Smart Factory IoT automation solutions for production, analytics, and reporting


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The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) promises advancements in smart manufacturing iot, with which comes a smart factory revolution. Factory IoT software platforms such as zenon create interconnected and intelligent manufacturing processes that optimize industrial automation. Discover smart factory technology and zenon's role in Industry 4.0-based manufacturing.


Smart factory technology

Smart factory technology is built upon the transformation from traditional automation to a more open, connected and flexible system. By incorporating system-wide physical, operational and human assets, it enables factories to better manage the entire production landscape through interconnected equipment, operations and facilities, as well as to predict and make real-time adjustments to changes. The result is increased production efficiency and less downtime.


To create a smart factory, IoT solutions are essential. Connected IoT devices such as cameras for machine vision and sensors are needed throughout a manufacturing facility to check the status, gather data, analyze it and use insights to optimize operations. In addition to data-collecting devices, however, software compiles IoT data and allows users to monitor and control all aspects of automated production. The zenon Software Platform from COPA-DATA delivers IoT smart factory solutions to pave the way for increased productivity and enhanced supervision in the age of Industry 4.0.


zenon assists manufacturers with the following aspects of smart factory management:


  • Data collectionzenon securely collects and stores hardware-independent data from your equipment, processes and people. With its more than 300 native communication protocols, you can connect all existing devices from PLCs to business management systems or cloud applications.
  • Visualization and control: zenon displays real-time operational data in a customizable interface, allowing for increased awareness and efficient control over processes locally and remotely.
  • Data management: zenon allows you to contextualize data across equipment and facilities in one simple platform, so you can make more informed and reliable business decisions.
  • Analytics and reporting: zenon uses advanced algorithms, connects your real-time data with machine learning applications, as well as distributed intelligence and networking to make calculations and provide predictions and estimates. The software bases analysis on both historical and real-time data for the most accurate conclusions.
  • Engineering and maintenance: zenon comes with a set of powerful wizards and easy-to-use tools, so you can create and maintain your projects without needing programming skills. Through the open application programming interfaces (API) and the possibility to engineer mixed version environments due to its backward compatibility, zenon ensures high productivity for your engineering team.



The impact of IoT on smart factory components

Smart factory technology and IoT devices have far-reaching implications for efficiency, product quality and safety. IoT technology can empower elements of smart manufacturing such as:


  • Manufacturing operations: By collecting real-time data at every stage of manufacturing, IoT components reveal process redundancies and inefficiencies to be eliminated.
  • Quality assurance: The IoT components of a smart factory can collect data on product defects. Combined with simultaneously collected data on other parts of production, this data can reveal the source of quality issues.
  • Equipment maintenance: Smart factory technology can streamline equipment maintenance to minimize downtime and maximize productivity.
  • Sustainability and safety: By providing data insights into energy use, environmental performance and events like workplace injuries, IoT devices can help factories create a more sustainable process and a more positive work environment.
  • Warehouse operations: IoT can help you see how products should move in and out of your warehouse to optimize efficiency and minimize labor costs.
  • Inventory management: Use resources more effectively and automate inventory management by tracking what materials are used and restocking at the right time.


With smart factory technology based on zenon, you can improve these elements in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automotive and other manufacturing industries.


Smart factory solutions with zenon

With zenon, you can jump start your digital transformation and make the transition to a smart factory with your existing equipment. Combined with IoT devices, the zenon Software Platform can analyze data, automate processes and improve overall operations to make your factory more productive and competitive in the future marketplace. zenon helps you implement IoT technology in your existing factory operations in the following areas:


Horizontal and vertical integration

A smart factory featuring zenon enables horizontal integration among machines and vertical integration across your enterprise. zenon allows you to connect machines, systems and resources, as well as share data from the sensor to enterprise resource planning (ERP). The result is a smart factory that eliminates knowledge silos in the company and streamlines communication across machines and facilities.


Energy data management

The factories of the future prioritize sustainability and energy efficiency. Minimizing energy consumption means cost savings for the business and reducing consumption of valuable resources for the environment. As an energy data management system (EDMS), zenon provides a company-wide profile of consumption data from your machines and processes, which empowers you to manage your usage effectively on a long-term basis. The software platform meets TÜV Süd requirements for certified energy data management and is compliant with the ISO 50001 standard on monitoring, measurement and analysis.


Predictive maintenance

Maintenance plays a vital role in production — if a system breaks down, it can lead to expensive downtime and delays in order fulfillment. By collecting data in real time about connected machinery, zenon predicts when you should service a machine or switch a component to avoid downtime.


zenon Service Grid

Service Grid connects machines, processes or complete systems in networks – and does so, as usual, from zenon. In a simple and uncomplicated manner, regardless whether you want to network plants across locations and harmonize processes or integrate third-party systems and IoT devices such as intelligent energy meters or wearables. With zenon Service Grid, we have expanded our zenon Software Platform comprehensively. Service Grid provides you with a flexible, future-proof solution that enables you to implement your individual, customized requirements even better.



Smart factory benefits with zenon


With zenon technology, you can improve your factory operations through these advantages:

  • Production throughput: zenon provides detailed data on asset performance to help you optimize their usage. Reduce asset downtime, limit change over time and maximize your capacity. Through these improvements, you can minimize waste, achieve lean production and make your operations more efficient.
  • Product quality: Let zenon enhance the quality of your product through data trends and insights. zenon provides an overview of your operations data so you can quickly locate the source of a product defect.
  • Cost efficiency: By optimizing your processes through zenon's automation and data management, you can enhance their cost-efficiency. Improve the consistency of your operations and processes and increase your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
  • Project scalability: Easy to integrate, zenon provides a flexible architecture scaling from single machines to unified multi-line factory solutions. Together with its extensive life cycle and backward compatibility, zenon ensures low start-up cost and cost-effective extensions of your existing production assets.
  • Optimal security: COPA-DATA is certified for the IEC 62443-4-1 security standard for industrial automation and control systems. This ensures a secure development life-cycle (SDL) of zenon that aligns with the latest industrial IT security guidelines. In addition, zenon’s unparalleled security features such as server redundancy, user authorization, and network encryption fully protect your projects from data loss and unauthorized access.
  • Improved work environment: Foster a more environmentally friendly workplace by optimizing your use of assets and operations. Improve safety for your personnel by automating laborious and repetitive activities and improving the HMI visualization for a better overview.


Manufacturers and system integrators can use zenon in different ways to maximize these benefits. Our experts will assist you through various training and support options so you can get the most out of zenon.


Plan your IoT factory automation with the zenon Software Platform

At COPA-DATA, we provide next-generation automation solutions through our zenon Software Platform. Discover how to transform your plant into a digital smart factory with zenon's IoT solutions. For more information about our software and services and smart factory implementation, contact us today.




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