Coordinated Batch Execution is the Key Theme of the New Plant Architecture……..…….. A Status Update

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Manufacturers consolidating production facilities around contract manufacturing and outsourcing models are reducing noncore activities so that costs can be decreased and responsiveness to market dynamics increased. While most manufacturers made integrated Enterprise Resource Planning business system and Advanced Planning and Scheduling supply chain system decisions, they have not catered for the detailed production coordination requirements in the plant. This will become evident as E-Business dynamics get closer to directly influencing manufacturing operations in operations such as food, beverage, and consumer packaged goods manufacturing. Plants are still grappling to find software packages to support process based architectures that enable coordinated operations both within the manufacturing site, and externally with the business and supply chain. Market research indicates trends in plant software packages towards model based applications for example MES, in which the model becomes the application. Model based application architectures make it easier to manage the change of migrating from data centric product architectures to the processes represented on the AMR Research REPAC model. This paper examines trends in software products and user manufacturing architectures towards a manufacturing coordination infrastructure that supports requirements emerging from S88 and SP95. The paper addresses the question as to whether manufacturers and software vendors are ready for this change and what it requires to be successful.