Im Gespräch mit Franziska Banholzer, Account Manager MIP (Quelle: MPDV)

The Integration Platform MIP is the Foundation for Digitalization

Interview with Franziska Banholzer from the MIP Team

As a dedicated team member, Franziska Banholzer talks in an interview about the current state of affairs and gives an outlook on upcoming activities around MPDV’s Manufacturing Integration Platform (MIP). Franziska is an expert in MIP, ecosystems, and production processes. She has been an Account Manager in the MIP team since November 2022 and previously gained sales experience with other MPDV products.

Well, Franziska, how would you describe the current state of the MIP Integration Platform?

The MIP is designed to support manufacturers in the digitalization and optimization of their production processes by integrating data from various applications, such as the ERP system, production planning, production control and monitoring, or quality management. This makes it possible to record and analyze large volumes of production and process data, which in turn forms an effective foundation for decision-making at all levels of the company.

Since its launch in 2018, the MIP has made enormous progress in terms of development. The MIP not only forms the technological foundation for the MPDV Group’s products such as HYDRA and FEDRA but can be a stand-alone solution. It serves as the central data hub for any type of production.

The MIP in its role as data hub for a variety of systems in production ensures the integration of existing IT system landscapes on the one hand and, on the other, enables companies to implement their own developments based on a ready-made data model and to flexibly connect applications for production from the ecosystem.

From a technological viewpoint, the MIP is the right answer to the market’s quest for a solid foundation for a digitalization strategy right from the start. In personal exchanges with potential users, it becomes clear time and time again that knowledge of the existence of such a ready-made solution needs to be improved. The MIP solves challenges that companies in the manufacturing sector have today and are likely to continue to have tomorrow. The MIP is responding to increasingly louder calls for long-term investment in the Smart Factory.

Would you say that the MIP is ahead of its time?

I am convinced that it is now the right time for the MIP! Unfortunately, there are not enough companies that have realized that they can solve most of their manufacturing IT challenges with an integration platform. The number of laboriously self-developed applications in the production environment is immense. These applications have to be integrated to exchange data reliably and their interfaces have to be maintained and updated at great expense – and these are precisely the challenges that the MIP addresses. The semantic data model of the MIP ensures that data exchange cannot be misinterpreted, there is only one interface per application and the integrated systems are flexibly interchangeable.

However, most IT specialists in manufacturing companies only understand what the MIP can really do when we explain how the platform works. This is usually the eureka moment for them. Some do not even know that there is an ingenious solution available for this type of challenge. This is why many companies develop their own approaches and integration strategies and are amazed when we present the MIP and its opportunities.

Does that influence your dialog with production companies?

Our most important task at the moment is to explain to the market that with the MIP we have a solution to achieve integration, flexibility, and transparency in production. We want to create awareness amongst manufacturing companies that there is no need to „reinvent“ digitalization. We want to present use cases and show how users benefit from our solutions in the short and long term and demonstrate to interested parties how easy it is to introduce and use the MIP. We have set ourselves the goal to firmly establish the MIP and thus place the underdog at the forefront of the market. We simply have to become more visible to the manufacturing industry.

Let us return to the previous question. For some manufacturing companies, the MIP would certainly have been a perfect alternative alongside investments already made. Assuming businesses have the necessary IT capacity and have begun to painstakingly program interfaces and applications. If these companies had had the MIP back then, or at least known about it, a lot of time and effort could have been saved. But I think it is never too late for such a solution because the integration of such in-house developments is still possible with the MIP at a later date.

The MIP ecosystem is certainly helpful at this point, right?

Exactly, as the ecosystem creates a new solution space when it comes to shaping digitalization in production. This is also what our MIP partners say. New opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between applications are emerging beyond the technology itself. In the end, every participant contributes their skills and expertise to the ecosystem and, in turn, benefits from what other participants contribute. Everyone benefits from the added value resulting from the flexibility and interoperability of the MIP.

The ecosystem provides the manufacturing industry with a diverse range of solutions. The only challenge is to understand the complexity of your own digitalization strategy and to find the right solution among the wide spectrum of products. And this is exactly where the MIP comes into play with many applications in the ecosystem that offer a variety of workable solutions. Its flexibility ensures that customers are not tied to one provider and can avoid a vendor lock-in. Applications can be exchanged, replaced, or a completely new application can be added. Which means that one plus one often equals more than two. Small manufacturing companies especially benefit from the wide range of smart applications.

What do you think will happen with the MIP?

We will continue to encourage new MIP partners with innovative and future-oriented applications to join the ecosystem. In the process, we ensure that all these applications are compatible with the MIP vision and interoperable with each other. Some partners even have their applications certified for this purpose.

We are also working hard to penetrate the market and acquire new customers. For this purpose, we are holding webinars and are also planning a face-to-face event at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, on November 30, 2023. In this event, top experts from customers and partners will talk about the MIP and explain its benefits using best practice examples. The focus will be on the interoperability issue associated with the MIP.

I have a vision that small and large manufacturing companies alike will recognize and understand how the MIP can serve as a central pillar of their own individual digitalization strategy.

Franziska Banholzer: "My vision is for smaller and larger manufacturing companies alike to understand how the MIP can help them with digitalization. Which is why I go to the office every day and that's what we work on together in the MIP team." (Source: MPDV)
Franziska Banholzer: „My vision is for smaller and larger manufacturing companies alike to understand how the MIP can help them with digitalization. Which is why I go to the office every day and that’s what we work on together in the MIP team.“ (Source: MPDV)

What would you like to say to manufacturing companies that are thinking about introducing the MIP or that may not even know that they need an integration platform?

The MIP integration platform is the perfect technological springboard for the digitalization of production. Given the complexity of digitalization, the platform is an important first step. You create the fundament for almost any type of integration and at the same time remain very flexible for the future. I believe that this is exactly what manufacturing companies need in such a dynamically developing manufacturing world. Data traffic in the production environment is becoming increasingly complex, and the MIP makes it manageable. In my opinion, the future lies in the integration concept of the MIP. The MIP gives structure to the Smart Factory and tidies up production.

A wonderful conclusion – thank you for the interview.

Author: MPDV GmbH

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