Here you can find all information about our terms:

Andon Board

The Andon method, which comes from the Toyota production system, visualizes the current operating status of a machine or plant. This can be done with the help of light signals directly on the machine or on a display on the factory floor, the Andon board. This board usually visualizes target/actual values, such as the daily quantity to be produced or the current cycle time.

Plant availability

Plant availability of 100% means that the plant was actually running during the specified production time. Lower values and the associated availability losses indicate unplanned downtimes. Their causes can be identified and avoided with the help of an MES.

Order data

Order data is part of production data collection (BDE). In Industry 4.0, you no longer just define the target state of the finished product by providing information on quantity, size, weight or quality. Order data also includes feedback from ongoing production, such as the status of the processing of a component.


There is a high level of competitive pressure in automotive manufacturing. The requirements placed on suppliers are constantly increasing, which is why just-in-time and just-in-sequence concepts must be reliably implemented. Even if the drive systems change, automobiles will continue to be needed in the future.

concrete production

In concrete production, two processes follow one another. From sand, cement (mixture according to recipe) to the stone machine or manual filling of molds — drying chamber — quality control packaging — with BiSoftMes, the article is accompanied through the entire production process and the data is collected.

Operational data collection (BDE)

The BDE describes the collection of operational data from the individual value creation processes of a company. A distinction is made between organizational and technical operating data. The organizational operating data includes both order data and personnel data. Technical operating data include machine data and process data.

big data

The term big data describes volumes of data that cannot be analyzed using traditional methods of data processing due to their large size, fast pace or unstructured form. As a result of the increasing digitalization of industrial production, more and more data is being generated, the analysis of which contributes to the optimization of manufacturing and business processes. For this reason, the term big data is also often used to describe the challenge of processing these data sets.

sheet metal processing

Sheet metal processing involves cutting, bending and forming rolled metal. What used to be complex and expensive is now available quickly and cheaply priced thanks to industrial production and processing. Processed sheets are used in numerous industries, including automotive manufacturing.

Business Intelligence (BI)

BI refers to access to company information based on IT systems and its (graphical) processing and analysis. The knowledge gained with the help of BI is used to manage the company.


A batch also batch, in production also series, in process engineering also batch, in the area of medical devices and in pharmaceutical law also lot or batch, is understood as the entirety of the units that are produced in a batch process or batch production. These were produced, manufactured or packaged under the same conditions.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Computer integrated manufacturing means all activities of a manufacturing company for which computers are used (computer-aided production). CIM includes, for example, computer-aided design (CAD), production planning and control (PPS) and production data collection (BDE).

Continuous Improvement Process (CIP)

see: continuous improvement process

Cyber-physical systems (CPS)

Cyber-physical systems represent an integration of mechanical and electronic parts with information technology components and software. They form a network of machines and embedded systems. The individual system components communicate via a network, such as the Internet. CPS play a central role in Industry 4.0, as they enable greater transparency and efficiency in manufacturing based on the production and process information obtained.


On the dashboard, processed data is visualized as performance indicators, usually using graphics such as speedometer or traffic light displays. This makes it possible to see which values are in the normal range and which are in the critical range. A dashboard often provides in-depth insights into the data through a drill-down function.

Drill Down

With the help of a drill-down function, it is possible to break down summarized data into correspondingly detailed data. The drill-down function is often used on dashboards, for example to determine the cause of a significant data discrepancy.

energy data

Energy data is required to set up efficient controlling of energy consumption. All energy data flows into energy controlling and is therefore evaluated. Energy data is collected using appropriate measurement technology.

energy management

Energy management is the systematic organization of the energy requirements required for all business processes. It includes energy procurement as well as its distribution within the company and its use. The goal of energy management is, on the one hand, an environmentally friendly use of energy resources and, on the other hand, to reduce energy consumption and associated costs.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise resource planning is the systematic, software-supported coordination of all business processes: from production to sales and logistics to accounting and personnel. The basis is a modular software application. As a controlling and management tool, the ERP solution is used to optimize resource planning.

remote maintenance

Remote maintenance means the maintenance and repair of IT systems and industrial plants over long distances, which eliminates the corresponding on-site activities and the associated costs. IT systems and machines can not only be remotely controlled, but also configured or controlled. Telephone networks, the Internet or specially designed networks or lines can be used for remote maintenance.

production planning

Manufacturing or production planning comprises production requirements. On the basis of orders and forecasts, the costs for materials, time and capacities are determined with the aim of optimising production. Production planning is followed by production control.

production control

While production planning pre-plans production in the short or medium term, manufacturing or production management includes the approval of production orders and the control and monitoring of ongoing production. Production control also includes production data collection.

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE, OEE)

Overall Equipment Effectiviness provides information about the effective use of a plant. Availability, performance and quality are taken into account. The calculation of GAE as a key figure is not subject to any standard. It is used to create transparency regarding the added value of an investment.

Overall process effectiveness

Overall Process Effectiveness is regarded as an extension of overall equipment effectiveness. It records the losses of a plant during operation. This also includes losses already taken into account in production planning.

Industry 4.0

The term “Industry 4.0” describes the fourth industrial revolution, caused by the digitization of production using information technology systems. Industry 4.0 means the individualization of production down to batch size 1 and networking across the entire value chain. The goal is a smart factory, in which the intelligent workpiece automatically finds the optimal path through production.


Maintenance comprises all measures to maintain the functionality of a machine, device or equipment. Maintenance is divided into maintenance, inspection, repair and improvement. As part of Industry 4.0, the focus is on predictive maintenance. Based on data analyses, it predicts the failure of machines or systems, so that measures can be taken beforehand to ensure the continued availability of the machine.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the networking of physical and virtual objects. A virtual counterpart of the physically tangible object is created, which communicates with other virtual objects and thus exchanges information about the state of the physical object. This information is linked together and made available to relieve the owner of the item with tasks. Part of the IoT is communication between machines (M2M).

Just in Time

In the just-in-time production concept, the workpiece is only delivered or produced when required. In order to be able to deliver or produce the required quantity at an exact time, a cross-company, continuous production and material flow with the shortest possible set-up times (SMED) is necessary, which requires precise coordination within the supply chain. To ensure one-piece flow, the JIT concept is implemented with a PULL control system (Kanban). JIT is also known as demand-synchronous production. The concept is one of the foundations of the lean approach in production.

Just-in-sequence (JIS)

The “just-in-sequence” concept comes from the automotive industry and describes a further development of the just-in-time approach. While JIT means the timely and exact provision of components in terms of quantity, JIS goes one step further and also refers to the correct sequence of the required components. JIS is also known as order synchronization.


Kanban comes from the Japanese language and means card. The term describes the implementation of the PULL control process in production.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

see: Performance indicator

Continuous improvement process (CIP)

The KVP is used to improve quality at product, process and service level. It is a continuous, cyclical process that takes place in small improvement steps. In doing so, employees of a company are constantly working on improvements to their respective working environment. The CIP is one of the basic principles of quality management (QM).

Lean production

In lean production, production equipment and personnel are used in a way that saves time and resources to increase productivity, production flexibility and product quality. Lean production is characterized by flat hierarchies, group work and a high level of automation. The latter is particularly evident in the implementation of the JIT concept. MES solutions play a central role in lean production, which link the shop floor with the business level in order to identify optimization potential.

food manufacturer

In food manufacturing (also known as food), all production steps are subject to the strictest guidelines. Documentation of materials and quality are the most important components in food production. The aim of the detailed documentation is, among other things, to be able to design possible recalls in batches.

Performance indicator

The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reflects progress towards a previously defined goal and its success factors. It serves as a guideline for achieving the specified goal. A typical performance indicator is overall equipment effectiveness. In the MES sector, key figures are often used to obtain information about product quality or the utilization of machines and systems.

control station

In the control center, process information from ongoing production is visualized to give the operator an overview of current production. As a rule, measures can also be taken from the control center to intervene in production.

Machine-to-Machine (M2M)

The term M2M describes automated communication between devices such as machines or production plants. M2M communication is now used in remote maintenance, for example. M2M is also a central principle in the Internet of Things.


see: Maintenance

Manufacturing Execution System (MES)

The Manufacturing Execution System, also known as a production management system, links the business level with the shop floor level and ensures vertical and horizontal data integration. MES are regarded as a bridge technology to Industry 4.0. MES provides information about production progress by comparing order-related target data from the ERP with actual values (MDE, BDE and QDE) from production and visualizing them in real time. This allows you to influence ongoing production without loss of time.

Machine data

Machine data is part of the technical operating data and is therefore part of production data collection (BDE). They provide information about the consumption and operation of a machine. Machine data includes, for example, running and downtimes, material and energy consumption, and measurement data on temperatures or pressures. Machine data is not only used for production control, but also for maintenance and enables predictive maintenance in Industry 4.0.

Machine data collection (MDE)

The MDE is used to analyze manufacturing processes. It provides information about the status of a machine or plant. This actual data is usually reused as part of production data collection. Typical machine data include quantity or run time information. For processing using an MES, the information from the MDE is transferred online, for example via an OPC architecture.

Material master data

see: Master data

Multiple machine and process operation (Multi Machine/Process Handling)

Multi Machine Handling describes the operation of several machines of the same type. Multi-process handling, on the other hand, is the operation of various processes or machines as part of a material flow. Both methods result in work processes in which the waiting time for the end of a manufacturing process is reduced so that personnel can be used more effectively. Multi Machine and Multi Process Handling are components of lean production.

MES for small businesses

MES enable networking between people and machines, which results in higher productivity and more effective production. Smaller companies in particular often use very different machines/systems. With MES, proprietary machines can also be connected, so investments remain more manageable and can be carried out gradually.

MES in medium-sized companies

MES enable networking between people and machines, which results in higher productivity and more effective production. MES make it easier for medium-sized companies to connect to Industry 4.0. They ensure consistency between the horizontal and vertical levels in the company.

metal processing

Metal processing is the production and processing of products made from various metals. Metal processing ranges from jewelry manufacturing to the automotive sector to shipbuilding.

Employee-based workflow (MAF)

MAF, also known as One Piece Flow in German-speaking countries, describes production that is logistically based on flow production, in which employees accompany the product through several or even all processing steps. MAF is often used in lean production environments to make it easy to switch between different variants of a product.

mobile data collection (MdE)

The MdE enables location-independent data collection without having to use a stationary input device such as a PC. MdE uses mobile devices such as RFID readers, which often transmit the collected data to a computer via radio.


Like OPC, the MTConnect communication protocol is also used to exchange data between proprietary applications. The protocol provides machine-readable data using formats known from the Internet, such as XML (Extensible Markup Language) and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). MTConnect is particularly widespread in North America and is often used in the tool industry.

Multi Machine Handling

see: Multiple machine and process operation

Multi Process Handling

see: Multiple machine and process operation

Zero defect production

Zero-defect production is production without scrap and rework. It is one of the goals of Industry 4.0. With quality assurance measures such as process locking, companies are working towards zero-defect production.

One Piece Flow

see: Employee-related workflow (MAF)

Open Platform Communications (OPC)

OPC describes an M2M communication protocol that is used to exchange data between applications from different manufacturers. It is intended to bridge the incompatibilities of proprietary applications in order to enable the interoperability of individual systems required in Industry 4.0. The abbreviation OPC originally stood for OLE for Process Control until it was renamed Open Platform Communications in 2011. The latest version of the protocol is called OPC UA.

Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA)

OPC UA is an evolution of the M2M communication protocol OPC. The biggest difference compared to its predecessor is that OPC UA can not only transmit machine data, but also describe it in a machine-readable way.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

see: Overall equipment effectiveness

Overall Process Effectiveness (OPE)

see: Overall process effectiveness

Paperless manufacturing

Paperless manufacturing enables uninterrupted production. Regardless of the applicable framework conditions, all information, automatically and digitally and in the correct version, is available where it is needed.


A digital platform connects providers with customers in virtual space, displacing traditional markets and their added value in most cases. In industry, digital platforms can be seen as the basis for products, services or technologies from which a large number of companies benefit. The platform includes its operator, application developer and customer. Digital platforms are subject to strong network effects, which is why platform markets tend to monopolize.

platform economy

In the platform economy, digital platforms bring together actors with similar interests who would not have found each other without these platforms or would only have found each other with increased effort. From the provider's point of view, platforms provide access to customers. The focus is on the platform operator, who can have access paid for by both parties. Platform markets are therefore often two-sided markets.

Predictive maintenance

see: predictive maintenance

Print & Packaging

English: Printing and packaging. The demands placed on the packaging industry are characterized by globalization, digitization and increasing demands from product providers and consumers. As part of marketing, packaging serves as a differentiator from the competition. As a result of the requirements, more and more companies are automating their production with robotic systems.

Production, planning and control system (PPS)

A PPS is a computer-aided system that manages data to plan and control production. It is used to use equipment as efficiently as possible, for example to achieve short processing times, a high level of adherence to schedules or an optimal inventory. A PPS is often part of an ERP system.

production data

Production data is part of order data, which in turn is attributed to organizational operating data. Production data includes times, weights, qualities or quantities.


Forecast stands for prediction or prediction and is a statement about events, environmental conditions or development in the future. It is based on data from the past. The more accurate the data is, the better it fits the content and message of the forecast, the better the forecast overall.

process data

Process data is part of the technical operating data that is determined as part of production data collection (BDE). They describe the current process state. Process data is used to monitor and improve a process by providing information about qualities or compliance with tolerance values.

Process lock

Process locking comprises defined rules that start, stop, or continue a production process. It is part of digital data processing throughout production and therefore serves as a step towards zero-defect production, one of the stated goals of Industry 4.0.

pull control

PULL is a control concept that determines the flow of materials within a production process. The basis of PULL control is that within a value chain, a work step at a manufacturing station is only triggered when it is requested by the downstream station. The aim of PULL control is to produce only as much as is required as a result of the retrieval. PULL control is contrasted with PUSH control, which controls the flow of materials in production from a central location.

quality data

Quality data allows statements to be made about the properties of the product. Processes can also be described using quality data. Quality data includes, for example, test and measurement values as well as process data on temperatures, pressures or voltages. The quality data is evaluated in quality management.

Quality data collection (QDE)

The QDE collects all quality data in order to obtain information about the nature of a product or to describe a production process.

Quality Management (QM)

Quality management comprises systematic measures that serve to optimize production processes or services and thus ultimately to improve products or services. DIN EN ISO 9001 is considered a globally recognized standard that defines the requirements for effective quality management.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID is a technology that allows objects to be identified and located automatically and wirelessly. As part of a transmitter-receiver system, the reader has software that controls the reading process, while an RFID program forwards the read data to connected systems or databases for further processing.


If a product can be traced back along its supply and production chain using data, this is known as traceability. Traceability ensures that it is possible to determine at any time when, where and by whom, a product was manufactured, stored, processed, transported, consumed or disposed of. Traceability is part of quality management.

Setup time optimization (SMED)

The QDE covers The abbreviation SMED stands for Single Minute Exchange of Die and means changing tools in less than ten minutes. SMED methods are part of lean production. Quality data to obtain information about the nature of a product or to describe a production process.

Self-learning profiles

Based on AI, experiences include learning (the collection of information and rules for using the information), the conclusion (the use of the rules to draw approximate or final conclusions) and self-correction.


Another term for the production area of a company. Shop floor management therefore includes management and management tasks that are directly linked to the production environment. A MES For example, links shop floor processes with the business level of a company.

Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)
Smart Factory

The smart factory is the central goal of Industry 4.0. The term describes a production environment that is largely without human intervention. In the smart factory, the intelligent workpiece finds its own optimal path through production. The Smart Factory is based on cyber-physical systems that communicate with each other via the Internet of Things.

programmable logic controller (PLC)

The PLC automatically controls or regulates a machine. In addition, modern PLC solutions are also used to determine operating and machine data, which in turn is processed in an MES.

master data

Within a company or order, master data is basic information that is not changed about a product, customer or supplier over a specific period of time and is usually only updated periodically.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply chain management comprises the planning, control and monitoring of the entire value chain and supply chain, from raw material extraction to the individual stages of product refinement to the customer. The aim of SCM is to optimize the supply chain. The prerequisite is extensive integration of data processing among the individual supply chain participants.

cycle time

The cycle time is based on the daily working time and the products manufactured on a daily average. Depending on customer demand, it should ensure that only the quantity required by the customer is produced. To avoid major adjustments to the cycle time, it is compared with the cycle time. This creates a rhythm that determines all work processes in production.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

The TCO includes all costs associated with the purchase, use and possibly disposal of capital goods. The TCO approach is used in particular as part of product development to avoid unexpected costs, but also to be able to understand a customer's motivations for or against buying a product.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

The goal of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is the continuous optimization of operating equipment effectiveness. The concept is based on the “zero defect/zero defect” and the “zero fault/zero breakdown” idea. With the help of TPM, the effects of typical sources of loss, such as failures, downtimes or waste, are reduced. Since TPM has a preventive character, the principle is also known as Total Preventive Maintenance.


see: Traceability


Describes the links between various elements and variables in complex systems. The better networking is successful, the more comprehensive the information available is.

predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance replaces inspection in conventional maintenance. Based on data analyses, potential failures of machines, systems, devices and other equipment are predicted so that measures can be taken to ensure continued availability even before the failure occurs. In this way, predictive maintenance increases overall equipment effectiveness.

cycle time

The sum of the working time shares carried out by an employee in a station is referred to as cycle time. In connection with the cycle time, the cycle time determines the rhythmization of production processes.