Noticeably in the recent years, there’s a continuous increase in demand, price pressure and complexity in manufacturing. Things need to move faster, be more flexible, and fulfill higher quality standards. Often, optimization in this regard is referred to as Production Performance Management (PPM). The basis for this optimization is information from the machines and devices related to a product, such as:
Nowadays, brand new machines and software are often shipped with powerful communication capabilities. For older machines, smaller factories and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), it can be a challenge to catch up with the complex IT standards that come along. In fact, sometimes the hardware itself imposes limits.
Nevertheless, in a manufacturing environment, monitoring makes most sense if there are no blind spots. To achieve that, upgrading machines and software is one option, retrofitting another. For the latter, the hurdle should be as low as possible. Yet, there should be a few guidelines for a one-way exchange of the most necessary information (machine messages, measurements):
The structure of the data shall be:
We decided the least common denominator of necessary information are the mandatory fields, common relevant information to be optional, and the possibility for further extension points through metadata.
This open source project aims to make PPM affordable for smaller organizations by reducing cost and complexity of data communication. Through sample implementations of a simple information structure (Production Performance Management Protocol - PPMP) tailored to manufacturing environments, we want to encourage the community to use, share, and evolve this structure together.
PPMP has already been introduced as part of a PPM testbed at a medium-sized Bosch plant, working with many SMEs as partners and suppliers. Furthermore, this testbed aims to create an ecosystem which allows SMEs and larger companies to collaborate efficiently.
The PPMP takes an important role by ensuring interoperability between different types of devices and software. It is designed to gather and aggregate machine and sensor data from different devices. It focuses on defining the JSON payload which can be transferred via a variety of transports (REST, AMQP, MQTT). The primary goals of PPMP are:
The Eclipse Unide project publishes the current version of Production Performance Management Protocol (PPMP) and develops simple server/client implementations. The implementations store the payloads in a database and displays them through a simple user interface. Everyone can then use these samples for their custom condition monitoring applications.
The project will contain:
Eclipse Unide provides a lightweight Production Performance Management Protocol (PPMP) server-client implementations (using JSON, REST and other). The core of the protocol are two interface definitions:
The PPMP extends the existing Eclipse IoT world by providing an easy and lightweight format for gathering data from industry sensors and machines, focusing on normalizing time series and alert messages. It can be transported by protocols like REST, AMQP, MQTT. As PPMP, these technologies do also not require complex and expensive middleware nor do their systems cause additional license fees. Eclipse is an excellent platform for developing PPMP sample implementations and evolving the format hands-on with the community. In fact, it could even join forces with existing Eclipse IoT projects like Hono, Paho or Kura.