Apriso Corp., a provider of adaptive software solutions for global manufacturers, on Jul 24 announced general availability of FlexNet 9.4, the new standard for their business process-centric operations execution solution. Upgraded FlexNet applications include Business Process Builder 2.0, Quality Management 2.1, and Machine Integrator 2.0.
MBDA, a global missile manufacturer jointly owned by BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica is using the enhanced features of FlexNet 9.4 to shorten their process lifecycle workflows between their Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and their UGS TeamCenter PLM system. The as-designed product component definitions, routings, specifications and Bill of Materials (BOMs) are now collectively used to author detailed procedures and work instructions.
This manufacturers globally integrated MES and PLM systems track product characteristics against specifications, including as-built genealogy, to improve overall visibility into production processes and the supply chain. This information is then fed into their SAP ERP system, adding as-planned materials and orders data, and is available through FlexNet for the engineering and production staff. The result is a continuous process improvement cycle that optimizes product design, resource allocation and tooling configuration.
As part of a manufacturers IT architecture, Aprisos solution is an enterprise level application that implements, manages and optimizes business processes for manufacturing operations. Starting at the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) automation layer, Apriso FlexNet directs production, warehouse and quality execution functions within established business processes. By gathering and monitoring actionable machine data, in real-time, that supports production adjustments and provides As-built product data to PLM systems, Apriso provides access to valuable production data from the shop floor to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) programs.
Several technological improvements are included within this new release of FlexNet including:
- An architecture that supports 64-bit processing, with business process authoring capabilities that leverage the benefits of Microsoft .NET 2.0 and 3.0
- Improved usability with simplified navigation, keyboard shortcuts, wizards and drag & drop functionality
- Expanded integration with automation equipment and PLC controllers supports driving the PLC automation layer, in real-time
- Support for Microsoft Office 2007 and the Microsoft Windows Vista pperationing system
With FlexNet 9.4, it is possible to aggregate production performance metrics into a single data infrastructure, simplifying the task of compiling, measuring and adjusting performance indicators for global distributed operations with hopes to optimize production and minimize waste, as part of lean and other continuous improvement initiatives.