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We have answers to the most frequently asked questions.
While basis and starting point of industry 4.0 and data analytics projects are accessible and clean datasets, 95% of today’s factory data is either inaccessible or of poor quality. This creates tremendous up-front efforts to access, understand and prepare data for each individual project. These basics can take up to 80% of time and budget of a project. Additional symptoms of poor-quality data might include:
- You struggle to make full use of existing data
- Slow progress in industry 4.0 initiatives
- IT and / or data scientists spend a big portion of their time on data preparation
- Time consuming maintenance of custom scripts and / or data pipelines
- High cloud costs due to storage and processing of high volumes of raw data
It’s time for change! With i-flow you increase
- data discoverability
- data interoperability
- data flexibility
across your factories. i-flow minimizes your work on the basics such as understanding, cleaning and preparing data – no more time and budget wasted. Imagine to create unified and harmonized data across your factories independent from its source system. Empower your team to generate clean, contextualized and understandable data to focus on the implementation and rollout of use-cases. With i-flow you achieve a 5 times faster time-to-value for each industry 4.0 or data analytics project. Get started today!
Ultimately, i-flow enables a faster and cheaper piloting and rollout of industry 4.0 and data analytics projects by maximizing the discoverability, interoperability and flexibility of factory data. The software allows to increase the degree of data interoperability and flexibility by following a collaborative process between your central IT and decentral engineering departments inside your factories to standardize and harmonize data. With i-flow you create clean data from your factory operations by default – across all your factories independent from the heterogeneity of your shopfloors. In addition, i-flow allows you to discover process and product data coming from various factories including their interrelationships (e.g., production lines, machines, processes) in no-time due to auto-generated context and metadata.
The do-it-yourself (DIY) approach is always a valid consideration. There are at least the following two important aspects to consider when evaluating DIY vs. i-flow as a proven standard application: financials & need for scaling.
The financials: Comparing yearly wages of software experts (at least in the higher five-digit range) to the yearly subscription costs of i-flow, i-flow becomes beneficial quickly. Due to our three different package sizes from small to large, this is also true in small factories. Ultimately, don’t waste your software experts on basic and repetitive data tasks while they are skilled to create real value and insights of these data.
The need for scale: The approach of using own developers to establish a toolchain and build custom scripts typically works in environments where scaling is not required, business requirements are rather static and developer fluctuation is very low. Connecting a handful of factory assets to your IT already creates a lot of metadata and context. If organized well in a solution like i-flow, metadata and context can be very valuable to accelerate upcoming use-cases (e.g., by making datasets and their interrelationship interpretable). A rule-of-thumb: The more factory assets connected, the more complex it gets to keep track and transparency. Moreover, if you are in a more dynamic business environment (e.g., frequent changes in factory or IT systems) requires standard solutions that allow for scaling independent of individual developers and fluctuation.
We address companies in the manufacturing domain with at least one factory. Within the manufacturing domain, the technology is sector-agnostic and thus the product does not require customizing to create value in different sectors (e.g. automotive, machinery).
You just started? Perfect timing! Connect your first factory systems (e.g., machine) to your IT using i-flow. In addition to creating clean and scalable data to prevent data cleaning for your upcoming projects right from the beginning, you can save money and time for basic data tasks today.
Yes. Most advanced customers we talk to struggle to make full use of the data they already connected due to grown complexity. Use i-flow to de-complexify by standardizing and harmonizing the data from your operations. Contextualize big volumes of data to make it interpretable and actionable by your IT experts and data scientists right from the spot. Get started today with i-flow to make use of your data at scale!
Absolutely. We offer different service levels. Please contact us for more information.
i-flow is available as annual subscription in different package sizes. The package size depends on the number of connections made between i-flow and your factory assets. Therefore, i-flow allows a profitable implementation in small and big factories. Please contact us for more information.
About our Technology
We protect our software with a multi-level security concept based on state-of-the-art technologies to ensure highest security standards. When deployed in the cloud, i-flow only runs in secure data centers that can either be administrated by your IT (inside your private cloud environment) or by i-flow (in our cloud environment). Our service providers are ISO 27001 certified and provide 99.9% uptime SLAs to prevent failure. We are using state-of-the art encryption methods and secure access control Please also see https://i-flow.io/en/saftey/. Please contact us for additional information.
To connect to your factory or IT systems, i-flow supports numerous communication technologies and provides so called standard connectors. It is also possible to connect to proprietary protocols. Please contact us! We are happy to discuss your use-case(s) and requirements.
It is possible to connect to proprietary protocols. Please contact us! We are happy to discuss your use-case(s) and requirements.
i-flow supports 3 deployment options to meet your needs – all with operations-grade security.
- Option: Use i-flow directly in our cloud environment (public cloud deployment)
- Option: We can deploy i-flow in a cloud environment that is administrated by your IT (private cloud environment)
- Option: In exceptional cases, we also support on-premise installations. Please contact us for more information. Please contact us for additional information.
Start with i-flow
Yes. Please contact us for more information.
The length of a PoC depends on the complexity and business goal of the use-case and typically lasts 3-6 months. You set the scope. We deliver.
While a PoC will be adapted to meet your needs, the following lists the most important ingredients: Prior to the start of a PoC, prerequisites such as clearly defined business goal and use-case must be fullfilled. At start, i-flow employees train and support your staff to familiarize with i-flow and its concepts (e.g., data modeling) by jointly implementing the first use-case. During the PoC we offer free consultation hours and measure the success continuously. Prio to the end of a PoC, we will summarize outcome and important learnings to discuss next steps in a wrap-up call. Please contact us for detailed information on a Proof of Concept (PoC). We are happy to talk about our approach in a personal meeting.
Please contact us. We can provide you with a detailed how-to-guide and consultation.
Yes. The implementation (e.g., installation, onboarding) of i-flow can done remotely. On-site visits of i-flow employees are optional.
Using i-flow is typically sparked by a top-down (strategic approach) or bottom-up (operational need) business problem. For both applies: think big, start small. Look for a high-impact low-effort use-case to evaluate i-flow as a solution instead of fighting organizational hurdles. Please contact us for detailed information on reference use-cases or case studies. We are happy to discuss weather i-flow provides value in your use-case in a personal meeting.
Strategic approach: You would like your data scientists to create insights into data instead of wasting time on understanding, cleansing and preparation of factory data (e.g., from machines, test benches)? With i-flow this is possible on a factory, business-unit or corporate level. First use-cases might be:
- to unlock process mining at a defined pilot value stream to reduce production costs
- enable predictive quality to reduce scrap parts at later stages of production
- traceability for quality improvement by saving process and product data per serial number.
Operational need: You struggle to connect factory systems (e.g. machines) to IT systems (e.g., SAP)? You would like a system that makes it easy to set-up, adjust and maintain those connections? With i-flow this is as simple as never before. First use-cases might be
- to connect a specific machine to your existing dashboard application to measure its machine efficiency (OEE)
- to visualize process parameters (e.g., process temperature) for condition monitoring
- automate SAP transactions based on events from your Shopfloor.
i-flow is a no-coding solution. That means there are no programming skills needed to use our solution. Additionally, deep knowledge in OT or IT, interface technologies or data science is not required.
Your question remained unanswered? We would love to jump on a meeting with you to speak in detail about your questions.