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Product News: GE Digital enhances its cloud-based manufacturing-execution systems

Feb. 9, 2023
Promises to reduce total cost of ownership, decrease maintenance and boost security.

GE Digital announced new enhancements to its cloud-based manufacturing-execution systems (MES) software in the Proficy Smart Factory portfolio during the  ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida. Lowering capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) compared to on-premises implementations, the Proficy Smart Factory cloud MES software promises to help process, discrete, and mixed-environment manufacturers of any size to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) up to 30%, decrease maintenance, and improve security.

Fully hosted as a managed service, Proficy Smart Factory cloud MES provides companies with the robust, composable no-code technology to improve their operations in real-time, along with the flexibility to deploy in a way that best suits their needs. Manufacturers can decrease maintenance resource overhead and increase performance with the latest features and newest software releases provided quickly through the cloud infrastructure. With a cloud-based, managed MES solution, manufacturers will no longer have to worry about patching the OS and supporting software; additionally, manufacturers can increase security through software managed at scale including GE Digital-managed security updates.

“With MES as a Service, manufacturers can achieve a fast-track to modern manufacturing operations and frontline guidance, enabling connected workers across the enterprise,” said Richard Kenedi, general manager of GE Digital’s manufacturing and digital plant business. “We’ve combined our long-term MES knowledge and analyst-recognized technology with the latest in cloud innovation. By reducing the costs and human power needed to deploy and maintain an MES, any manufacturer can implement an adaptable production system and gain the real-time operations optimization to support digital transformation, continuous improvement, and lean initiatives.”

Proficy Smart Factory’s cloud-based MES also can save manufacturers time with dozens of out-of-the-box screens for process, discrete, and mixed manufacturing environments, per GE Digital, adding that the software can improve operator response with rich visualization, and manufacturers can easily customize MES screens without writing code. Companies can increase agility and consistency by managing operations both locally and across the global enterprise through a single, seamless MES.

Proficy Smart Factory includes cloud MES software modules for overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), production management, and quality management. The OEE module tracks and monitors OEE and other critical key performance indicators such as downtime, waste, production counts, MTBF, MTTR, and more. Manufacturers can automatically or manually associate events with causes and then analyze to identify root causes.

The Production Management module provides capabilities to define and control revisions of the route and operations required to make a specific product on a specific line. It oversees production operations, including functions to control product flow between equipment, develop product genealogy reports, and make schedule changes to reduce excess inventory. It supports production schedule execution and product tracking against scheduled completion times with adjustments to optimize efficiencies. Production management supports full traceability of individual products through every step of the manufacturing process enabling auditable genealogy and production reporting.

Lastly, the Quality Management software can drive consistent quality in products, providing real-time trends, statistics, SPC, and notifications, per its maker. It integrates process, inspection, and test data from both manual and automated sources, and houses this information in one, integrated place—including support for 21 CFR Part 11. Quality Management also attaches operator comments, specifications, recipes, and procedure documents.