Client: Hermes Reply


Configure and assemble the pieces of the Brick Reply Smart Plant.


Front-end application of the Brick Reply assembly line, with a Tutorial and a 3D Configurator for the Digital Product Catalog.

Brick Reply expresses a true concentration of Industry 4.0 through the playful experience of LEGO Smart Plant. Thanks to its modular concept, Brick Reply allows companies to simplify and efficiently manage manufacturing processes and all the operations related to quality control on the assembly lines. The 3D configurator and the real-time 3D tutorial give the end-user immediate and realistic feedback on all the choices made.

Created, designed and built according to Industry 4.0 paradigms, Brick Reply is a MES (Manufacturing Execution System) / MOM (Manufacturing Operations Management) platform for the overall management, monitoring and control of a Smart Factory. The technology, developed by Brick Reply, consists of a modular solution to plan production activities, support the operators in the processing phases and dialogue with the individual machines/devices in a manufacturing plant. In other words, to realize the future of production according to the principles of the fourth industrial revolution which promises companies a digital future. All this is possible on Cloud architecture in order to make data and their management available at any time, in any place.

In order to offer an overview and an concrete example of the management and control operations of a Smart Factory, Brick Reply has conceived a small production line by using the ubiquitous LEGO bricks. With its operational simplicity, Brick Reply Smart Plant highlights many fundamental aspects of the digital factory. Think of the close correlation between product customization and the subsequent configuration of the production processes, a detail that enables the Mass Customization that is considered the natural “heir” of mass industrial production, because it is the natural meeting point between the needs of the demand and the sustainability of the supply.

Protocube Reply has supported Brick Reply with the implementation of a Digital Product Catalog and a 3D Configurator to allow their personalization.

The front-end application by Brick Reply allows a generic operator to define and configure the operations of the production process and how to manage them during the execution of a production order. The case study concerned the simulation of a production order for the assembly of a vehicle, designed to highlight in the simplest possible way the key concepts underlying the MES/MOM platform. The demo consists of two modules: a tutorial and the configurator connected to the smart plant.


The Tutorial function, freely accessible without registration, aims at illustrating the operation of the products and, consequently, all the configurations that can be set on the Brick Reply Smart Plant assembly line. Each part consists of a variable number of subparts, which can be configured in turn with different color variations.


Unlike the tutorial, the main application allows you to customize only the parts that the production line is actually able to create. The interaction visually exploits the advantages of the real-time 3D rendering technology that can support the user with an immediate and realistic feedback of their choices. The wizard, as a whole, allows you to enter your name, customize the product and send it to production in the form of a real production order, with the possibility of collecting the little car once its assembly has been completed. A nice gadget to remember the experience, useful to contextually solve the marketing needs related to the initiative.

Through the playful experience of the LEGO Smart Plant it is relatively simple to take note of how Brick Reply represents a true concentration of Industry 4.0. In addition to simplifying and efficiently managing the manufacturing processes, Brick Reply, thanks to its modular concept, is able to offer solutions for ERP integration and BOM management, in addition to all the operations necessary for quality control. Depending on specific needs, the platform can be used at different levels of service and flexibility: from the “as-a-Service” (cloud based) model up to the delivery on dedicated customer infrastructures. Another very important aspect is the ability to integrate with traditional lines, supporting them with a more efficient process management. The Digital Transformation of a company is not necessarily a drastic revolution, on the contrary, it can be integrated in a soft way through a completely open-source service architecture.

The potential of Brick Reply is constantly evolving thanks to the synergy of many digital technologies from Big Data (for predictive analysis) to the Internet of Things, able to globally connect the single devices and machines, to make them dialogue together and simplify their management. While the engine of a platform such as Brick Reply can appear decidedly complex, users are receiving an intuitive and easy-to-use control interface, both by technicians and by managers, providing them with functional tools for their operational needs.

brick reply configurator

LEGO Brick Reply, Milan, XChange 2016. (Credits Reply)

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