Global manufacturing competition has increased significantly over the past decade. To gain an advantage over competitors, leading companies are identifying and leveraging the best technological solutions the market has to offer. One of the key ways manufacturing organizations have been facing complex operational challenges is through the use of Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) software applications.
MOM solutions are important in facilitating full visibility into manufacturing operations. They are key for connecting information from the shop-floor to larger, enterprise-level business software, enabling end-to-end visibility into production processes. And the resultant actionable information is a crucial tool business leaders are using to identify areas for improvement and adjustment in their manufacturing organizations.
The MOM software space has grown in functionality and application over the past several years, and has in many cases already proven its value to customers in ways such as facilitating real-time decision making, enabling enterprise-wide materials and product traceability, or capturing the knowledge and expertise of aging production workers. Nevertheless, it’s a space that still benefits from clarification and a guiding hand.
At LNS Research, we’ve held briefings with top vendors in the MOM space, and released our MOM Solution Selection Guide, the purpose of which is to provide direction to manufacturing professionals considering an implementation. And each week, we’ve been highlighting a different vendor from the guide.
This week, we’re covering GE Intelligent Platforms, the industrial automation/industrial software division of the larger General Electric Corporation.
A Brief Overview of GE Intelligent Platforms’ Proficy Software Portfolio
The GE Intelligent Platforms division was created to deliver hardware and software technology platforms with a strong focus on selling through solution providers. However, the company does provide automation and solutions to end users as well. GE’s Proficy branded industrial software offerings include HMI/SCADA, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), data management and analytics software, business process management, and real-time operational intelligence.
The Proficy portfolio is comprehensive, having evolved over the past decades through a series of acquisitions, developments, and integrations. Combined with a new partnership with PTC for integration with engineering/PLM software, these capabilities have been announced as Proficy for Discrete Manufacturing. We see this combination offering as being able to deliver fully digitized design and manufacturing processes, real-time connectivity, operational visibility, and standardization in the future. These solutions are targeted especially at the industrial equipment, aerospace, energy, oil & gas, and medical devices industries.
The company also has a long history of providing software applications to several process and hybrid industries such as pulp and paper, food and beverage, mining, and utilities. In order to better serve these industries’ needs, GE IP has developed a number of pre-configured applications for Proficy, known as Accelerators, to speed the time to value for targeted applications. Some examples include Packaging Line OEE, Manufacturing Energy Management, Weighing Operations, and Production Efficiency.
The company’s Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach and extensive use of the latest OPC UA standard is consistent with our view of a next-generation MOM integration and collaboration platform that can connect from the plant floor to the ERP suite. Proficy contains a common workflow, data model, and analytics engine for connecting manufacturing with the extended value chain.
LNS Research feels that GE IP has a strong understanding of manufacturing processes and the requirements of delivering enterprise-class software platforms, as the company uses its own offerings for many of its internal manufacturing operations. Additionally, messaging from GE Corporate and GE Intelligent Platforms on the potential of the interconnected world and “Internet of Things” is at the forefront of this developing technology, and we hope to see GE accelerate its cloud-based/SaaS offerings into the market in support of these trends.
An In-Depth Look at GE Intelligent Platforms’ MOM Software Capabilities
For a closer look at GE Intelligent Platforms’ software functionality read the LNS Research MOM Solution Selection Guide. This guide closely examines more than 20 MOM vendors based on criteria such as specific functionalities, company sizes served, industry strengths, technology delivery platforms and models, geographic footprint, and time to solution value. It also breaks down GE Intelligent Platforms’ core attributes by current and emerging strengths and total coverage areas.