Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

Experience data-driven smart manufacturing with abat+ and HPE NonStop

The push to make sense of manufacturing plant data is gaining speed. Learn how HPE is helping accelerate digital transformation for manufacturers with PLUS from abat+ leveraging the HPE NonStop platform.  


When it comes to HPE NonStop systems, the advantages they provide in select industries are hard to overlook.

With an architecture that has been designed to be fault tolerant together with an implantation that leverages industry-standard hardware and software, today’s NonStop system is as modern as any other server you find deployed within an enterprise.

Where workloads run continuously and where the cost of downtime can be detrimental to the enterprise’s overall business performance, HPE NonStop systems often become the sought after go-to solution.

Imagine this: flying into a new location, watching over a container being loaded with components critical to the supply chain, checking the ship is loaded before leaving its berth, heading off for coffee and pastries and then being picked up by a limousine service to take you to your hotel. Then turn it upside down: your plane doesn't take off as the status of routine maintenance is unclear, your container is mishandled, your favorite bakery is out of fresh pastries and your limousine still waiting to be built. For every action described there are enterprises involved in this simple experience chain where NonStop systems are present.

HPE NonStop solutions deployed across industrial settings may not come to mind immediately. Yet, NonStop provides maintenance support for the lifecycle of airplanes, oversees the turnaround at container terminals, the production process in bakeries and yes, the manufacturing of high-end luxury motor vehicles. Where NonStop really adds value is in those industrial processes and running production floors where any outage can impact an enterprise’s top and bottom lines.

NonStop has a history with many different market verticals. We have seen NonStop deployed in support of transportation, including air, rail, and road. We have also seen NonStop deployed in bakeries, container terminals, and even steelworks.

For a solution that we so often hear referenced solely within the market verticals of financial services and telecommunications, the IT industry is becoming more aware that HPE NonStop systems support many more market verticals.

For example, for the manufacturer of high-end luxury vehicles, the potential for chaos is visible along the production line. What action can you possibly take if the arrival of any vehicle’s parts is delayed for any reason? As macro engineering as a steelworks may appear to be, there isn’t anything as complex as assembling a modern motor vehicle, with the utmost level of customization. This has been the preference of Mercedes Benz for many years and has been helped by the support of an important member of the NonStop vendor community, abat+.

Manufacturing expertise and the abat+ journey

We saw that many members of the NonStop community tuned into last year’s NonStop Technical Boot Camp 2021 to hear from abat+’s CEO and Founder, Peter Grendel with support from business unit manager, Thomas Oberst. When describing the journey of abat+ and its smart manufacturing solution, abat+ Plus, Grendel opened the company’s presentation with it being “a story of the back-end being NonStop.” This reference to being the back-end anchor for the solution was a reference to just how abat+ Plus “systematically combines the areas of planning, manufacturing and production.” Whether it is a monitor or a machine, a robot or an individual, all interactions are with the NonStop system.

In his review of this presentation in his October 14, 2021 post  Coming down from the heights of NonStop TBC 21 to the NonStop community blog Real Time View, industry observer Pyalla Technologies LLC’s Richard Buckle wrote, “As for manufacturing it was good to hear from abat+ CEO and Cofounder, Peter Grendel. Providing support for almost every aspect of automobile manufacturing, including interfacing with robots such as those that we see painting automobiles and also moving all the way through the plant to the back office was impressive to hear.”  

Founded in 2010, abat+ acquired the services and operations from Mercedes-Benz AG and abat+ has continued to support this manufacturer with solutions based on NonStop. Today, around the globe, wherever there is a Mercedes Benz manufacturing plant there is at least a pair of NonStop systems to be found. Its presence is in 14 countries supported by a team of 200+ personnel that have accumulated the equivalent of 1,200 years of experience in manufacturing. Key to their success has been the speed with which they have embraced modern methods even as their experience and knowledge ensure their continued presence in a manufacturer such as Mercedes Benz.

“We have been working in a modern DevOps setup since many years” said Grendel during his presentation to the NonStop community. “Short software development cycles paired with intensive involvement of a wide range of stakeholders shape the success of our team-centric software development strategy.”

Data-driven, AI-enabled solution

Many of the HPE NonStop teams have visited Mercedes Benz and have worked closely with abat+ through the years. Whereas traditional methods applied to a manufacturing process would prove inefficient because of the manual resequencing of components, abat+ Plus takes advantage of AI for such steps as automated control routing.

“Control of the components is automated across the production line,” said Oberst, “minimizes manual intervention as it enables just-in-sequence or just-in-time production in areas where this was previously not feasible.” As such, from our experience in pursuing this, abat+ has demonstrated, “the first production use of reinforcement learning in the manufacturing industry.”

When you consider how abat+ has combined support for industry standards such as NonStop SQL with open standards like SOA with access to AI, they are demonstrating their support of today’s modern data driven enterprise.

“Machine data for predictive maintenance,” is just one advantage from turning to abat+ “We can predict when machine maintenance has to be performed based on historical data,” said Oberst. As for processing data for insights predicting potential errors, “We can predict errors on components or car bodies based on historical data as well; defect locations and types can be predicted and thus avoided base on the type of car body.”

It cannot be taken too lightly that disruptions in a production line come with a cost, and it is in this regards that NonStop continues to make its presence felt within an industry many members of the NonStop community may know little about. However, together with HPE NonStop, abat+ continues to provide solutions that are modern as they are flexible and accommodating of changing expectations and if the next time you pull out your credit card to pump gas at your local gas station and you happen to be refueling your Mercedes Benz take a moment to reflect on just how this has all come about.

To sum it all up

NonStop systems are at the very heart of real-time transaction processing globally and continue to demonstrate that all industry verticals where outages create chaos have the potential to be addressed by NonStop. 

Abat+ will be present at HPE Discover 2022, with a Connect tech forum session and a demo showcasing the PLUS manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution. If you are attending Discover, make sure to drop by the demo-booth, attend the session and speak to the executives from abat+.

Prashanth-Kamath.pngMeet Prashanth Kamath, HPE Product Manager, HPE NonStop

Prashanth is the HPE Product Manager responsible for the NonStop OS, RVUs and security. He has over 20 years of experience as a developer and engineering manager in the software industry spanning telco and mission critical operating systems. He is an electronics graduate from the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, and received a post graduate diploma in business management from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

About the Author


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