WinCC OA vs MindSphere

WinCC OA vs MindSphere

Resource Type: Blog |

There are currently many options to visualize your data on the plant floor.  WinCC OA and MindSphere are two common products that are, in many ways, quite similar.


  • Designed for on-premise storage
  • License Based
  • Extremely flexible open software
  • Statistics


  • IoT PaaS
  • Cloud storage
  • Subscription Based
  • Extremely flexible open platform
  • Predictive Analytics

The most meaningful difference is in what each can do with the data.  While WinCC OA, a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is focused on statistics, MindSphere, an IOT (Internet of Things) platform is focused on predictive analytics.

WinCC OA = Statistics.  MindSphere = Predictive Analytics.

So what? That sounds like a nuanced mathematic vocabulary choice!  But the way it works in your facility is huge.  Statistics are rear-facing.  It takes the data and makes common mathematical equations to give you information about what has already happened in your facility.  Predictive analytics, using more complex modeling, makes inferences about the future.  It tells you what is going to happen.

They serve different purposes, each with its own value.  Statistics are vital to give visibility to the manufacturing process in order to make business decisions. The quicker you can calculate these statistics, the sooner you can react.

Predictive Analytics are extremely beneficial to aid in predicting issues so decisions can be made proactively.

It is reminiscent of a scene in Cars 3 when Lightning McQueen is on the simulator.  The simulator is displaying statistics like speed, lap number, and time – all of which could be helpful for race decision-making in real-time.  The voice repeating “You have hit a wall” is less helpful.  That information would have been more useful if given in advance – like a warning light showing the distance is getting close.  Once Lighting has hit the wall, the damage has already been done.  In this situation, predictive analytics would be a better fit than statistics.

The solution has to fit the need.  In your facility, there are probably plenty of places where relatively simple calculations like OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) are meeting your needs quite well.  There may be other situations, like temperature extremes or tool wear, that would be more helpful to know in advance, so that it can be dealt with proactively to prevent damage.

Keep in mind: the choice is NOT WinCC OA OR MindSphere; there are many situations in which the best solution utilizes both.

Patti Engineering can brainstorm solutions with you.

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Sam Hoff's Bio


Samuel M. Hoff, Chief Executive Officer, started the company from his home in 1991. Since then he’s expanded his business to more than 35 college-degreed engineers. Patti Engineering has engineering offices in Auburn Hills, MI, Austin, TX, and Indianapolis, IN.