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Batesville Tool & Die - ERP and MES SaaS

Some enterprise resource planning (ERP) is available as software as a service (SaaS).

Plex Systems Inc., of Auburn Hills, Mich., provides both ERP and manufacturing execution systems (MES) services on a SaaS basis. Batesville Tool & Die, Batesville, Ind.—a company that produces engineered stamping and robotic welding tools—runs two plants, one in Indiana and one in Mexico. Plant managers wanted to standardize the two plants with a common ERP while also automating plant functions such as labeling. Plant operators also wanted to report production and consumed materials.

The company chose Plex Systems’ SAAS services  to run both their control and ERP. Prior to implementing Plex Systems, the plant ran personal computer databases and a Unix operating system. “We wanted to reduce our employees going to the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for every little thing,” says Sam Wintz, Batesville’s information technology (IT) manager. “We wanted more efficiency in running our work centers.”

Plex Systems rewrote the PLC interface as Web services. “That offered a significant production improvement,” says Wintz. “And it allows our IT staff to tackle higher value-added tasks instead of writing custom code.”

Plex Systems also provides ERP applications for planning and finance as well as customer relationship management and supply chain tools, an entire IT blueprint of a manufacturer’s IT backbone, from the PLC to the business office.

Wintz is now in the process of extending the Indiana plant’s IT structure to its Mexico plant. “We can log onto our system and see what’s going on in our Mexico plant,” says Wintz. “We can see all their work centers and track their efficiencies.” Because the Mexico plant will run the same IT as the Indiana plant, Wintz will be able to optimize the Mexico plant based on the Indiana plant’s efficiencies.

Related Feature - ERP Is Reaching The Shop Floor
To read the feature article relating to this story, go to www.automationworld.com/feature-6427.

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