE offers.

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Written by Kevin Gambrill