Low-code in industry: process optimization and apps for manufacturing and production

Growing digitization not only presents new challenges for the industry, but also opportunities for greater transparency, efficiency and scalability. The key to successful digitization is the use of the right technology: low-code. Compared to conventional programming methods, low-code technology not only accelerates the digitization of processes or the implementation of apps many times over, but also promotes democratization and the formation of fusion teams in application development, which are particularly important today. With low-code created apps and digitized processes, you can increase your company’s productivity and maintain your competitive advantage in the future. No matter if it’s manufacturing or production processes: With the Appollo Low Code Platform, you adapt industrial processes and apps to changing requirements incredibly fast and with maximum agility.

Why is process optimization needed in industry?

Technical development can hardly be stopped: Innovations and automations are recording a significant increase in industry. The digital transformation is fundamentally changing the entire value chain. More and more processes are taking place online, and the global volume of data is increasing exponentially, creating more and more opportunities and services that lead to new business models and revenue potential. With process optimization based on this, your company will benefit from greater efficiency, agility and speed, both internally and externally.

More transparency in globalization

The key challenge here is to create an industrial eco-system. The Covid 19 pandemic has taught us that the benefits of globalization are accompanied by dangers. Unstable supply chains were the result. The current war in Ukraine further illustrates this. Direct optimization of your supply chain is now essential. By means of suitable supply chain virtualization or with a digital logistics twin – the supply chain digital twin – you can create greater transparency.

New demands on the industry

But that’s not all: buyers and end consumers are placing ever higher demands on products. With a sophisticated optimization of your production and manufacturing processes, new opportunities arise for you in the circular economy and the reprocessing of materials as well as products. At the same time, this makes it easy for you to keep the ethical and sustainable procurement of raw materials transparent. All you need is a digital service platform and product service systems.

Process optimization is worthwhile for all operational processes and industries – from logistics and purchasing to marketing. By optimizing your manufacturing and production processes using low-code, you can speed up your digital transformation and remain competitive. After all, it is often the case that lengthy development times due to traditional programming methods slow down the desired automation and digitization of a company. Because with conventional methods and IT experts alone, the workload is no longer feasible.

The combination of low-code development and citizen development is considered to be the most successful solution scenario to date and was named by forbes as the strongest disruptive trend in 2021. However, not all low-code platforms are suitable for this. That’s why you should use the Appollo Low-Code Platform! With it, you can implement any complex application or industrial process largely via no-code and drag & drop without extensive IT knowledge. With Appollo, you get a globally unique low-code platform with which you can easily implement vertical industry solutions through the no-code integration of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and industrial automation platforms (e.g. ctrlX Automation from Bosch Rexroth).

Challenges regarding IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things)

Medium-sized machine builders in particular often see the benefits of data-driven processes and new digital business models, but fear high initial investments and long development phases. As a result, IIoT initiatives in the companies usually make slow progress or are not launched at all. According to a recent survey by the market research company IDC, the biggest challenges here are mainly due to:

  • lack of budget,
  • lack of internal IT expertise, and
  • high development costs.

But with a low-code platform that can be used in the industry – such as the one from Appollo Systems – employees in the specialist departments can create their apps themselves and configure them precisely according to their requirements. Learn more about the individual benefits below.

Benefits of the Appollo Low-Code Platform for industrial use

If you use the Appollo Low-Code Platform, you will benefit from numerous advantages:

  • App development by real specialists
    You need virtually no IT professionals for app development: The application is created by precisely those experts who are most familiar with the subject matter and who work with the machines or processes to be optimized on a daily basis.
  • Quick to implement
    This eliminates the need for lengthy briefing and development times via your internal or external IT: You gain immense speed and agility to digitize any complex production and manufacturing processes that improve all of your company’s operations.
  • Save time
    It no longer takes weeks or even months to implement a new application: the deployment time drops enormously, so you can possibly test apps realized via low-code in practice the very next day.
  • Low cost
    Time saved – money saved: No more tedious programming, even maintenance and updates consume significantly less time and budget.
  • Low-code as the basis for intelligent process optimization in manufacturing

Experience full control over your production and manufacturing processes through intelligent process monitoring. Numerous analysis options help you make decisions and give you tips on the potential for improvement in your applications. At the same time, you can react immediately to changes and adapt your production directly to changing requirements. 

Business benefits for the manufacturing industry

  • Real-time insight into all activities
  • accelerated decision making
  • User-friendly applications support your employees
  • Offline functions for places with poor or no internet at all

Develop your digital business with industry-specific low-code applications!

How quickly can a low-code solution for industry be realized with Appollo?

How quickly you can develop a low-code app with Appollo depends entirely on what you want to display. For example, do you want to create a mobile app with a dashboard that displays the temperature history of a sensor? Then you would only need a few minutes with the no-code integration for such an IoT device. Experience shows that developing with the Appollo Low-Code Platform is usually ten times faster than with traditional programming.

Low-code apps as an interface between order management and production

You can set up an interface between your order management and production via low-code. The basis for this integration is a standard function of the Appollo Low-Code Platform. You use it to modularize projects into reusable sub-projects: One of the sub-projects serves as an interface to order management, the other as the same for the production system. You can implement everything simply by dragging and dropping and, for the most part, without writing a single line of code. Depending on the use case, there are different integration variants. Either you connect both systems in the main project via a simple graphical element and let them exchange data. Or you model a central process using BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) for data exchange between order management and production. If integration requires even more orchestration between different systems, use Appollo’s no-code integration for different message services, such as the Microsoft Azure Service Bus or the Kafka Messaging and Streaming Platform.

You don’t need to worry about security and reliability with Appollo either: Robustness, security and highest availability are guaranteed!

From mechanical engineer to app developer: the task of the Citizen Developer

With the Appollo Low-Code Platform, everyone becomes an IT specialist: The easy-to-understand, graphical modeling works consistently according to the LEGO principle via drag & drop. This allows you to realize user interfaces, mobile apps and digitized processes in the shortest possible time – without any prior knowledge of software development. This is particularly advantageous if your machine builders or operators have a precise idea of which app functions and processes can help them: There is no need for detailed briefing of your IT or external providers. Instead, the respective employees simply take action themselves and create the apps that really facilitate their daily processes. Graphical user interfaces and process models that everyone can understand make it possible!

App development without IT

Our experience shows that typically 90 percent of a low-code app can be developed without a single line of code. Only for the business logic it requires a few lines of code at appropriate elements, which can be learned very quickly even by laymen. So you can put your app online without any IT support at all and it is immediately usable by end users.

Maintenance and updates do not become a time factor

Thanks to low-code, there are significantly fewer program errors and other technical problems. If you want to add a function or update the app later, you can do so with the Appollo Low-Code Platform at the push of a button and even during operation – without interrupting the system.

Conclusion

With low-code, it is now possible for your machine and system builders to create industrial apps within a very short time and without IT knowledge. This gives you the chance to offer digital value-added services incredibly quickly and at significantly lower cost.

Examples of industrial process optimization: Industry 5.0 thanks to low code

The possibilities for process optimization for production and manufacturing solutions are enormous thanks to low code. Industry 4.0 is at the same time Industry 5.0-ready. Get a small insight into the opportunities you get through the Appollo Low-Code Platform:

  • Benefit from intelligent monitoring for your manufacturing and production as well as on-demand maintenance.
  • Take advantage of real-time control and maintain your equipment with foresight (predictive maintenance). This will help you prevent major breakdowns and idle time.
  • Measure the scrap rate per production process and get a precise overview of the quality of your in-house production performance.
  • Get detailed reports that clearly break down production failures – Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and more.
  • Visualize your entire production as a Digital Twin and keep your supply chain transparent.

Are you interested in a low-code solution for industrial applications and would like to learn more? Contact us, we will be happy to advise you on your options!

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