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Digital Shift Book with Workflow Automation

Increase in production efficiency as a result of digital data collection and process automation

In many areas of the manufacturing industry, the collection and documentation of production and quality data are based on standards and norms. These include, for example, defect and control charts, glass lists or audit records. Frequently, they are the basis for production-relevant decisions. This means that the release of a batch in production by the plant management can be dependent on certain quality data or characteristics. Very often, the collection and documentation of these relevant data is still done manually.

The problem of manual data recording

However, data and information collected by manual means is often incomplete, subject to errors and must also be entered into third-party systems. Research is very time-consuming and cross-departmental communication is usually difficult and consumes a lot of resources.

The solution of iMes Solutions GmbH

iMes Solutions' Digital Shift Book solution provides a paperless way to automatically enter relevant data into digital data entry masks. Subsequently, the data from various sources can be processed and provided in the form of reports (e.g. daily/weekly/monthly reports). All shop floor areas such as personnel, warehouse, machines, maintenance, raw materials, production and quality management are covered.

The benefits of workflow automation

The workflow engine integrated in the Shift Book provides a fast and flexible automation of workflow processes. Information relevant to production or plant safety is forwarded ad hoc to predefined recipient groups. Response time is reduced and information is reliably forwarded to the responsible persons.

In addition, complex if-then scenarios can be modelled on the basis of the recorded data across several interfaces or applications, e.g. machine controls, process control  and third-party systems (ERP, MES, LVS, CRM). This represents an enormous support for decision-making in the design of more efficient production processes..


The use of the digital shift book is a profitable investment in the production process in a wide variety of industries.

  • Production in the pharmaceutical industry
    For the purpose of quality documentation and audits in the production of pharmaceutical products, the times at which, for example, certain temperatures or defined points in the step chain are reached are required at batch level. This documentation is fully automated by digital reading and recording of the times directly at the production line..

  • Quality management in the food industry
    Food is subject to particularly strict rules during production. For example, metal detectors are used to detect any metallic contamination in the product, which on the one hand provides evidence for audits and on the other hand guarantees a safe food product.
    The automated creation of a shift book entry based on an external trigger, e.g. a variable in a machine control system, automatically records and reports incidents such as metal detector findings. Thus, the possibility of immediate action is ensured.

  • Traceability in quality management
    The answer to the question "What was produced when and how?" is given automatically in the digital shift book. All production-relevant parameters, e.g. density, volume or moisture of the individual raw materials of the product to be manufactured are documented. The data is automatically recorded in the shift book and is available for evaluations and reports at any time.


iMes Solutions' Digital Shift Book solution is a multi-functional tool in the production of various industries. The digital data collection guarantees a complete and largely error-free, standard-compliant and audit-optimized type of data collection and documentation for quality assurance in the company. Furthermore, the use of if-then scenarios offers possibilities for a more efficient design of production processes.

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Practical AI Solutions for the Shopfloor

Software developers in the automation sector of industrial plants collaborate with manufacturing industry and research institutions in order to create new opportunities in the field of AI.

For more than 20 years, iMes Solutions GmbH has been a specialist and innovator in the field of digital solutions for the shopfloor of industrial plants. The portfolio ranges from process data archiving, alarm and energy management, the automated recording of laboratory and machine data to digital shift books and reporting. In the area of digital plant documentation, customers find support with the documentation, support and project planning tool PLSDOC®.

In a separate department that has specialized in the area of data mining / AI, new knowledge is generated from collected data.
In cooperation with customers, universities and partners from the manufacturing industry, iMes Solutions GmbH is significantly involved in several research projects. These include:

  • KI-RAM - AI-based  solutions to reduce abrasion and traffic-related microplastic emissions
    in cooperation with the Fraunhofer IMWS Halle, Rösler Tyre Innovators GmbH&Co.KG, the University of Paderborn and DENKweit GmbH with a focus on
    • Analysis and reduction of the tyre abrasion of commercial vehicles with the help of the evaluation of field data (tyre abrasion sensor)

  • Development of an intelligent mechatronic sheet metal forming tool for the tool and automotive industry - in cooperation with Brabant & Lehnert Werkzeug und Vorrichtungsbau GmbH (tool and jig construction) and the Institute for Microsensors, actuators and systems at the University of Bremen with a particular focus on the following areas
    • Integration of sensors (motion, force and heat sensors, camera)
    • Quality recognition of the produced sheet metal parts from sensor data
    • Adjustment of the tool parameters or maintenance report
  • Development of an intelligent dosing control for lubrication nozzles - in cooperation with HIESSL Schmiertechnik GmbH (Lubrication engineering) and the Fraunhofer IWU - Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology with the main focus on
    • Intelligent nozzle control with readjustment
    • Algorithm for viscosity adaptation of nozzle control via sensor technology
    • Automated and precise component wetting with the nozzle control system

  • MMAA - Networked Assembly with Autonomous Workstations - in cooperation with Otto Martin Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG (engineering) and Kempten University of Applied Sciences with the focus on
    • Improvement of a modular assembly solution
    • Providing a digital workplace with intelligent support

  • InKris - Intelligent crystallisation sensor for smproved quality assurance in injection moulding - in collaboration with FOS Messtechnik GmbH (measurement technology), Exipnos GmbH and the Fraunhofer IMWS with a focus on
    • Development of an "intelligent crystallisation sensor" for quality assurance in injection moulding
    • Testing and optimization under real-life conditions in the production process

  • Golden Eye - intelligent dosing system - in cooperation with Bahner Feinwerktechnik GmbH (precision engineering) and TH Köln with the focus on
    • Image-based volume testing of fluids in the field of dosing technology
    • Adjustment of the nozzle actuation via the detected volume deviation

A detailed description of the individual projects can be found here.

The „Development of an intelligent mechatronic sheet metal forming tool for the tool and automotive industry“ has already been completed, all other projects are in various stages of research and development.

Other elements of iMes Solutions' digital development include regular participation in digital industry conferences such as VDI events or MEORGA, broad networking with partners from all areas of digitization, the publication of technical articles and contributions, and a broad presence with discussion forums in social media.



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Company from the Food Industry with its Focus on Organic Muesli Products relies on iMes Solutions' Digitization Technology.

Traceability and transparency in the production process

>> Facts
For more than 30 years, the company, based in the Upper Bavarian region, has been committed to the production and distribution of organic food. Particular attention is paid to sustainability, including social and economic aspects..

>> Initial situation
In partially automated production, many processes are still recorded and documented manually. For each end product, important parameters such as weight, moisture, volume, etc. are recorded manually. Errors are inevitable in this process.

Research and data preparation for internal and external audits are usually very time-consuming. Traceability is also difficult in the event of quality problems.

>> Target
A central software solution is to be provided for the automated storage and evaluation of data, e.g. from Siemens WinCC or metal detectors. This should simplify plant management and make it more transparent. In the future, the collected production data will be available ad hoc for reporting and audits. Above all, quality management is to be supported and relieved in the area of audit preparation.

>> Project targets & requirements in detail:

  • Central software solution for quality and process data storage
  • Guidance of plant operators by intuitive and user-friendly software
  • Process automation: workflows depending on specific events, e.g. metal detector results
  • Complete batch traceability
  • Relevant information, e.g. for audits, should be available ad hoc
  • Automated reporting, e.g. daily and weekly reports for production and quality management
  • Alarm and event recording: All events in the production line should be documented and made evaluable.

>> Technical challenges
Complete integration into the Siemens WinCC world
Creation of complex workflows for process automation: e.g. metal detector events are documented automatically and are available for ad hoc audits
Centralized and automated reporting: consolidation of production-relevant information provided by different sources

>> Decision for the iMes Solutions GmbH

  • The user friendly and intuitive web solution from iMes Solutions GmbH meets all the company's requirements.
  • The Plant Historian shift book software is coupled with the OPC server and, for example, automatically creates an ACTUAL/TARGET comparison of the product used during each weighing process and identifies any difference.
  • The shift book solution is fully integrated into the Siemens WinCC world. A button opens the dialog in the browser window and the input fields are automatically filled in advance.
  • The shift book solution is also available as an add-on in the Siemens Industry Mall.

>> Conclusion
The shift book software solution provided by the iMes Solutions GmbH is characterized by its complete integration into the Siemens WinCC world. It supports paperless working in all areas of production and quality management. This reduces the time required for recording, reporting and research, increases process quality and reliability and reduces costs. As a special advantage for its platform-independent use, the software solution can be used equally in the Windwos, Android and iOS world.

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New Development for the Digital Documentation of Pipelines - in Use at Global Group in the Chemical Industry since 2020

Documentation of process steps per smartphone or tablet

>> F A C T S
The production of pipelines requires that the process steps are documented from the testing of the material verification via the actual production of the pipeline section to the testing of the resulting work piece.

In order to automate the documentation and in the absence of a suitable application, iMes Solutions GmbH was asked to develop a corresponding tool in close cooperation with a manufacturer from the chemical industry.

The technology was based on the proven and modern web framework of the iMes Solutions shift book solution.

A team consisting of project management, Scrum Master and developers created an application in a Scrum process - without any time-consuming creation of a requirements specification and based on React - which requires a smartphone with Internet access as the only prerequisite and has been successfully in use since the beginning of 2020.

>> Initial situation
Prior to the introduction of the newly developed program, the documentation of the individual process steps had to be compiled manually by filling out dockets and then entering and evaluating them digitally at the end - a personnel-intensive, time-consuming and error-prone procedure.

>> TARGET: Automated documentation of the pipeline manufacturing process
All the information required for successful acceptance should be collected digitally and be available at a centrally and immediately. The digitization of information by manual input should be no longer necessary.

>> Project targets & requirements in detail

  • Automated documentation of process steps
  • Paperless work
  • Automated evaluations
  • Flexible and user-friendly handling
  • Possibility of using mobile devices

>> Technological requirements

  • During the planning for the realization it became clear that for the requirement to be able to provide an application on mobile end devices, a progressive web app would be the means of choice.
  • By using a platform-independent web application based on React, end devices from different manufacturers can be used without having to sacrifice the convenience of a native application.
  • The application makes it possible, for example, to scan barcodes by using commercially available smartphone cameras, thus avoiding touch input errors.

>> Decision for the new development of the iMes Solutions GmbH

The application, which was newly developed using the Scrum method, enables the end devices to communicate with the central company server. The only requirement for the external users to operate the application is a smartphone with Internet access. It is not necessary to connect the devices to the company's own network, either on-site or via VPN. Every single process step in the manufacturing process is documented centrally. The data is centrally available for evaluations.

For individual customer requirements, iMes Solutions GmbH offers the new development of software solutions following the Scrum method.

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More than a Connection between Shopfloor and Topfloor - iScan for the Digitization, Acquisition & Management of Warehouse and Production Data

An example from practical experience
iScan PVK (product shipping labeling) as part of the iScan product family is used internationally for product and shipping labeling at one of the world's largest manufacturers of styrenic plastics.

The globally positioned manufacturer of styrenic plastics with around 3,600 employees produces plastics for everyday products in various industries, for example automotive, electronics, construction, household, leisure, packaging, medical and health.

The iScan PVK module is currently used at three locations in North America and at one location in Asia. iScan is also used at various locations in Europe in different configurations. At the German sites, both the iScan PDM (production data management) and the iScan WMS (warehouse management) modules are being used.

Initial situation & target
In the past, the North American sites used label printing software that was outdated and in some cases no longer supported. The existing solution was to be replaced by modern digital software.

All sites should be provided, installed and trained exclusively via "remote".

Time and cost savings due to "remote" commissioning
Both the installation of iScan PVK and the commissioning and user training were realized "remotely".

In the future, maintenance work can also be carried out at any time from a single location - resulting in enormous time and cost savings overall.

More than a connection between shopfloor and topfloor - a global success story
The solution is characterized by easy handling, high transparency of goods movements, product & batch traceability and a direct SAP® connection.

The major benefit for the customer results from the standardized SAP® interface at all sites and the processes that are mapped via this interface. The standard enables the company to equip further sites with iScan.

The iScan "Core Features" in an overview:

  • Transfer of master data from the ERP system
  • Guidance of the plant operator through the entire production process
  • Recording of all production steps
  • Automatic value transfer, target lists, tolerance checks
  • Recipe calculation/management
  • Feedback of produced goods/quantities (good goods, goods not conforming to type, rejects) and consumptions
  • Complete recording of goods movements
  • Grouping according to storage locations, material and batches
  • Access to / transfer of data from the ERP system
  • Tool for permanent and key date inventory

Customer testimonial from Business Process Manager Production & Quality Management
"iScan has a long history and perhaps a never-ending story as it continues to grow and become a global success," says the Business Process Manager Production & Quality Management, with a big smile on his face.

"I think the sentence that really hits the mark is: "iMes not only talks about solutions, but also delivers them"[...].
"With iScan, we have delivered a customized solution that can be deployed internationally, that meets individual requirements, and that leads to an overall harmonization of our internal processes. No matter when or where we have brought iMes and our company together, it has always been a great success."

Project highlights

  • Global solution for product and shipment labeling
  • Simple and secure SAP® connection
  • Standardized in-house infrastructure and business processes
  • Complete installation, commissioning and key user/application training "remotely"

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The iMes Solutions at the MEORGA in Landshut

MEORGA will be holding a specialist I&C trade fair for measurement and control technology, process control systems and automation technology at the Sparkassen-Arena in Landshut on 27 October 2021.

More than 100 specialist companies, including the market leaders in the sector, will be presenting their products, equipment and systems,   engineering and services as well as new trends in the field of automation between 08:00 and 16:00 hrs.

Again, we from  iMes Solutions GmbH from Burghausen will be part of the event.

During the event, we will provide information mainly on our Industry 4.0 solutions Plant Historian AM/AR - Alarm Managementaund Rationalization, Plant Historian PDA - Process Data Archiving, Plant Historian SB - Digital Shift Book  and Plant Historian DCL - Digital Checklists.

You will find us at stand S3. Entrance is free.

Please ensure compliance with the German 3G rule: Vaccinated - Recovered - Tested. Proof is required!

You are welcome to contact us in advance to arrange an appointment.

We look forward to   welcoming you personally.

Sparkassen-Arena Landshut
Stand S3
Niedermayerstr. 100
84036 Landshut

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Successful Production Tracking & Tracing at Magna BDW Technologies using Plant Historian PTT

One of the most important global automotive suppliers with 158,000 employees at 340 locations uses the RFID solution of iMes Solutions GmbH for tracking, tracing and documentation of the production routes in the casting plant. The constant expansion of the plant was increasingly becoming a bottleneck in the coordination and documentation of the transport routes from the furnace to the casting machine and required an automated solution.

A digital answer to the question

WHAT was processed WHEN, HOW and WHERE?

was required.

The RFID solution by iMes Solutions GmbH was able to convince with its answers and fulfil all of the customer's requirements. The system mounted on transport units (forklifts, trucks, electric lift trucks, etc.) records, documents and controls the removal and the path of the material through the entire production process. The recorded parameters such as date, time, weight, temperature and information on the production units are checked for plausibility - thus guaranteeing that the materials reach the production units intended for them. The transport systems are directly linked to the plant automation system. The work processes are prioritized. The drivers receive the orders from the work preparation directly on a terminal PC on the truck.

The use of the Production Tracking & Tracing Systems for Magna BDW Technolgies means:

  • Optimization of the transport processes for more efficient logistic processes
  • Optimal use of resources
  • Documentation and traceability of processes and transport paths in the casting plant
  • Quality assurance by adhering to the impeller times

You will find a detailed report on the cooperation between Magna BDW Technologies  and iMes Solutions GmbH here.

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SPS Connect from 24 - 26 November 2020 - the digital industry meets digitally!

Get your discount!

Due to the Corona Pandemic, the Smart Production Solutions originally planned in Nuremberg will be a digital event this year.

Experts from all over the world will present the latest developments and trends in the automation industry. Presentations, discussions and exhibitor contributions will cover the entire spectrum of digital automation - from simple sensor solutions to intelligent allover solutions (artificial intelligence). The exchange among experts, colleagues, customers and solution providers takes place in real time via live chat or video call. You will find the right contact person for your interests and topics through AI-supported matchmaking.

The advantage of this digital event is that the content will also be available "on demand" after the SPS Connect until 31 December 2020.

We from iMes Solutions GmbH as part of the SPS as an exhibitor invite you to participate in this trend-setting event at reduced conditions.

Contact us and request your voucher code!

Please, contact Mario Schachinger, phone: 08677 961824, e-mail: or use our contact form.

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„Paperless, efficient, transparent - Your way to digital production"

Digital event from 19-21 October 2020 :

Due to the corona pandemic, the event, which was originally planned on site in Poland under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy with the theme

Business Trip Industry 4.0 to Poland for German suppliers of innovative automation, sensor, control and production technologies

will be a digital event.

The iMes Solutions GmbH will be part of it.

On Monday, 19th  October 2020 Andreas Hohendorf (Management & Business Development ) will speak about digital production based on communication, data and knowledge - as the basis for a sustainable competitive advantage.

We will provide information about digital possibilities and new developments in production and will also be available to answer your questions by telephone, e-mail or contact form.

Phone: Mario Schachinger: +49 8677 961824
Contact form:


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Shift Book - New: Trial access as web application

The MES software Plant Historian SB - Shift Book - records shift information completely and in an audit-proof manner along the entire production chain. Times required for recording, reporting and research will be reduced, process quality will be increased, machine utilization is optimized and error costs are reduced.

Benefits of the digital and efficient recording and documentation of shift events:

  • Reduced recording, research and reporting effort
  • Increase in quality
  • Statistical evaluations after classification of error sources  
  • Recording of proposed solutions
  • Use of a multilingual, company-wide, uniform data entry platform with clear IT costs
  • Easy handling (input of text modules, spell check)

Request your free trial access for the shift book web application Plant Historian SB now and convince yourself of the scope of services and functions.

For more information, please, contact Mario Schachinger (mail:, phone: +49 8677 961824)



Electronic Shift Book

Electronic Shift Book

Electronic Shift Book

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