SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Jason Spera
Company: Aegis Industrial Software Corp
Date Published: 9/26/2004   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: Shop floor information systems have been available for many years. The demand for full automation of processes and the information flow to and from the lines is not new. Companies and institutions have constructed workable software systems for particular applications. However, these solutions lack key elements modern OEMs and EMS providers require. They tend to be highly customized, process-specific, and require significant integration and maintenance. The goal of the modern shop floor information system is to become process-comprehensive, commercially available, company-independent, and simple to deploy. It must span the entire manufacturing process, but must also be intimately connected to the design and data preparation processes of the enterprise. It must incorporate plug-andplay machine communication systems for total information visibility at low deployment and maintenance cost.

The demand for such solutions is increasing. The drive for product and process traceability in the marketplace is enormous. Real-time SPC across all data sources in the factory is an expectation. OEMs are demanding real-time quality reporting and factory monitoring from their EMS providers. Even the drive to Lead-Free as well as running different materials and processes alongside one another in the same factory without error demands an automated solution. These and many other industry trends are contributing to exciting advancements in commercially viable shop floor information software.

This paper offers a perspective on the capability of a modern shop floor information system, and also covers the key prerequisites for making such solutions commercial, off-the-shelf offerings. Delivering such solutions is not merely a software technology or software design issue. It requires the convergence of several key industry elements. These elements include software technology, industry data standards, and the close cooperation of machine vendors with the industry software vendors. Solving the shop floor information challenge through software solutions has largely been achieved. Today’s goal is the deliver the solution elegantly, and to make it viable for the industry as a whole.

KEYWORDS: Software, MES, information management, factory automation.

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