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Digitizing Manufacturing - How Open Source Technologies are Ruling The World

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In an era where digital transformation is not just an option but a necessary survival strategy, open source technologies have emerged as the powerhouses driving the manufacturing industry's evolution. These robust, flexible, scalable, low-cost technologies are the foundation of global big data systems, backed by massive support communities and proven deployments across corporations.

In this blog post, we will delve into the diverse ways in which open source technologies are reshaping the manufacturing landscape.

  1. Open Source: The New Normal in Manufacturing

  2. Open Source Technologies: Key Players in Manufacturing

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Open Source: The New Normal in Manufacturing

Open source software (OSS) refers to software whose source code is available for anyone to inspect, modify, and enhance. This has made OSS a bedrock of innovation, as it enables an environment of collective intelligence where ideas and solutions can be shared and improved freely.

The Power of Flexibility and Scalability

In the manufacturing industry, the ability to adapt and scale operations swiftly is critical. OSS offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing manufacturers to tailor software solutions to their specific needs, rather than being boxed in by proprietary software.

Equally important is scalability. As manufacturers grow and their data requirements change, open source technologies can easily scale to meet these evolving demands. Thanks to their distributed nature, these technologies can process large volumes of data across multiple servers, on premise or in the cloud, ensuring smooth operations even as the complexity and size of tasks increase.

Cost-Effective Innovation

Open source technologies have democratized access to cutting-edge tools, breaking down the financial barriers that often hamper innovation. These tools are freely available, enabling manufacturers of all sizes to harness the power of advanced software solutions without the prohibitive costs typically associated with proprietary software.

First and foremost, open source software eradicates the need for licensing fees. Proprietary software often comes with hefty price tags, requiring manufacturers to make a significant initial investment and recurring payments for license renewals or updates. This can strain budgets and limit a company's ability to invest in other critical areas.

Open source technologies, on the other hand, are typically free to use, modify, and distribute. This allows manufacturers to allocate resources more efficiently, directing funds towards areas that can boost their competitiveness, such as process improvement, research and development, and employee training.

These technologies can be deployed on low cost commodity server hardware, in the cloud, or hybrid, enabling manufacturers to utilize the right options for controlling IT costs.

Another key cost-saving aspect of open source technology lies in its customizability. Proprietary software solutions often come as 'one-size-fits-all' packages, which might not align perfectly with a company's specific needs. Customizing these software packages can incur additional expenses with the risk of not yielding the desired results.

A Supportive Global Community

One of the most compelling advantages of open source technologies is the supportive global community that surrounds them. This community, comprised of millions of developers, users, and enthusiasts around the world, forms an ecosystem of knowledge and collaboration that bolsters the value and usability of open source software.

Firstly, this global community is the lifeblood of open source development. Developers contribute their time and expertise to improve, debug, and innovate, ensuring the technology stays on the cutting edge. This constant process of collaboration and iteration results in software that is more robust, more secure, and more feature-rich than many proprietary counterparts.

For manufacturers, this means access to a continually improving suite of tools, without the need for costly updates or subscriptions. It also means that any bugs or issues are likely to be resolved quickly, as they are addressed by the collective problem-solving power of the community.

Secondly, the open source community provides an invaluable resource for learning and support. Online forums, tutorials, and documentation are widely available and constantly updated, providing guidance for users at all levels of expertise. Manufacturers can tap into these resources to train their teams, troubleshoot issues, and learn how to get the most out of their open source tools.

This shared knowledge extends to real-world applications as well. Many members of the open source community work in industries where these technologies are applied daily, including manufacturing. Their experiences and insights can guide others on best practices for implementation, avoiding potential pitfalls, and optimizing performance.

In addition, the open source community fosters a spirit of sharing and collaboration that extends beyond code. Many open source projects are accompanied by detailed case studies and reports of real-world deployments. For manufacturers, this means the ability to learn from others' experiences and successes, reducing the risk associated with adopting new technologies.

Finally, the open source community is a driving force for standardization. Through their collective efforts, open source developers help establish widely accepted protocols and standards. This results in software that is more interoperable, making it easier for manufacturers to integrate different systems and applications.

Open Source Technologies: Key Players in Manufacturing

Several open source technologies have become staples in the manufacturing industry. Let's examine some of the most impactful ones.

Apache Hadoop

Apache Hadoop has revolutionized the way manufacturers handle big data. This open-source framework allows for the processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. It's designed to scale from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage.


PostgreSQL is a powerful, open-source object-relational database system. It extends the SQL language with many features to safely store and scale complicated data workloads. Its performance, robustness, and extensibility make it a popular choice for manufacturers managing complex databases.


Linux, a leading open-source operating system, provides a secure and high-performance platform for manufacturing systems. Its robust architecture and the flexibility for extensive customization make it a preferred choice for running applications and databases crucial to manufacturing operations.


TensorFlow, an open-source machine learning framework, is a game-changer for manufacturers investing in AI-driven predictive analytics. It helps in areas like predictive maintenance, quality control, and demand forecasting, enabling manufacturers to make data-driven decisions and minimize risk.

Looking Ahead: Open Source and the Future of Manufacturing

The role of open source technologies in manufacturing is not just significant but transformative. As we move towards a more connected and data-driven world, these technologies will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the industry.

Manufacturers embracing these technologies will enjoy increased agility, cost savings, and the ability to innovate at speed. However, it's essential to invest in the right skills and resources to leverage these tools effectively. A strategic approach, underpinned by a deep understanding of open-source principles and best practices, will be key to unlocking the full potential of these technologies.

Guidance for Better Manufacturing Operations

Direct connectivity to machines using a single solution to handle different data formats, protocols, and structures is the key to unlocking the power of Industry 4.0 and IoT for your business. Machine integration is the first step toward taking full advantage of these technologies.

Intraratio can help you discover the power of MES and yield management systems for your manufacturing process. Arrange now to speak with an MES expert who can guide you through the ins and outs of the right advanced solution for your manufacturing operation.

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