Expanding ERP connectivity

Kepware, an organization perhaps best known for its Open Connectivity (OPC) standards support and embedded device communication drivers, will be extending its expertise into the realm of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) via a newly-announced strategic partnership with Oracle.

02/01/2008


Kepware, an organization perhaps best known for its Open Connectivity (OPC) standards support and embedded device communication drivers, will be extending its expertise into the realm of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) via a newly-announced strategic partnership with Oracle. Kepware announced during the ARC Advisory Group’s “Winning Strategies for Global Manufacturers Forum,” held Feb. 4– 7, 2008, that their KEPServerEX product will serve as the data collection, aggregation and transfer hub for Oracle’s new and upcoming manufacturing applications.

According to Roy Kok, Kepware’s vice president of sales and marketing, KEPServerEX will have the ability to monitor and collect a host of real-time data from a machine or process, including: duration, downtime, cycle length, faults, speed, output, scrap, quality, operator, part ID or several other parameters. Once collected, the server will have the ability to conduct basic calculations and store the results within a “complex tag,” defined by Kepware as the aggregation of I/O, derived and other relevant data into a single item with a single reference. The complex tag is then passed along to Oracle for further analysis, for example– by product, by shift, or summarized to a plant level.

By delivering direct-device connectivity at the plant level, and by providing a degree of “in-line” calculation, Kepware aims to improve the flow of contextual information across the plant floor as well. All information calculated within KEPServerEX will also be accessible through existing OPC and native interfaces. As a result, organizations delivering ERP connectivity via a more traditional application-oriented architecture– such as data historians or other analytic tools – can benefit.

“In the past, data has been pushed up to enterprise levels by the automation vendors, but today this trend is being turned into more of a pull of data for integration with MES and ERP,” said Kok. “Whichever method a manufacturer selects, however, will yield greater insight and better management of plant floor processes.”

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