Brick Reply - the manufacturing operations platform for Industry 4.0

Specialist in the design and implementation of solutions based on new communication channels and digital media, Reply has released Brick Reply, a manufacturing operations platform (MOM) for Industry 4.0 to make production processes flexible and connected. Brick Reply relies on a completely open service-based architecture capable of interfacing with both machinery and sensors and coordinating the production processes within the factory.

The solution's single point of control, Brick Hub Connector, enables communication between traditional production processes – including production, planning and quality control – and today’s increasingly intelligent physical devices, such as sensors, machinery, robots and installations. Core functionalities include real-time collection and monitoring of data and comprehensive analysis using big data and in-memory technologies.

Brick Reply’s flexibility and ease of implementation is said to give production managers freedom when configuring their manufacturing processes and specifying both work flows and the nature and quality of data collected in real time from production lines.

It can be incorporated into situations where new technologies and devices are already in use, such as augmented reality and IoT. Brick Reply can also be configured to fit lean manufacturing scenarios based either on ‘work islands’ or on one or more production lines. Factory layouts can be modified and integrated with specific product structures, which are defined within the ERP management system or directly in Brick Reply.

The platform can be utilised in a variety of operating modes, from a fully Software-as-a-Service or cloud-based model to delivery via dedicated client infrastructures. The solution can also be deployed in mixed situations in which some services interacting with field devices reside on local infrastructures, while other services are completely cloud-based.

In combination with emerging technologies such as machine learning and big data, the features offered by Brick Reply – which also comprise production planning, maintenance management and business intelligence – are claimed to open the door to manufacturing scenarios, including predictive data analysis for the purposes of preventative maintenance and advanced performance analysis, both of which can have a major impact on production and business.