SAP buys Lighthammer to aid plant-floor/enterprise connectivity

Boston, MA; Exton, PA—To enhance connectivity between the plant floor and the enterprise, SAP AG reports that it’s acquiring Lighthammer Software Development Corp., a privately held supplier of enterprise manufacturing intelligence and collaborative manufacturing software.

06/28/2005


Boston, MA— To enhance connectivity between the plant floor and the enterprise, SAP AG reports that it’s acquiring Lighthammer Software Development Corp. , a privately held supplier of enterprise manufacturing intelligence and collaborative manufacturing software. The deal was announced at ARC Advisory Group 's recent Performance-Driven Manufacturing Forum.

SAP states that buying Lighthammer will improve manufacturing performance with faster time-to-value for SAP's more than 12,000 users. Lighthammer's Collaborative Manufacturing Suite (CMS) will be delivered as a SAP xApps composite application on the SAP NetWeaver platform.

SAP adds that it plans to complete its purchase in July 2005. Lighthammer’s employees will remain in their present facility in Exton, which will become a part of SAP America and SAP Labs.

'Acquiring Lighthammer supports SAP's strategy of enabling adaptive business networks (ABNs) for our customers,' says Nils Herzberg, SVP for SAP’s Manufacturing Industry Solutions product and technology group (PTG). 'Essential to enabling the ABN is bridging the disconnect between the shop-floor and the enterprise through what SAP refers to as adaptive manufacturing, which is the ability of a manufacturer to profitably replenish the supply chain while dynamically adapting to unpredictable change. The SAP Lighthammer combination exemplifies the ABN vision.'

SAP adds that

The new SAP Lighthammer will provide real-time visibility to manufacturing exceptions and performance variances, including root causes and business impacts, enabling manufacturers and their production personnel to adapt to change and rapidly respond to unforeseen demand and supply events. The combination will enable SAP to deliver real-time transactional integration between ERP and plant floor systems as well as unified, real-time analytics and visualization, often referred to as 'manufacturing intelligence,' out-of-the box to its manufacturing customers; the combination will also enable companies to leverage their current investments at a lower total-cost-of-ownership (TCO).

'Breaking down the barrier between the plant floor and the business systems is key to manufacturing and supply chain productivity,' adds Kirk Royster, Dow Corning’s global enterprise architecture manager. 'Implementing Lighthammer and the SAP manufacturing intelligence dashboards, integrated through SAP NetWeaver at our manufacturing facilities, allows both plant personnel and line management to access information and the relevant KPIs for making right time decisions while fully understanding the business impact of these decisions. This has already contributed to increased responsiveness and tangible value at a lower total cost of technology ownership for Dow Corning.'

Using ISA-95 standards for manufacturing interoperability, Lighthammer and SAP’s manufacturing solution will exchange data and render them through SAP’s manufacturing intelligence dashboards to deliver actionable intelligence in the form of alerts, reports, key performance indicators (KPIs) and decision support to production personnel for right-time decision making. The combined solution will allow production personnel to identify deviations in real time, provide drill-downs to understand the business and financial impact of the exceptions to be managed and display workflows to resolve them rapidly and cost-effectively, resulting in improved productivity.

'Lighthammer and SAP have a shared vision of the adaptive business network, exemplified by our longstanding partnership as a premier SAP xApps partner,' says Russell Fadel, Lighthammer’s CEO. 'We are happy to join the SAP family and deliver on the adaptive manufacturing vision and strategy, while driving real value for SAP's manufacturing customers.' SAP states that its acquisition is expected to be complete in July 2005. Lighthammer’s employees will remain in their current facilities in Exton, PA, and will become a part of SAP America and SAP Labs.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com





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