Harmonize Global Data

How does a frazzled manufacturing executive juggle production efficiently among plants that may be scattered geographically in many countries and time zones?

On top of that, how can executives finally realize the promise of all those investments in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software?

This issue of Automation World explores how a combination of modern automation and harmonizing both data sources and standards helps solve the problem.

Harmonizing data from each of a company’s far-flung manufacturing plants is the key to success in finding a sweet melody of operational excellence. In an article beginning on page 28, Automation World Editor in Chief Gary Mintchell reveals some examples and tips about building competitive global manufacturing.

Part of the story of global manufacturing is the development of global standards for automation. In a story that begins on page 34, Contributing Editor James Koelsch describes some of the more important standards and what they mean for manufacturers.

There have been software applications for communicating order information to the manufacturing system, but bottom-up data visibility has been sorely lacking. Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel, in an article beginning on page 38, shows how some new software is providing management with a clear view into manufacturing to enable better, faster decisions.

Six Sigma implementation requires lots of reliable data. Managing Editor Wes Iversen reports on how a mining company is able to “mine” this data from its manufacturing data historian, in an article beginning on page 42.

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