Got the official release from Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s press conference on Monday. Shot my laptop battery during the keynotes yesterday morning and never had a chance to sit down and plug in. Lots of meetings, but mostly background or gathering ideas for future articles.

MEAU announced the addition of the Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center to its e-F@ctory manufacturing solution. e-F@ctory is Mitsubishi Electric’s vision for manufacturing to connect control hardware, networks and enterprise IT systems–beginning with IBM and Microsoft and now extended to Oracle. It says it is the first hardware vendor with an Oracle tested and approved connection to the Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center.

“By combining the analytical power of Oracle Manufacturing Operations Center and the integrated architecture of the e-F@ctory solutions, customers now receive real-time information about their plant production,” said Bob Miller, solutions marketing manager, Mitsubishi Electric Automation. “Monitoring machine performance can also reduce downtime. By logging the system performance and run-times more accurately, timely intercession and preventive maintenance can be performed.”

MEAU includes the example of monitoring stock and usage to increase efficiency by keeping track of products that have been made and automatically creating new part and product orders according to up-to-the minute on-hand quantities. With e-F@ctory accomplishing information flow between plant floor and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, the company claims up to 65 percent increase in efficiency. It claims this is a better solution than using OPC.

The company is offering a “test drive” of the system. Check the Website for details.

When we started Automation World in 2003, there was much talk of shop floor to top floor communication. Many of the barriers are breaking down. Using technology under the hood from ILS Technology, an IBM spinoff that offers connectivity to enterprise databases in native format, MEAU is showing one way to accomplish this need. If a company is using Oracle (or IBM or Microsoft) as both ERP and for manufacturing operations management (MOM), then this quick tie should expedite flow of real-time information.

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