Gaining Visibility Into Discrete Manufacturing Processes With MQTT and Sparkplug

R. Subramanyan
United States

Keywords: industry 4.0 MQTT discrete manufacturing smart


Discrete manufacturing refers to the production of distinct, individual items or units that can be easily identified and counted. This type of manufacturing involves the assembly of components or parts into finished goods, where each item can be distinguished from the others. Typical discrete manufacturing industries include Automotive, Electronics, Aerospace, Machinery and Medical Devices.These industries often use bills of materials (BOMs) and quality control measures in the process. Discrete manufacturing allows for customization, flexibility, and efficient production of a wide range of products. Industrial Internet of Things(IIoT) plays a significant role in discrete manufacturing to help connect various OT systems through sensors and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) with the IT systems mentioned above. This OT-IT connection enables data exchange and digital transformation use cases where, for example, the order data in the ERP system needs to be combined with the production data in the PLM so that forecasting, planning, and scheduling can happen properly. IIoT enables these systems to talk to each other and create a single pane of glass through a messaging technology like MQTT. MQTT is a lightweight, publish-subscribe messaging protocol designed for low-bandwidth, high-latency, or unreliable networks which are typically seen in discrete manufacturing. MQTT plays a significant role in enabling various use cases in discrete manufacturing. Here are some of the ways MQTT facilitates discrete manufacturing applications: 1. Real time Communications 2. Scalability 3. Efficient Bandwidth Usage 4. Reliability and Quality of Service (QoS) 5. Security 6. Publish Subscribe model 7. Edge Computing Integration IIoT in discrete manufacturing brings about improvements in efficiency, quality, maintenance, and overall operational effectiveness. By enabling data communications using a reliable and efficient communication mechanism like MQTT, discrete manufacturing systems can efficiently support real-time monitoring of various devices, processes, and applications on the factory floor and support advanced data use cases. The connectivity resulting from MQTT empowers discrete manufacturing to digitally transform its operations, which leads to more efficiency, reduced costs, better customer experience, and more profitability.