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Wouldn’t it be great if you could order just the right proportions of manufacturing software to fit your diet? This issue of Automation World explores three different types of manufacturing software— manufacturing execution systems (MES), product lifecycle management (PLM) and programmable controller programming to see how modular architectures benefit manufacturers.

Aw 5180 Issue Focus10

MES software helps tie together the many functions in a factory that lie between factory floor automation and business systems. Automation World Editor in Chief Gary Mintchell reports on the benefits of today’s building block approach to the application, in an article beginning on page 32.

Managing a product from conception to the end of its production impacts a corporation’s bottom line enough that PLM software applications must move beyond the arcane world of engineering design. In an article beginning on page 38, Contributing Editor Alex Anderson shows how PLM is meeting the enterprise top floor.

Programmable controller programming is often maligned because of reliance upon its hard-to-design and hard-to-troubleshoot ladder diagram programming. Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel, in an article beginning on page 42, puts the myth to rest by describing the ascent of specialized function blocks.

Automation World Managing Editor Wes Iversen interviewed Robotic Industries Association President Trevor Jones this month. Read about what’s going on in that industry in the article beginning on page 46

Logic Control, courtesy of ABC Company

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