The digital supply chain twin forms the central strategic planning element combining strategic planning levels such as sales & operations planning (S&OP), demand planning, inventory optimisation with operative planning tools of advanced planning & scheduling (APS). Thus, the hub models the interaction of customers, suppliers and the shop floor to display production alternatives and alternative procurement methods (e.g. make or buy) in real time and on a simulation basis. The planning scenarios applied to this process can be compared against each other through a wide variety of key figures such as customer segmentation, product contribution margin or expected contractual penalties.
As the industry continuously generates large amounts of master and transaction data – such as countless data points on raw material or customer files, sensor data from the process/production plants or in the form of laboratory information – the information is stored in the central ERP or in digital twin applications such as in MDX (machine data exchange), SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) or QMS (quality management system).
The Digital Factory thus needs a central digital hub that links and synchronises the digital twins. Even though the term Digital Factory is quite broad, it can still be easily transferred to industrial reality. Platform as a service (PaaS) solutions like Edge.One may provide the digital anchor for future smart extensions, for example in the form of IIOT, augmented reality or blockchain applications.