Digital Transformation & Industry 4.0

Pathway to Advanced Manufacturing

You may have heard of Industry 4.0, sat through countless presentations and industry bodies talk about digital transformation, and still find it hard to understand what it is, or where to start.

It can be confusing because typically there's a lot of jargon used to explain what can be a complex subject.

It doesn't have to be complex.

ESM Automation Systems team's bring 30+ years' experience deploying automation technology in manufacturing businesses and are recognised experts in digital transformation projects.

They help you understand the benefits of Industry 4.0, digitalisation can assist your business in achieving the performance and efficiency gains possible and help you execute transformation.

We help you optimise profitability, do more with less, and do it sustainably.

If you expanded the above link - we reckon that maybe half of it makes sense to most people.

In simple terms, Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation journey required to get there, aims to connect industrial systems like processes and machines with business systems and logistics then automating the interaction between these systems.

It's a strategy that harnesses data and automation technology in the areas it's best suited, like repetition, accurate data collection, validation, simple logic, and allows people to interact where intelligent actions or complex decisions need to be made.

The goal? A more sustainable, resilient, and profitable business.

Digital Transformation does not need to be overly complex or expensive and does not need to be executed completely or throughout an enterprise or facility to deliver great benefits.

We help you understand

  1. Your current manufacturing processes and technologies digital readiness.
  2. How could your processes be enhanced by adopting Industry 4.0 strategies.
  3. How to get there.

Facilitated Discovery

The first stage is to facilitate a discussion with key stakeholders in your business to understand their objectives.

We then schedule a visit to your facility and perform a facilitated discovery process to assess the current state of technology and connectivity, and identify the opportunities that may exist in a digital transformation of your manufacturing processes.

Our work will be presented with the following deliverables to provide high level advice on how to proceed with adopting Industry 4.0 in your business:

  1. A validated list of industrial process-data monitoring points.
  2. An assessment of machine network connectivity.
  3. A preliminary ISA-95 Equipment Hierarchy Model.
  4. A preliminary scope.

This blueprint will allow you to engage with stakeholders in your business and external suppliers - ESM or otherwise - on your journey towards advanced manufacturing.

Data Gathering

To assist in understanding your current manufacturing processes and technologies, ESM will work with relevant stakeholders to collect and assess a variety of information across your business.

Facility layout

P&ID's (Process and Instrument Drawings) and any Architectural drawings of your site(s) - with the location of machinery and instruments you wish to target during the facilitated discovery.

This will baseline the footprint included in the scope of the User Requirement Specification.

Network diagram

A diagram of your Industrial Control System (ICS) network, including the IP addresses and hostnames of all connected machinery and instruments.

Machinery Specifications

Electrical schematics and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) programs for machinery identified in the facility layout and network diagram will assist us in identifying the process-data monitoring points to test and validate.
We also collect specifications of complex machines and manual work cells.

Business Process & Data Flows

Business Process and Data Flow diagrams of your manufacturing process will assist us in determining the computerized systems that would require integration (or migration), in addition to the size and complexity of an Industry 4.0 solution.

ERP Details

Details about your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, including any middleware such as an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) currently in use for data exchange.

Auxiliary Systems

Do there exist other systems such as a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system that will need to be integrated with?


Any existing reports, whether manually or automatically generated, created, or used by your business.


At the completion of the Facilitated Discovery, should you choose to engage ESM to continue your journey towards advanced manufacturing, we will present a solution based on the Ignition® ecosystem.

This ecosystem allows ESM to provide an Industry 4.0 solution in a single integrated platform - optimizing and reducing your IT footprint, management overhead and TCO.

Ignition® empowers your business to easily control your processes, and track, display, and analyse all your data.

The Ignition Platform

Ignition is the world’s first truly universal industrial application platform because it empowers you to connect all the data across your entire enterprise, rapidly develop any type of industrial automation system, and scale your system in any way, without limits.


Ignition's history began as a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Human-Machine Interface (HMI) solution, and pioneered breakthrough technologies allowing for unlimited machine connections, unlimited clients, and powerful database integration to capture batch and real-time process data.

Additionally, Ignition is designed to make developing ISA-101 compliant machine interfaces as easy - reducing operator confusion and improving process visibility.

Alarming & Reporting

With the addition of the Alarm, Voice, SMS, and Twilio Notification Modules Ignition alarm conditions can be assessed and routed through pipelines to ensure the correct staff and shift and alerted - which can be sent and acknowledged using email, SMS and even text-to-speech via a telephone call.

When it comes to reporting, the Ignition Reporting Module can generate rich and dynamic custom-designed reports in a variety of formats (PDF, HTML, CSV, RTF) either on-demand or periodically, delivered directly to your mailbox.

Edge Computing & IIoT

By leveraging MQTT, your business can collect process data from the very edge of your network, allowing you the flexibility to scale your Industry 4.0 solution beyond the plant floor.

If you need processing and visualisation of critical data at the remote edge of your network, Ignition Edge can be deployed - a lightweight edition of Ignition that enables HMI and compute functionality on virtually any low-power, low-cost industrial device; whilst still supporting connectivity to your Enterprise Ignition system.

Enterprise & MES

Ignition can seamlessly connect with your databases to store & retrieve process data, integrate with your ERP system* and scale effortlessly from a small single-site deployment up to an enterprise-wide MOM solution.

Coupled with Ignition's unlimited licensing model and web-based deployment, it means everyone in your business can benefit.

*Using the Sepasoft MES Suite

Try it!

The Ignition Online Demonstration houses a wide variety of common use cases for Ignition. The project has screens that show historical trending, alarming, real-time status, and control, and more - right from your smartphone or computer!

The Sepasoft® MES Suite Provides Control, Traceability and Documentation of the transformation of raw materials into finished goods in real-time.

The Sepasoft MES Suite

The Sepasoft MES Suite is a modular solution built on the Ignition platform to extend its SCADA functionality to add MOM features.

Instrument Interface

Enables seamless communication to instrument type devices such as analysers, gauges and laboratory equipment via Serial communication or File Monitoring.

Barcode Scanner

Facilitates material handling, lot tracking and operator login with support for one and two dimensional barcodes, along with GS1 international standard formats.


Collect, Calculate and Visualize your plant's OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) production schedule including actual vs. targeted production, machine status, delayed production and more in real-time.


Ensure SPC (Statistical Process Control) data is collected, recorded, and reported - helping to reduce or eliminate late, inaccurate, or missing samples that lead to quality problems and defects. Report your SPC data in real-time with control charts and analysis tools.

Settings & Changeover

Designed to make managing machine settings easy, the Settings & Changeover module allows for the authoring, download and auditing of setpoints from a machine level up to an entire production line. Monitor variances in real-time and ensure traceability of changes made to your critical process parameters.

Batch Procedure

Supports batch processing, continuous processing, and general procedure control, based on the ISA-88 Standard. Recipe management is implemented using an intuitive graphical user interface, and execution allows for real-time data collection and analysis of batch details to generate electronic batch records.

Track & Trace

Implement paper-less recording of products through your manufacturing process, pulling together OEE, SPC, Recipe information and historical trending to enable full genealogy tracking from end item back to input materials.

Document Management

Reduce or eliminate the use of uncontrolled paper documents by using the Document Management module to manage, distribute, and view Standard Operating Procedures, Material Safety Data Sheets, quality documents, checklists, and more.

Business Connectivity

Leverage the power and flexibility of Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) to execute complex workflows. The Business Connector Module, when used with the Web Services or SAP ERP Module, allows you to connect and transform information from external business systems into production data for use on the plant floor.

MES Enterprise

For multi-site installations, the MES Enterprise module enables seamless synchronisation between multiple Ignition servers, ensuring your entire business operates with the right materials, production schedules, inventory, work instructions and more - at the right place and the right time.

Case Study

Bringing the online sales ordering process directly to the factory floor.

This project connected Shopify’s e-commerce storefront ordering process directly to YourCoffee’s production floor. Using Ignition SCADA with web service APIs and the Beckhoff automation platform, ESM Australia delivered YourCoffee the Industry 4.0 tools to connect, evaluate, structure, and control information and physical processes — enabling it to achieve highly dynamic production goals, without limits.

The installation and implementation of Ignition at YourCoffee resulted in faster processing times, less wastage and a has provided a steppingstone to reach a full Industry 4.0 solution.

“We know that even when we are at peak capacity the system can manage the large volumes through the factory. We also know exactly what is being ordered, and exactly what we need to roast each time so it doesn’t matter how busy the plant is we have a non-variable in Ignition, because it presents the correct information for us every time.”
​​~ Jeremy Irwin, Operations Manager at YourCoffee

He goes on to describe the increase in data accessibility:

“The staff at Your Coffee have become empowered to fix situations that arise, at any time I can grab my mobile phone and check where the process is at, have control over the process, which means that it's easy to access and easy to use for everyone involved.”

For more information on YourCoffee's Industry 4.0 transformation, see ESM's Discover entry at ICC 2018.