Filling in for SAP

One company has modeled its manufacturing execution system (MES) offering based on filling in the holes in enterprise vendor SAP AG’s approach to manufacturing tools.

Houston-based Performix Inc. offers MES solutions to SAP customers in the pharmaceuticals and high-tech industries. “I was with SAP for 12 years, and when I left SAP, I saw a huge opportunity in MES because I didn’t believe SAP had finished their solutions,” says Fred Ungerer, chief operating officer for Performix.

Ungerer saw an opportunity to reach further into plant operations with MES tools. “You have to have connectivity to the machines and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) to understand the manufacturing process,” says Ungerer. “You’re also going to need connectivity for alarming and alerting.”

Ungerer notes that Performix has been careful not to offer any of the functions provided by SAP. “We’re not duplicating anything SAP has,” says Ungerer. “We’re leveraging everything they build and we’re taking it to the next degree of standardization.”

He notes that specializing in the needs of specific verticals such as pharmaceuticals allows Performix to develop very specific data-collection strategies. “We’ve become the data-collection system that actually posts dates and times as well as the cycle times, and it’s reflecting back to SAP so they can do costing at a more granular level,” says Ungerer. “We’re putting functionality in the recipe so it makes it easier for the plant operator to use.”

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