Manufacturers are feeling new pressure on their operations coming from
many directions. Dynamic market needs, increased compliance requirements,
more distributed manufacturing operations, rapid product
innovation, Lean manufacturing, and the approaching transition to new IT
technology all manifest themselves on the plant floor and throughout the enterprise
- and often lead to pleas for new technology solutions. Integration
and data utilization are the two key issues to address in order to improve
responsiveness and performance.
Many manufacturing companies recognize that improving corporate performance demands better synchronization with the plant floor. For too long, manufacturing has been isolated. Most of the important production data has not been easily accessible, and is therefore not very useful in improving performance. Today, however, feasible solutions are available to drive excellence in manufacturing performance through better manufacturing intelligence and integration.
Real-time Performance Management (RPM) solutions acquire manufacturing data in real-time, establish the operating context for that data, and ensure that it is stored in a manner that makes it accessible at later times for a variety of uses. RPM facilitates the visibility of this real-time manufacturing data to users throughout the enterprise, and includes tools for enhanced decision support and role-based display of performance against operating metrics. Event-based triggers notify all who should be informed when important or unforeseen events take place. These solutions help companies achieve a higher level of manufacturing excellence by allowing them to better leverage their detailed manufacturing information.
In many companies, it falls to IT to envision new business possibilities in concert with the technologies needed to realize them. At the same time, the usual job of reducing the cost of doing business through increased efficiency and productivity cannot be ignored. This paper outlines how modern solutions can support both strategies at the same time.