SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Glenn Rossman, Cynthia Dunlop

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iTAC Software AG appraises MES market developments in advance of the IPC APEX EXPO

The electronic industry’s efforts to improve manufacturing quality and production output owe much of their success to MES manufacturers. Whereas the focus in the past was on pure traceability, additional measures are necessary today to satisfy the highest quality requirements and deliver maximum benefit to customers. The iTAC.MES.Suite is a high performance 24/7 MES solution that is tailored to the electronic industry's requirements, supporting zero PPM production objectives. iTAC will be demonstrating the iTAC.MES.Suite at IPC APEX Expo in San Diego (Hall B2, Booth #1947) from February 19 to 21.

In the past, traceability simply involved the storage of production relevant data to enable the precise identification of defective products in recall campaigns. Today, a modern MES has to satisfy a far more complex range of traceability requirements. Real-time production monitoring and control is facilitated on the basis of traceability data and, thanks to active traceability (process interlocking), it’s practically impossible to manufacture defective products. Optimum planning, control and process efficiency have to be guaranteed along the entire supply chain, so cloud capability with 24/7 availability is absolutely essential to cross-plant M2M communication.

From supply chain traceability to standards compliance

It’s practical to opt for an MES software that unites all these functions yet can also be adapted to the specific requirements of companies such as Audi, Autoliv, Hella, HBPO, Johnson Controls, Lear Corporation, Magna, Schneider Electric, Siemens, VW and the like. iTAC’s MES provides these customers with standards compliance, accessibility, excellent performance, active traceability and numerous other functions such as supply chain traceability, roll-out capability and high availability that set it apart from other solutions in the MES market. While clearly capable of meeting the needs of a single plant, it is designed to enable the efficient and reliable implementation of global infrastructure projects.

Many other MES providers can deliver systems that bridge the gap between production machines, ERP systems and quality systems. "However, the majority of them are traditional, location-based MES solutions. Many manufacturing execution systems were designed for local use at one single production facility, so they have no high availability middleware to support functional evolution, for example, in order to meet Industry 4.0 requirements," explained Peter Bollinger, COO of iTAC Software AG.

Modern machine interfaces can only be built and operated on the basis of a standardized and efficient middleware like iTAC.ARTES. Outdated machine interfaces, on the other hand, are maintenance-intensive and negatively influence operating speed. An MES without efficient middleware has a negative impact on productivity, leading to reduced output and quality problems. "Several MES manufacturers still have some catching up to do in these areas. We have to keep pace with the times and cater to global supply chain requirements and the resulting cloud-based MES trend."

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