Operations management: Trixell improves production visibility, traceability

Trixell, manufacturer of digital detectors for use in medical radiology systems, expanded its production plant this summer and has gone live with a manufacturing operations management system from Apriso.
By Control Engineering Staff December 13, 2007

Trixell, manufacturer of digital detectors for use in medical radiology systems, expanded its production plant this summer and has gone live with a manufacturing operations management system from Apriso. FlexNet integrates enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and product lifecycle management (PLM) with shop floor systems across all operations.
Based in Moirans, near Grenoble in southeast France, the Trixell plant now comprises 8,000 sq. meters of production floor space. Three thousand square meters just came on line with the commissioning of a new, highly automated production line, and clean room space was expanded to a total of nearly 2,000 sq. meters. Trixell has set up separate production lines for static and dynamic detectors, but with certain common processes: cesium iodide evaporation, scintillator/array assembly, micro-connections, etc. Test and inspection procedures are integrated in each line, to ensure the dependability of every step in the process. The project cost more than 15 million euros, including construction and new machinery and equipment. Trixell is a joint venture between Thales, Philips Medical Systems, and Siemens Medical Solutions.
Capacity was expanded by adding new machinery and upgrading systems, enabling real-time operations execution. Trixell uses the Apriso FlexNet software as a collaborative manufacturing operations execution system to improve production line efficiency and enhance access to real-time data. According to the company, the visibility and control over production processes has improved performance through quicker decision making and enhanced traceability, enabling Trixell to address regulatory compliance requirements.
One example is management of product maintenance and returns. When a product return occurs, a previously shipped unit must be inspected, repaired or re-stocked.
“Our expectations have been exceeded with the deployment of Apriso FlexNet, continuing our commitment to improve customer responsiveness while providing easier access to production data,” said Jean Philippe Pierre, IT project manager at Trixell. “Now, everything is stored in a centralized database, providing efficiency while simplifying production processes through the easy-to-use FlexNet system.” FlexNet integrates with Trixell’s SAP ERP system, and no ERP modifications were necessary, according to the company.
In related news, Apriso announced its acceptance into the IBM SOA Specialty Program after meeting SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) technical and business requirements. FlexNet was recognized to integrate seamlessly with IBM’s suite of SOA-enabled applications, providing a unified platform to achieve collaborative manufacturing operations management.
Trixell’s choice is in alignment with ARC Advisory Group’s approach to manufacturing operations management, detailed in the recently published “Operations Management Solution Requirements Guide.”%EDBLQ%%
More detail on FlexNet and the benefits of IT / operations integration is available through Apriso whitepapers including, “Augmenting the Value of ERP with an Operations Execution System” and “The Need for SOA to Achieve Flexibility and Agility within Plant Operations.”

Apriso Corporation

ARC Advisory Group

Trixell

–Renee Robbins, Control Engineering News Desk, renee.robbins@reedbusiness.com