Open PLM solution ties manufacturing, quality, customer information back to product record, audit trail

As manufacturers demand more from their business systems, product life-cycle management (PLM) software vendors in particular must respond to changing market requirements with solutions that allow collaboration across the extended enterprise. Omnify Software, a PLM vendor focused on the electronics, medical device, mechanical, and defense industries, offers a case-in-point.

05/01/2007


As manufacturers demand more from their business systems, product life-cycle management (PLM) software vendors in particular must respond to changing market requirements with solutions that allow collaboration across the extended enterprise.

Omnify Software , a PLM vendor focused on the electronics, medical device, mechanical, and defense industries, offers a case-in-point. Omnify recently introduced Empower, its next-generation PLM solution based on the Microsoft .NET Framework.

“Empower stems directly from Omnify's focus on meeting customer needs, and includes more than 200 enhancements and function requests,” says Chuck Cimalore, CTO, Omnify. “Extending the capability of the system to capture manufacturing, quality, and customer information and tie it back to the product record improves visibility of all aspects of product data to drive better design and streamline product development.”

The shift in architecture to leverage Web services allows Omnify to deliver the level of integration, reporting, and customization that manufacturers need, Cimalore adds. For instance, use of Web services enhances Omnify's open platform for integration with third-party solutions and enables customization of reports and analytical data.

The architecture transition to Microsoft .NET surely offers a certain level of appeal, but Empower's functionality is drawing an equal level—if not more—of manufacturer attention. New Quality Management and Project Management modules, for instance, hold interest.

“Omnify has done a great job with adding functionality that fills in gaps, including a closed-loop corrective-action capability that the FDA terms CAPA,” says Barry Mendell, engineering services manager at Still River Systems , a Littleton, Mass.-based supplier of a proton beam radiotherapy system for radiation treatment of cancer. “That's vital functionality because the ability to automate the data capture and routing related to product issues and defects not only simplifies the process, but provides documentation for the audit trail as well.”

Empower's project-management capabilities also are noteworthy to manufacturers, Mendell says. For instance, capturing all product and program data in Omnify offers executive views used to more easily recognize common problems, leading to better resource allocation and streamlined processes that impact deadline-sensitive development activities.

“Managers will see a significant benefit,” Mendell says. “They can look at a dashboard that displays project-management metrics like status, percentage complete, and completed milestones to determine project status at a glance.”





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