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Creating a Digital Industrial Enterprise with Mendix and MindSphere

Johann Loew
Johann Loew


This blog is about the 'Creating a Digital Industrial Enterprise with Mendix and MindSphere' video, presented by David Mitchell, Siemens. You can watch the video here.

MindSphere is an open IIoT (Industrial IoT) platform service from Siemens. There are about 500 partners, 400 applications from customers and thousands of users worldwide.

This experience allows the platform to manage petabytes of data and transfer hundreds of GB per second. The Paas infrastructure allows it to be hosted wherever it is needed (Alibaba, Azure, Amazon, etc.). MindSphere supports Edge to Cloud and brings data from multiple sources together in one place - this is where the Mendix Data Hub comes in. As another Siemens product, Mendix applications can be set up on MindSphere.
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Today, industry is digitizing all sorts of things - design and manufacturing information, enterprise resource planning, manufacturing execution system, the list is long. This means that technical and production, design, prototyping, quality management, supply chain and logistics data are brought together. Connecting devices to each other or to the Internet and collecting the data is no longer a challenge - it is normalizing and analyzing the data to create business value. To meet this challenge, we must close the digital loop. Here, a Digital Twin goes one step further - not only a 1:1 representation of the product, but also of the production process, as well as every step in the production cycle.

Figure 1, Closing the digital loop

As usual, companies are faced with a make-or-buy decision. Customers could connect numerous devices such as Raspberry PI or other IoT chips and sensors to the platform themselves and solve the network challenges at the work level themselves, bringing challenges in terms of security, performance and reliability. Then comes the decision of the storage medium - hot, warm or cold storage - as this can affect the performance and lifetime of the data. Once the data is connected to a database, an application can be developed that can profitably process the data. On the other hand, it is also possible to start with devices for the manufacturing sector, which are provided by Siemens and can already connect to MindSphere to overcome the challenges of connectivity. Depending on the use case and the type of relevant data, the platform automatically supports the decision on the storage type, e.g. it can choose real-time performance monitoring with hot storage or long-term auditing with cold storage. MindSphere provides a number of standard applications for managing and processing the data. This type of IIoT infrastructure provides a proven foundation that makes it even easier to add value with custom Mendix applications. Ultimately, the second approach consumes less capital, generates lower operating expenses and represents a much lower risk.

Figure 2, Make-or-Buy Decision

Mendix is a great low code environment that facilitates the processing of all backend data. The interface capability of Mendix provides an excellent foundation for an all-round application where you can capture not only IIOT data but also ERP or MES data and display it to your Mendix application in MindSphere.

With MindSphere Start for Free you can try out the platform. You can use your phone as an IoT device to provide IoT data, develop a Mendix application and then use it in MindSphere to process the data - it's hands-on!


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Johann Loew

Johann Loew

Johann Loew is Consultant at Mansystems and is currently completing his master's degree in industrial engineering.

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