SAP AG, the Walldorf, Germany, enterprise application software supplier, is acquiring Lighthammer Software Development Corp., a privately held supplier of enterprise manufacturing intelligence and collaborative manufacturing software based in Exton, Pa. Lighthammer's Collaborative Manufacturing Suite (CMS) will be delivered as an SAP xApps composite application on the SAP NetWeaver platform.
"Acquiring Lighthammer supports SAP's strategy of enabling adaptive business networks for our customers," says Nils Herzberg, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Solutions, Product and Technology Group, for SAP. "The whole idea of connecting manufacturing information to business systems is to reduce the latency time between things happening on the plant floor and executive decision-making. This must happen in real time. The first applications were about inventory turns, now we’re talking about information turns. This acquisition supports our commitment to an ISA-95 enabled manufacturing solution."
The SAP-Lighthammer combination will provide real-time visibility to manufacturing exceptions and performance variances, including root causes and business impacts, enabling manufacturers and their production personnel to adapt to change and rapidly respond to unforeseen demand and supply events. The combination will enable SAP to deliver real-time transactional integration between enterprise resource planning and plant floor systems, as well as unified, real-time analytics and visualization—often referred to as "manufacturing intelligence"—out-of-the box to its manufacturing customers.
"Breaking down the barrier between the plant floor and the business systems is key to manufacturing and supply chain productivity," says Kirk Royster, manager of global enterprise architecture for Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Mich. "Implementing Lighthammer and the SAP manufacturing intelligence dashboards, integrated through SAP NetWeaver at our manufacturing facilities, allows both plant personnel and line management to access information and the relevant KPIs (key performance indicators) for making right-time decisions while fully understanding the business impact of these decisions. This has already contributed to increased responsiveness and tangible value at a lower total cost of technology ownership for Dow Corning."