Plant2Enterprise conference: Efficiency, growth, effectiveness take center stage
MES vendors, users gather to bring plant floor / business data together.
Orlando, FL– The convergence of production and business data, actionable metrics, and continuous improvement processes were hot topics for automation vendors, end users and analysts gathered in Florida for MESA International’s annual Plant2Enterprise Conference,Presentations throughout the multi-day event covered a broad spectrum of topics from data collection to business process management, with a heavy focus on “real world” stories from manufacturers of all sizes who are leveraging information rooted in the plant floor to literally transform their business.A prime example of this approach is UPCO Inc., a Claremore, OK-based manufacturer of oilfield products, who in just six years transformed itself from a “troubled, cash-starved” company in 2000 to the winner of a Manufacturing Leadership Award from the Governor of Oklahoma. By taking a data-centric approach to process improvement, and by creating a positive and rewarding environment for its employees, UPCO has dramatically increased both sales and revenue.Another particularly interesting presentation came from Evan L Hand Jr., senior project engineer of controls and data communication for Sara Lee Food and Beverage. During his discussion titled, “Controls: The Foundation of an MES Implementation,” Hand revealed that control integration and infrastructure improvements represent more than 50% of typical MES project implementation costs. From PLC and operator interface modifications to addressing data accuracy and system security, it’s clear that when it comes to creating a successful MES implementation, you’ve got to get the data right at its source. Positive moves at MESA A key tenet of MESA International’s work is to promote innovation and best practice sharing throughout the manufacturing community, and the organization took a big step toward getting that message out to a broader audience by announcing some significant advances in both membership and information accessibility.MESA announced a new free basic membership program for any individual who would like to take a deeper look at the organization and access the research available through its member network. Basic members may download any one whitepaper from the MESA website, as well as submit whitepapers, post job opportunities and appear in the website’s member listing. Basic membership will also enable individuals to receive MESA newsletters and serve on one of the association’s operating committees.MESA also unveiled a newly-redesigned Website, offering a cleaner, more intuitive interface and easier access to the volumes of information available through the organization. The new site also serves as a central hub for content generated by and for MESA’s growing global community of members.To take advantage of the new free membership program or to learn more about MESA, visit the organization online at www.mesa.org. By Marc Moschetto , Control Engineering editorial director