For decades now, industry has seen no shortage of software packages to improve production applications or collect and manage data. And with the push toward Industry 4.0, there have been numerous additional developments to aggregate, analyze and present the various data from all these plant floor software systems to the executive suite to aid executive decision-making processes.
But what about the decision-making information needs of plant floor and process engineering management? Though the executive-facing systems referenced above are certainly used by plant floor and engineering management, they weren’t specifically designed for them.
To address this, GE Digital has released Proficy Orchestration Hub. According to GE Digital, this software “provides out-of-the-box tools to unify manufacturing product information from disparate data systems, transforms and organizes raw business-oriented information into production-ready formats, and orchestrates the information across factory floor systems at a single site or multiple sites.”
Prasad Pai, senior product manager in charge of Proficy Orchestration Hub at GE Digital, says the focus of Orchestration Hub is “improving the effectiveness of execution systems on the manufacturing factory floor. Key users of Orchestration Hub are quality and process engineering at the corporate and plant levels.”
The purpose of Proficy Orchestration Hub is to help manufacturers “stay in sync with constant updates to manufacturing product data to provide higher quality and throughput…based on unifying information mapping data from different systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), product lifecycle management (PLM), and manufacturing execution systems (MES).
Explaining how Proficy Orchestration Hub works to connect data from such disparate plant floor and enterprise systems, Pai says the software, which has out-of-the box mapping into GE Digital’s Plant Applications software, “can work with any existing MES, PLM, and product data systems. Orchestration Hub embeds a tool that specializes in data integration and virtualization. This tool allows for integration through a variety of technology of data connectors and allows for no-code mapping of this disparate data into a manufacturing friendly map that can be consumed by MES software.”
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To ensure Proficy Orchestration Hub could address specific plant floor data aggregation and mapping needs, GE Digital worked with The J.M. Smucker Company. Kevin Briggs, architect of IS operations for The J.M. Smucker Company, says, “We collaborated with GE Digital on the development of this solution to support improved accuracy and efficiency in identifying and implementing specification changes. By integrating systems and digitizing operational product data management, we can create greater flexibility in manufacturing environments, reduce waste and costs, ensure consistent quality and compliance, and increase production throughput.”
According to GE Digital, having accurate product manufacturing data readily available during production execution decreases waste by about 10% per plant annually due to less rework and rejects. It also reduces production delays and compliance issues, leading to an approximately 5% improvement in on-time delivery and a 1% decrease in compliance-related costs. In relation to industry compliance, Proficy Orchestration Hub provides an audit trail of variances and updates to manufacturing product data for visibility and compliance.
“Proficy Orchestration Hub helps manufacturers solve common challenges such as inefficiencies in production due to inaccurate product data, siloed and custom approaches to product data, compliance risks, and lack of quality standardization,” says Richard Kenedi, general manager of GE Digital’s Manufacturing and Digital Plant business. “For companies that are tired of cobbling together plant systems or manually trying to capture the right product manufacturing data on paper, this solution can help increase throughput, reduce waste, and improve quality with manufacturing product data management at their fingertips.”
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