MAPICS Teams with Georgia Tech

Manufacturing Research Center targets information exchange standards in electronics industry

Atlanta — March 18, 2003 — e-Business solution provider MAPICS has teamed up with the Georgia Institute of Technology's Manufacturing Research Center (MARC) to include leading a series of pilot implementations of a next-generation information exchange framework for electronics manufacturing.

Headquartered in Atlanta, MAPICS provides extended enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) solutions targeted at manufacturers.

The provider has been involved with Georgia Tech's MARC for nearly three years and leads the Framework Implementation Project (FIP) as the only manufacturing-focused ERP solution provider involved. The purpose of the FIP program is to design, implement and test industry standards that streamline information exchange for electronics assembly and link all aspects of a manufacturing enterprise in real-time.

"We're using live factory environments to prove that electronics manufacturers can reduce the cost and time of manufacturing their products by decreasing the complexity of communication among shop floor equipment and extended enterprise applications," explained Steven Danyluk, director of Georgia Tech's MARC. "A flexible and complete set of enterprise applications is a critical contributor to the interoperability of a manufacturing enterprise, so we're very pleased that MAPICS has joined us in this industry-leading effort."

Georgia Tech's MARC, with the backing of major equipment manufacturers, electronics manufacturers, and software and hardware vendors, has established the FIP to build upon and implement the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) Plug and Play Factory Project, an initiative created to standardize data syntax and semantics in electronics assembly, establishing rules for data exchange from the factory floor and across the enterprise.

The coalition is implementing and testing a computer-aided manufacturing exchange (CAMX), a series of standards that are based on extensible markup language (XML) and that define how and what information is exchanged on the factory floor and throughout a manufacturing organization. These standards, which electronics manufacturers know as the IPC 2500 series, are used to provide a common language that facilitates real-time, efficient sharing of critical business data among shop floor equipment and business process applications, with the potential to reduce costs and decrease cycle time.

"MAPICS recognizes the importance of linking all the parts of a manufacturing operation, from the shop floor to the executive offices," said Jeff Cashman, chief marketing executive of MAPICS. "The Framework Implementation Project gives customers a unique opportunity to connect the business side of manufacturing with real-time shop floor information and achieve efficiency, accuracy and significant cost savings, a truly world-class manufacturing environment."

To date, three in-plant deployments of the FIP have been completed: September 2002 at Motorola's plant in Seguin, Texas; January 2003 at NACOM's plant in Griffin, Ga.; and February 2003 at the Nortel Networks plant in Calgary, Alberta. In all three projects, the CAMX standards provided real-time data about products, processes and the shop floor equipment, giving users quick and easy access to information such as work in process, throughput, yield and equipment utilization.