The IoT and Automation solution offered by IAS has achieved success in its pilot project. Preparations for the next project are moving forward. Explaining these IoT and Automation solutions, IAS General Manager İlker Er said “caniasERP can now communicate and speak the language with any machines, sensors, meters, and devices used in production sites. The data is transferred directly to the system, saving our customers time and costs involved with integrations because the system is already fully integrated with caniasERP, and the error share is minimum.”
Can you tell us more about your company?
IAS is a technology company that produces solutions in the field of enterprise resource planning software (ERP). Our company was founded in 1989 in Karlsruhe, Germany by Yaşar Hakan Karabiber. From the first day of operations, the vision has been to produce technology and innovative solutions at the most affordable cost for our customers. In line with this vision, in 1994, we established our IAS Turkey office. Since then, our software development and R&D center has been operating in Istanbul. We have a structure and mindset to be a leader in new technology innovations, not a follower. In this regard, we broke new grounds with the launch of TROIA in 1997, with caniasERP projects beginning in the early 2000s. TROIA is the first software development platform and one of the first software projects produced and funded by TUBITAK in Turkey. In 2001, caniasERP was then introduced to the market, becoming a one of the first ERP software products to work on the web because of its unique three-layer technology. With this early success, we were able to increase our R&D activities to continue innovating. Most recently, we developed and launched IASDB, which provides the foundation for our Big Data Management and Artificial Intelligence projects. Because of this, we are now able to produce hardware with our caniasERP IoT Box Solution that produces its own database. More innovations are happening everyday in the field of Industry 4.0 and IoT, especially for data collection from the production site. As of 2020, we have grown to 12 offices including Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, South Korea, India, United Arab Emirates and United States of America (USA). Our Partner Channel program has grown to over 50 Solution Partners spread around the globe. We service customers from more than 40 different industries in 33 countries. Some of these sectors include automotive, textile, defense industry, machinery and industrial automation, metal, packaging, food, chemical, plastic, building materials, electronics, mining, furniture, health and service.
What is your company's vision of Industry 4.0? What kind of research are you doing on this subject?
Industry 4.0 is one of the most exciting and important concepts of today and the future. Because this segment is so new, there is often confusion that this concept is the automation of production lines. On the contrary, this concept is actually about digitizing information and production systems. To simplify the meaning, ‘Industry 4.0’ is a form of digital thinking, making it possible to digitally process, store and draw conclusions from the data collected. For this reason, Industry 4.0 is not only used in production, it’s also used for cyber-physical systems, collecting big data through IoTs, and then accessing this information anytime, anywhere. Robotic studies, automation, IoT, big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence applications are necessary to think in all processes. At IAS, when we say Industry 4.0, we have recognized these new concepts and have adopted this new form of digital thinking. We always want our customers to take advantage of everything that caniasERP offers with all its flexible functions. We are working with IoT so that our customers can easily collect big data from all their production machines, devices, meters, and sensors. caniasERP gives our customers the ability to easily and quickly process the big data they produce and collect. Then draw conclusions from this big data.
What are you planning for 2020?
One of the most important breakthroughs we expect in 2020 will come from our work on artificial intelligence and big data. At IAS, we continue our mission of always taking our customers a step further by contributing to their vision. Another important development for IAS in 2020 is the continued growth of IASDB, our own database, which began in 2019. This database provides an important advantage in artificial intelligence and big data. Thanks to IASDB, we will take important steps in both performance and data mining and big data processing. Another important topic in 2020 is our Web Client that will give caniasERP the ability to run its functions on the web browser. This will enable our customers to use the same caniasERP in both desktop computers and mobile devices. caniasERP is one of the world's first ERP software products that works on the internet with all its different functions. By developing this vision even further, we implemented our web client application in the last quarter of 2019. This was a pioneering task that will disrupt and force changes in our industry. All devices that access the internet via a browser can now easily access the caniasERP system and all its functions from mobile phones, tablets or desk top computers.
Is the topic of IoT and Automation on your agenda in 2020?
Absolutely! IoT is one of our most important agenda items and we have it as a high priority. In addition, companies will also need automation systems in their factories and certain vehicle tracking systems in the field. Thanks to the newly developed IoT infrastructure at IAS, we will ensure the communication of caniasERP with all these external systems, devices, machines, sensors and meters giving our customers a great advantage. Thanks to the IoT infrastructure, the networks of caniasERP now reach every point where their data is produced. Companies will no longer have to use an extra costly program for this process, including the costs of installing and integrating 3rd party applications. All these connected machines and devices are now simply an extension of caniasERP.
What is Automation and why is it necessary for companies?
Data is an important commodity that is produced and collected in all areas of production systems. IoT and automation are becoming the most important means in collecting this information quickly, reliably and accurately. Automation will streamline the production systems used by companies in their factories. The data produced by these machines and production bands can now be collected, processed and reported digitally. The main purpose of automation is to be able to collect all this data (working hours, production quantities, working settings, etc.) obtained by machines and business centers without the need for human effort. Automation is very important for companies because "knowing" is a huge advantage in today’s competitive market! If you have the data, you will know what, how and under what conditions your products and production processes can be improved and developed in the future. Thanks to automation systems, it is possible to collect all this production data simultaneously making manually collecting data obsolete.
What are the new developments on automation?
With the IoT infrastructure offered by IAS, caniasERP can now communicate and collect all the data on your machines. This collected data is integrated into caniasERP thanks to the automation module we have developed that provides the connection between the ERP system and the machines. With our Automation module, you can operate the caniasERP that you use on your office computer, at the furnace or lathe in your factory. The automation module provides the connection between your machines in the production area and your ERP system. Thus, the data produced by your machines such as working time, stop time, reasons of stopping, production amount, temperature during the production, pressure and current drawn by the machine are integrated into the caniasERP system. Data flow can be provided 24/7.
What advantages does IAS offer to its customers?
As I mentioned earlier, while developing the IoT infrastructure and Automation module, our primary goal was to give caniasERP the ability to speak the languages of machines and to seamlessly collect information from anywhere, anytime. The information collected through the IoT system and Automation will automatically integrate into the caniasERP system offering great advantages with significant cost savings. We are proud to announce we have reached this goal!
What can companies look forward to concerning IoT and Automation research and development? Where will this technology change the industry?
We recently received an email from a customer that really stood out to me. It opened with “Now that caniasERP works, we sit and collect data!” The main functions of IoT and automation enable systems to work in harmony: to produce reliable data, and to collect this data in a consistent way. Modernizing this function with automation greatly reduces both the hours involved and the margin of error. The second stage will be to evaluate this reliable data for making the decisions needed to improve production processes. Product quality will increase, costs will decrease. This will allow companies to focus on control processes and make innovative breakthroughs.
Are companies conscious about this new technology? What kind of feedback do you get? Can you share with us anything about your automation projects / customers?
I can say that most companies are becoming aware of the advantage of this type of technolgy. Those who work in our software development office like myself would not have been involved much with the overall sales & marketing processes. Over the past few years we have started attending sales meetings of our customers and prospects to learn more from their questions about the capabilities of caniasERP, as well as the value of implementing the IoT and Automation module. From these meetings I have learned important information about what our customers truly need our ERP Platform to accomplish in order to help their business streamline their processes. At the end of 2019, we integrated the automation project live into one of our pilot customers. We transfered the data we collected through CNC and PLC controlled machines to IoT-ERP with the automation module. Not only did we collect production data, we also gathered important information on the CNC machines. Our pilot customer has been extremely satisfied with the work we performed. Because of this success, we are now planning another automation project for a large customer operating in the automotive supplier industry. Stay tuned for an update on this expected success story as well.