It's Not About the Batch...

You may have noticed from the preceeding that WBF is spending lots of time talking about S95, rather than S88. If you didn't notice this, shame on you for not paying attention. WBF is clearly about much more than batch, or the batch standards, and Lynn Craig discussed what's been going on. A joint working group has been formed to define how S88 and S95 work together, starting with overlaps and gaps. There is much overlap, since both standards define similar functions. The biggest gap is that S88 was written for Batch Manufacturing while S95 was written for all types of manufacturing. How to deal with the gap? Certainly ignoring the other types of manufacturing is right out. So, the joint working group will need to define application of S88 principles in general, rather than in batch terms, in ways that are compatible with S95, for many kinds of manufacturing. S88 has already been shown to work in continuous processes, and the Make2Pack working group at OMAC is showing that the S88 principles can be applied in discrete manufacturing as well. Storage may be the biggest test, since it is not always considered manufacturing and different concepts need to be accommodated. The key to the differences between S88 and S95 is the Work Unit, and this could work very well in storage applications. Why, Craig asks, is this important? It's nice to have a general model of manufacturing both from the control view and the business view, but we have done without it until now. The reason is that it is important in any type of manufacturing, even in a batch work center, and we can't ignore the fact that there are often discrete or storage work units tagged onto the process. Standard models and terms can help across all manufacturing. The merging of S95 and S88 will allow reuse of work and common approaches, as well as a common context for data, especially in the ERP system. But can the Joint Working Group do the job before proprietary solutions dominate? Tune in next time for, "It's Not About the Batch..."

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