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What distinguishes the MIP from other platforms?

A question for Bernd Berres

There are many successful platforms around. Think about Airbnb, Uber or Amazon. No matter what industry we are looking at, business with platforms is booming. Why not apply the same concept to production and use the benefits? This is the way we at MPDV have chosen to go with our Manufacturing Integration Platform (MIP). Not a simple task. After all, there are estimates of more than 500 platforms for production alone. How to stand out from the crowd?

Interfaces are yesterday's paper

The platforms most frequently used in production are IoT platforms. These platforms are used to collect, store and evaluate large amounts of data. The difference between IoT platforms and MPDV's Manufacturing Integration Platform is already evident in the name. The MIP integrates all production systems. This is vital for the survival in the age of Industry 4.0, where the number of systems is constantly growing. Only if sensors and controllers can automatically exchange information and speak a com-mon language, the vision of a Smart Factory becomes reality. The crux of the matter is that with an in-creasing number of systems the number of interfaces also rises.

„The MIP enables the integration of all systems without having to integrate countless interfaces.”

This allows systems from different manufacturers to interact with each other without having to customize it or without knowing each other. The same principle is used when retrieving emails from different clients.

Content matters

Today, we can access our emails via Out-look on a laptop, smartphone or on the provider's website. When I write an email, it is available in all three outbox clients. The standardization of the Internet Message Access Protocol is the reason why it is possible. This means that different providers of mail clients can communicate with each other and exchange information. This principle was applied to the MIP. Applications from different providers can share information with each other via the standardized object model of the MIP. Details on specific objects like machine, tool or material are stored. All MIP applications access it and have therefore the same database and information level. This is another distinguishing feature to an IoT platform. Typically, IoT platforms are technology platforms. That means, these platforms are some sort of operating system to write applications on.

„MIP is a semantic platform. The focus here is not on technology but on content.”

Applications cooperate

A good example for such a technology platform is the smartphone with all its apps. All apps run on the same operating system and use the same technology. Not many applications interact with each other. They are simply installed independently on the smartphone and co-exist, but do not cooperate. This is the difference to the MIP. There are many applications in the shop that do not use the same technology, but work on the same data model and exchange information.

The enlisted systems can differ substantially. It can be software, a sensor or a machine control. They do not share the technology, because they run on another hardware or operating system. They share the semantically defined data model. The data model contains all production objects including their attributes and relationships. For example, we have an object Person. The Person includes attributes like first name, surname, company, department or cost center. The relationship between the objects is also specified. All systems connected to the MIP are always up to date and can interact with each other to ensure a smooth production process.

Communication with MIP takes place via REST Services, a standard protocol customary on the market.

About Bernd Berres

is Principal for the Product Management at MPDV and responsible for product strategy and product marketing. He was the project leader for the realization of the MIP and is now Product Manager for the platform. Mr. Berres has been working for MPDV for more than 30 years. After finishing college, he started in the development and consulting at MPDV.


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Responsible for the content of this press release: MPDV Mikrolab GmbH


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