Having excellent connectivity is vital in obtaining information from the production area that helps during decision-making.

This is getting easier thanks to the internet boom in the new era of Industry 4.0, which gives us new technologies to automate processes and collect data in real time.

Below, we will talk about how good connectivity helps you operate more efficiently and gain better control of your factory.

Article content:
The benefits of good connectivity
Communication networks between teams
Robots with factory connectivity
Connection with ERP systems for data collection
Traceability systems that you can use

The benefits of good connectivity

The main advantages of an interconnected factory are as follows:

  • Cost reduction: Processes become more efficient, which translates into direct savings, shorter production cycles and data on the percentages of losses, possible energy leaks, etc.

  • Continuous communication: This is carried out through the company's IT systems and production automation systems that are always available in real time. It allows the company to measure and monitor processes 24/7.

  • Business growth: Better connectivity allows the integration of new users and/or devices, both from the administrative and production side.

  • Improvements to service and operations quality: It provides a high level of control over process monitoring and administration. This allows manufacturers to focus on other business activities to reduce efforts expended on repetitive tasks.

  • Increased data security and backup: This is because management platforms use encryption and authentication methods to ensure that information is secure at all times.

Communication networks between teams

The types of networks that may exist within a factory’s various facilities are:

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  • LAN (Local Area Network)
  • PAN (Personal Area Network)
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
  • WAN (Wide Area Network)

These networks can be interconnected in various ways:

  • Linear topology: In a linear topology, the devices are connected to each other in a chain.
  • Ring topology: A ring topology is similar to a linear topology, except that the last device in the chain is connected to the initial device, which forms a network ring.

  • Star topology: a star topology is a network of devices where the stations are directly connected to a central point and all communications are necessarily made through that point.
  • VLAN: A VLAN is capable of segmenting LAN networks virtually. The VLAN allows you to group stations logically segmented by functions, line and other characteristics of the factory without considering the physical location of the devices.

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Robots with factory connectivity

Nutec Bickley has participated in projects with robots in production lines, which basically consist of a furnace with a product movement circuit, with stations for loading and unloading parts by robots.

The robots used are customizable according to the client's application, with different sizes, load capacities and ranges of movement.

The robot control system and the PLC of our furnaces communicate through various protocols such as PROFINET, Modbus, Modbus TCP/IP, and CC-Link in order to achieve an interaction between them both. 

Some benefits of connecting the furnace / kiln control system with robots are:

  • Reduced labor costs, with cobots performing the work of one or more operators repeatedly and continuously.

  • Lower margin of error and higher efficiency.

  • Improved quality of production/waste reduction.

  • Decrease in occupational injuries due to fatigue or human error.

  • Measurable, reliable and repetitive uptime.


Connection with ERP systems for data collection

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a system designed for the management of business information in the areas of finance, inventory, purchasing, etc.

At Nutec Bickley we have participated in projects where we equip the furnace system with PLCs that communicate directly with ERP systems (such as SAP) for the exchange of product information and traceability in processes.

We have even accomplished what few ERP systems have been able to, which is to generate production information online.

Traceability systems that you can use

At Nutec Bickley we have worked with various traceability systems, using specialized SCADA programs such as Wonderware, which allow us to exchange information in order to:

  • Obtain a record of the route and behavior of the parts in the system.

  • Perform code readings for traceability, model control, production, etc.

  • Identify whether the entry of product information into the system has been done manually or automatically.


The furnace traceability system can be integrated with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES), commonly used in manufacturing to track the transformation of raw materials to finished products.

At Nutec Bickley we are specialists in customized systems. Contact our qualified consultants to learn more about all the solutions we have available for you.

Author: Dr Carlos Albores

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