In any business, communication is key. After all, if nobody is on the same page, it’s very easy for things to go south quickly. Particularly in an industry as complex as the manufacturing business, it’s critical to have a solid communicative foundation for your business. After all, if you don’t know how each component of your pipeline is performing, or if disparate teams aren’t integrated as well as they could be, you’ll never know whether addressing scalability is on the table or not.
While part of communication relies on people, a surprising amount of good communication in the manufacturing sector also relies on data. Especially if you’re automating different aspects of your manufacturing process, the messaging system you use for each data stream and your metrics can be a major factor in how well your business does. It’s important to remember that big data goes far beyond just analytics these days, meaning that there are plenty of use cases where a database is powering a variety of microservices as well as informing overall business decisions. Apache Kafka is one of many types of data pipelines that you may look to in order to guarantee that your data and messaging is handled appropriately. Kafka has been gaining traction in the manufacturing world especially, thanks to its focused approach to handling data partitions and open-source framework. Read on to learn more about Apache Kafka and how it can impact your manufacturing business.
What is Apache Kafka?
The first question you’re probably asking yourself about Kafka is “What is Apache Kafka?” Put in its simplest terms, Apache Kafka is a data platform specifically-tailored for messaging and managing data pipelines. Kafka is what is sometimes referred to as a “broker” because it serves as an intermediary of sorts while handling and storing different data streams. Those data streams are made for real-time use, meaning that Kafka can help you scale your operations quickly and efficiently with up-to-date information each time.
Kafka works by grouping different data streams in “topics.” Since Kafka’s open-source messaging system is built on the concept of topics, it’s possible to have your Kafka streams span a variety of servers and streams of messages. The topics generated by Kafka can include a variety of data points, with various values, Python objects, or even timestamps. Especially if you need a distributed messaging system, Kafka excels thanks to the fact that it is fast and reliable when it comes to real-time analytics, streaming, and data exchange across different systems or components.
What can Apache Kafka do for the manufacturing industry?
One of Kafka’s biggest strengths when it comes to the manufacturing industry has to do with data persistence. Data persistence basically refers to data storage, which means that as you continue to adjust aspects of your supply chain, you get the real-time analytics you need based on historical data. All of this is done quickly and at scale, making Kafka even more integral to large manufacturers who are interested in optimizing their business operations year over year.
Another strength of Kafka is the fact that it allows manufacturers to switch to an event-driven approach. Event-driven manufacturing can help you automate a diverse array of steps in your manufacturing process, ultimately leading to exciting advancements and efficiencies in your process. By using Kafka to handle various connectors and nodes in real-time, it’s easier than ever to ensure that your supply chain remains durable and on-schedule, even with high throughput. The result isn’t just a more agile production process, either. Thanks to Kafka, you’ll also get real-time analytics about any issues as they arise. Having this information sooner means that you can avoid duplicating errors again and again at a certain point in your manufacturing pipeline. Especially in data-heavy manufacturing processes, Kafka truly shines. From helping save you money to increasing productivity and data distribution capabilities, Kafka is well worth looking into if you’ve yet to adopt it in your business.