Going live in two weeks with no downtime: Arch implementation surprises new customers.

When new customers see the timeline for their new Arch implementation, their expressions suggest that they don’t believe us. 

Yes, we plan to deploy and go live in two weeks.

No, we don’t expect to create any downtime during implementation.

How is this possible? Surely Arch is engaging in a classic case of over-promise and under-deliver. After all, MES and ERP implementations are notorious for delayed, multi-year implementations, and downtime for equipment installations.

The Arch architecture

The ArchFX Platform is different than an MES or ERP. It collects data from machines to provide analysts with expert data to drive uptime and efficiency. To track the progress of raw materials to final products, an MES tracks inventory and the location of materials very carefully. As a result, MES implementations require changes in work process for staff and new equipment, such as handheld barcode scanners, on the line. These require downtime to install and extensive staff training.

If you are not familiar with it, the ArchFX architecture includes connectors and brokers, as well as cloud and analytics elements. Connectors are usually remote requests for data sent to the machine. In some cases they are software agents that reside on the machine. In either case, they capture and transmit the raw data to the broker. The broker acts as a powerful messaging service. It receives the raw machine data and wraps context around it. The contextualized messaging is then delivered to other services as well as stored in its entirety in the cloud. This expert data is available for realtime and historical analysis. ArchFX analytics tools then utilize that data to provide insights, answer questions, and drive productivity.

With this architecture, we don’t need to interfere with operations to set up connections to the machines.The install can be done while the machine is running. Although we do have hardware connector solutions for older machines and certain use cases, ArchFX is largely invisible on the factory floor. 

For client after client, factory after factory, we launch pilot program and production ArchFX implementations with little or no downtime. It usually takes well under a calendar month. 

Possible delays and downtime

While ArchFX itself gets set up and operational fast, there are some dependencies that can create delay and downtime.

Security and IT

ArchFX requires connectivity to factory machines and our on-site virtual server. In addition, the cloud architecture requires a connection to our off-site services. Before we arrive on site, Arch Customer Success coordinates with security and IT to clear the way. Security concerns need to be addressed and IT resources need to be lined up before we deploy. 

Machine software

ArchFX works with a vast array of machines. There are dozens if not hundreds of possible equipment manufacturers, combinations of new and legacy machines, and types of software that may or may not be updated to the latest version. Arch stays in communication with manufacturers and maintains connector solutions for all the devices in the factory. We find that sometimes there are machines on the floor that are running out of date software that will require an upgrade to be able to host Arch. These upgrades need to be done in advance of ArchFX implementation. Occasionally, they require downtime to install. 

The ABCDs of ArchFX implementation

Arch customer success is built on the ABCDs of a successful install.

A is for Approvals

Connecting with IT and Security to line up to resources at the factory. 

B is for Broker

Initializing the virtual server and bringing the ArchFX Broker online.

C is for Connectors

Setting up connections to the machines.

D is for Demo Active

Collecting data and providing insights.

Assessing the value

Such an easy implementation process quickly provides value. Customers are able to find and fix obstacles to efficiency, avoid downtime, and even track their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Along with global KPIs, Arch is a driver of unified, expert, decision intelligence. 

Every factory, every manufacturer is different. To see how Arch could contribute to your business, take advantage of our free value assessment. It only takes 30 minutes.