Factory 4.0 Open Initiative

Greetings all, I have a proposal for a small business entry, or a select group of individuals currently working in the capacity of a manager or supervisor. If you do, you also must be located in the Chicago area - your employer / business must be in the Manufacturing sector - with a production floor, and on that floor with at least one automated production equipment. If you work for a national chain this is not relevant to you - businesses like GM and GE have full Industry 4.0 implementations already. This is for the small to medium employers who has no need for unlimited scaling and other considerations. Flowershops, dental offices, hot dog stands are also out of scope, sorry!

I work for a medium-sized PCBA full-service contract builder in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. I am a production engineer, tasked to implement one or more aspects of Industry 4.0 and prove it to be beneficial. I have selected the Virtualmin platform for the cloud, and I need candidates to support it. This is why you need to be in the area as the good folks at Virtualmin cannot troubleshoot all that may go wrong, or need to be added / changed.

If and when my cloud becomes a production-grade system it must have a rock-solid support contract. My employer builds for customers with Medical, ITAR and other compliance requirements and individuals are not considered to be candidates for this.

My proposal to my employer is to assemble the support entity that is formed anew, or find an existing one to be trained and certified to fully support all components of the Cloud. This includes: material control towers, production equipment such as screen and jet solder-paste printers, SPI (solder-paste inspection), AOI (automated optical inspection), pick and place machines - all these generate production data, using PostgreSQL or other RDBM… Reflow, soldering station, X-Ray repair stations, labeling etc…etc mixed-mode machine and human data generation, testing, tuning, wash cycles, masking and removal, etc… My employer is a full-service business with building, harnessing, enclosure, testing, warranty repairs. The business-side adds regulatory and environmental services, supplier networks and so on so on… You do not need to support the HARDWARE or the Human Interface… you need to maintain access to the data they generate and see to it it makes to the ERP, the internet and back…

This could be a great opportunity for someone LOCAL to support the HYBRID cloud. You need to be able to visit the plants at Elk Grove Village to assist in rotating the old technology out and installing the new one, with a few years difference between major and ongoing minor updates. You are going to be asked to help transfer the data from the production floor, through the ERP system, to the Internet - and back. Industry 4.0 Stuff…

You should also be able to define your own contract terms. Again, this must be a team of at least 3-5 employees - no individual applicants. The most important aspect is to be familiar with Cloudmin / Virtualmin / Webmin. I am one of the two engineers working on this project, as my employer is in the business of building electronics - not designing software or infrastructure.

If you are an individual, looking for employment, and totally interested in this project you may email me at “virtualmin” at my catch-all email “factoryfouroh.com”, and introduce yourself and your case in a few sentences, please do not send a resume… I am going to talk to my manager and see if you are going to be asked to come in for an interview.

Otherwise email me at the same for a discussion about your ideas. You are most welcome to join a discussion and do the same near where you live. Pooling our knowledge and resources is the ONLY way to desing and create anything substantial. Even if you, or your employer is a competitor of my employer - on a personal level we all have a lot to gain. The way I envision Factory 4.0 Open Initiative, for the small manufacturer and maybe the service and repair shop, the warehouse, is the natural response to automation and re-training the work-force. At the core there is the shared vocabularies and dictionary, digitizing information flow, implemening in small steps instead of investing in expensive whole-sale changes. Based on that, you may later apply for all sort of grants and loans if THAT is what you want. Currently nobody is catering to the small employer trying to transition to Industry 4.0 - I KNOW, I am looking for years and there is none.

I finally managed to pull together a small Cloudmin / Virtualmin cloud, placed on an 8-core 32GB 1.7 TB server and some backup VPS - solely for this purpose. I have yet to select the forum software - my main tool is going to be Joomla with Fabrik for quick spreadsheet and human input translation functionality, MySQL of course for automated processes and transition, and a few others - you should be familiar with these. I have some very basic ideas, still confused, at infra.factoryfouroh.net Kunena forum. The “Open Initiative” means all databases are open for public download, at the very least. Ideally the entire Joomla web should be available for copy via Akabee backup. My best forum candidate so far is Hubzilla - so the community maybe kept and focused by stricth moderation - no offense but I do not have any time for iddle social chat and the content MUST stay professional and business approved.

Again, there is a lot of potential to gain on a personal, professional and financial level, as most shops are still unable to figure out how to get the data out of their high-tech equipment, finally stop using spreadsheets as databases, and be able to call a local guru to help them connect their brand new equipment to the “internet”. The bottom line is - you need to be able to take as much if not more out of this as you put in, this is not a Help Wanted ad.

My Purpose with this post:
I am trying to generate an income opportunity for my employer. I spend most of my time at work on this, with my employer’s approval and support. To be able to do what I must, without making my employer liable I am doing this under my own LLC, and you should understand and respect that. If you want to work with me on this - again you must bring your own compatible purpose and recognize the LLC as an equal and fair community effort. Do not share what you want to keep for yourself, and do not expect other people to owe you anything. You are more than welcome to take all what the LLC shares with you and use it for your own, or your employer’s benefit. As the matter of fact THAT is the point for all this, and I am not willing to ruin my credibility or reputation for any amount of money. I want to earn and deserve what I have, and so should everyone.

Sorry for the lengthy post, and for the explanations … I need to make sure I communicate the fact that is is not a spam or a make-money scheme. I fully admit some of this stuff is at the far limit of my capacity to understand, but it is really exciting and it is getting easier. So if you are intimidated by the complexities you are not alone.


I have the first production-grade Cloudmin cloud, with the entry point at http://tex-mex.factoryfouroh.work/joomla.
The implementation has also grown, the cloud now includes a Hubzilla server that is being configured as the intranet social network.
Tex-Mex is a Virtualmin top level server for Joomla/Fabrik web forms.

I am still looking for support candidates, as my employer now assigned a second engineer for web form development. I am hoping to start converting my employer’s supply chain later this year.

For the Virtualmin team, thank you for a fantastic software! The Factory 4.0 Open initiative concept has great potential to grow and help small manufacturers world-wide to convert paper forms and tribal knowledge into enterprise-ready databases and business logic. Large enterprise-level service provider cannot enter this market as the ROI is simply not there for them. Each new, local implementation should result in a few more licensing and support opportunity for Virtualmin and Cloudmin!

Those who want to study and copy what we are building are welcome to join us on Hubzilla!

The Project is evolving, we now have a solid 4-host DNS hosting stack, and we are switched to YunoHost as it has much better, out-of box configuration for a fully RFC-compliant mail service (except rDNS in the banner, which could be changed manually).

If you are interested in manufacturing, LOCAL communities, and building a franchise please read at https://welcome.factoryfouroh.net/dokuwiki. I am an engineer not a writer or a social media expert so everything you read there is a draft, but the FourOh-LLC software stack is now rock solid.

I would love to add Cloudmin and the first Virtualmin instance, as YunoHost does not support Joomla! out-of-box, which is important to grow the core concept of owner-operated, minimal-cost, minimal-maintenance, privilege-accessed community networks. If you are in the West Dundee, IL area - you can join to grow our instance of FourOh-LLC. If you are elsewhere we can work on your own instance, and grow the FourOh-LLC brand.

Thanks for reading!