Manufacturing systems are often characterised by ‘silos’ of data which cannot be accessed easily horizontally, and by varied and incompatible data types. By utilising a single data bus for all data to be transmitted on, standards are more easily implemented and all data is accessible by all equipment.
This is particularly important in this context where diverse sources of data (such as metrology systems, CAD data) must be analysed by software (e.g. data analytics, metrology software), and then used to adapt a process (e.g. robotic pathing, machining processes).

When a manufacturing system is fixed and will repeat the same tasks, having hard-coded and non-dynamic data exchange may be sufficient. When a system is reconfigurable and flexible, being able to define data sources and destination in software is critical (so-called software-defined networking).


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