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Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and a global provider of product life cycle management (PLM) software and services, has promoted Charles C. "Chuck" Grindstaff to president, effective October 1, 2010. Grindstaff is the current executive vice-president of products and chief technology officer. He has worked in increasingly senior positions with Siemens PLM Software over 32 years. He succeeds Dr. Helmuth Ludwig, who Siemens Industry Automation announced would head its global communications team. Ludwig, who has served in increasingly senior positions with Siemens since 1990 and who joined Siemens PLM Software as president in 2007 soon after its acquisition by Siemens, will focus on working with each of the division's four business units to provide a range of strategic communications services. His appointment is also effective October 1.
THE COMPANY: Just as water is always in motion, so is the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA). Since 1993, OCWA has operated in a competitive market, providing a comprehensive array of water and wastewater services to municipalities, private sector companies and First Nations. Each day, OCWA produces more than 700 million litres of drinking water, and treats about 1.2 billion litres of wastewater at 502 facilities across Ontario. THE CHALLENGE: When it comes to water, delivering a clean, consistent and safe product to all citizens is paramount. After protecting public health and the environment, priorities turn to delivering value through outstanding service and cost-effective operations. THE STRATEGY: OCWA has kept these goals in sight as it has made strategic moves forward for its customers. In 1999, the agency developed its first Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Called Outpost 5, it was designed to work across large geographic areas to provide monitoring, reporting and security. Outpost 5 provides support to more than 750 OCWA locations, and is the largest such system in the North American water and wastewater industry. But OCWA's commitment to innovation did not stop there. As part of its promise for continuous improvement, the agency recognized an opportunity for progress. What if Outpost 5 could be enhanced through the integration of an off-the-shelf software solution with the current network base? Enhancing Outpost 5 with such a resource would enable the agency to operate more efficiently by taking advantage of templates and redundancy scenarios to roll out new locations more quickly with fewer staff. As envisioned by OCWA, the right solution would also improve their competitive advantage. Customers who choose OCWA as their provider today would have the option to take control of their system - without re-engineering - if they wished to do so in the future. They would simply purchase the necessary licenses to continue to run the application. And finally, this new approach would also provide greater continuity of service and quality control to meet regulatory requirements across the province. The R&D and IT departments at OCWA converted these ideas into specifications and sought out possible partners. Through the process of evaluations and presentations, it became clear that a Wonderware solution from Invensys offered critical advantages based on the similarities it shares with the Outpost 5 model. A transition to a Wonderware software solution would be eased because of scalable configuration and template structure, as well as strong web-based capabilities. Plus, Wonderware Canada East, the local Wonderware distributor for the project, added applicable experience and outstanding service capabilities. For OCWA, economies of scale are imperative. With more than a million square kilometres of territory to cover, the agency's teams are highly co-ordinated. Skilled technicians travel to remote locations for installations. Then they rely on colleagues working at the Toronto office to perform the programming, and still other groups in OCWA hubs around the province monitor and maintain the systems. THE RESULTS: None of this would be possible without a versatile solution that enables standardization. OCWA's Instrumentation, Automation and SCADA Group is responsible for deploying all of the installations. This team found that the Invensys Wonderware highly flexible System Platform and InTouch Human Machine Interface (HMI) could be integrated with Outpost 5, as well as OCWA's existing asset management system and Process Data Collection (PDC) database. Plus, with Wonderware software's template capabilities, the system could be replicated consistently and quickly at new installations. Ciprian Panfilie, SCADA developer team lead, explains, "It's easy because everything is developed as a template. We have a template structure at the Wonderware System Platform level, the reporting level, the security level, the graphic level, and we have templates that integrate with other packages as well. We have them all here in our lab so everything is fully tested and we maintain our standards." This brings a major advantage when new stations are added. Before integrating the Invensys Wonderware solution, OCWA required a complex, interdisciplinary team to work for six months to a year on new deployments. Now, they can do the same work with one person in about three months. And in the case of installations where the hardware is already in place, projects are even faster. Bringing the system online in large plants has gone from months to days. Along with these deployment advantages, the new solution also provides extensive measurement capabilities that are necessary for regulatory compliance in Ontario. Both OCWA work teams and emergency response teams rely on the system for real-time data about pump pressures, power consumption, piping systems, chemical levels and other performance factors. The data is used to respond to immediate needs, but also to compile reports that are required by the Ministry of Environment. George Terry, vice-president of operations and maintenance, says, "It's not enough just to do an excellent job in ensuring compliance at all times. What you have to ensure is that you are recording and documenting that work." It's also critical for OCWA to be able to defend its reporting. The agency is required to provide regular information to the Ministry of Environment. This data, collected from numerous sources - such as the pumps that deliver the water, the regulators that manage the chlorination and the labs that test the effluent - is reviewed, checked and rolled up into quarterly reports to prove compliance. Robert Simpson, manager, asset management and operational system support, elaborates: "We have to do this so that people are aware that they have a system that's working properly and providing them with clean, safe drinking water and properly treated wastewater. It's a continuous process." That's where the Wonderware Historian comes in. It enables each hub to record data in real time and convert it into reports that are submitted to the Ministry of Environment. And because of the extensive communications connections built into the system, staff throughout the operation can access the data instantaneously. In eastern Ontario, where severe weather is part of the picture, protecting OCWA's data is another area where Invensys Wonderware can help. Historian Forward is a sophisticated capability that maintains system data even if communications lines are temporarily down. Performance measurements - some taken as frequently as every five minutes - are stored locally, if needed, then forwarded to the central database once communications are re-established. Previously, OCWA had been hampered during power outages because remote staff members were not able to access records when connections were interrupted. Now access is optimized and data is protected. As the data is being collected, it is being monitored by OCWA's maintenance management system. Programmed with guidelines and allowable ranges for operations, the system automates the generation of alerts and work orders. Of course this benefits customers because it helps OCWA deliver a consistent product and a high level of service. But it also brings advantages to the agency's workers. The work orders enable crews to be proactive, since they can highlight budding problems before they progress. Additionally, management can better utilize personnel throughout the province because the Wonderware solution's web-based desktop capabilities mean that maintenance can be performed remotely. Simpson puts it this way: "You can be ahead of problems before they happen. Invensys Wonderware enables you to diagnosis a situation in a timely manner using a remote desktop. The last thing you do is physically go there." So it saves fuel costs, vehicle costs and operator time. The wide-area SCADA system also provides better work-life balance for OCWA's maintenance staff members. Because most corrections are made remotely, workers don't have to travel as much. And when system adjustments are needed, they usually can be addressed during the normal working day, eliminating more expensive, on-call hours. But if alarms do come in overnight, staff can log on to the Internet, make a correction and go back to sleep. The OCWA system incorporating the Wonderware software solution is considered cutting edge in North American water and wastewater management, but the agency is driven to implement further innovations. Plans include expanding web-based capabilities so that customers and partners can log on and see how their systems and services are operating, including performance information and quality measurements. Plus, OCWA envisions expanding its work with small and medium-sized utilities so that all municipalities in Ontario have access to the latest technology for clean water service. OCWA is also partnering with First Nations in Ontario. The agency hopes to be a resource for high-quality water and wastewater services, as well as emergency capabilities. Simpson sums it up: "The most important benefit is that it provides a scalable system for our clients, whether they are small or large. It incorporates the best technology and software available, and gives us the total solution to meet their needs, and meet all regulatory requirements to provide safe, clear drinking water throughout the province of Ontario." And with Invensys Wonderware, that's sure to continue.
THE COMPANY: IMT Partnership, based in Ingersoll, Ont., provides manufacturing, machining and forging services to the automotive, truck-trailer and oil and gas industries, as well as defence agencies, such as the Canadian Department of National Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense. The company's Ingersoll Axle brand is known for a wide selection of truck and trailer axles, including high-quality, customized axles that are delivered within weeks. THE CHALLENGE: IMT's operational excellence depends on IT systems, but the company ironically faced increasing difficulty maintaining the systems that made its manufacturing processes efficient. The software the company used was complex, expensive and did not support changing business needs or plans for growth at IMT. In 2007, IMT acquired a rival forging operation in Champaign, Ill. As it looked forward to integrating this and future acquisitions, it needed business management software that was easier to implement, maintain and modify. THE STRATEGY: After comparing software packages from various vendors, IMT concluded that Microsoft Dynamics AX provided the functionality and technical flexibility that the company needed. It allowed the company to add capabilities - like a new barcoding system for its manufacturing floor - and streamline processes. And because Microsoft Dynamics AX is based on the Windows operating system, IMT can more easily integrate the solution with its other systems, including specialized software for shop floor operations and timekeeping. THE RESULTS: Microsoft Dynamics AX provides IMT with the IT systems it needs to build high-quality, custom products for customers, while keeping maintenance and support costs to a minimum. In addition, the business management software has helped eliminate inefficiencies and created new opportunities for enhancements. Microsoft Dynamics AX brings together sales, supply chain, manufacturing and financial processes. An accountant used to spend at least an hour a day processing inventory changes for reporting purposes. Now, shipping and receiving information is automatically reflected in the system. Another plus: IMT was able to reduce the number of steps needed to place and monitor orders from 16 steps to just two. Microsoft Dynamics AX also increases visibility into operations so that IT managers can make better decisions. By identifying and solving problems earlier, IMT helps ensure its customers receive quality products on time, without any unnecessary waste in resources. For the complete story, visit http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Dynamics-AX-4.0/IMT-Partnership/Growing-Manufacturer-Integrates-Processes-Drives-Efficiency-with-Business-Software/4000002193.
THE COMPANY: Ganong is a Canadian manufacturer of gift box chocolates, fruit snacks and sugar confectionery. Operating out of its St. Stephen, N.B. location since 1873, the company was voted one of Canada's 50 Best-Managed Companies for three consecutive years. THE CHALLENGE: Despite being a mid-sized manufacturer, Ganong believed strongly in the value of an experienced information technology staff, and in what a new, fully integrated enterprise system could bring to the organization. Ganong's proprietary, heavily customized HP3000-based application was generally effective in processing the company's business transactions; however, management believed that an improved information management system would enable them to make better, timelier business decisions. Further, the new information system needed to have scalability, stronger order fulfillment, and manufacturing capacity management capabilities. Ganong also recognized that, while their confectionery manufacturing business environment placed them within the realm of needing a process-specific software application, they wouldn't require anywhere near the capabilities offered by most process manufacturing vendors. Instead, their manufacturing processes were aligned more towards a hybrid or mixed-mode style, with requirements for both batch and discrete capabilities. THE STRATEGY: Ganong engaged the IBM Global Services Division in Canada to assist with a formal evaluation of packaged applications. The team investigated several major applications on the market to determine which vendor offered a truly mid-market solution with the best balance of the following criteria: functionality, technology, price, ease-of-use and implementation. Ultimately, Ganong selected Sage ERP X3, knowing that the software solution had the right amount of functional depth and breadth to achieve the company's system objectives and attain the fastest return on investment. Factoring into the decision were the software's integrated automated data collection capabilities, a feature that must typically be acquired from third-party specialists. The Ganong team also liked Sage ERP X3's more technically advanced architecture. THE RESULTS: With Sage ERP X3, Ganong improved accuracy and reduced billing errors, and now tracks off-invoice allowances at a detailed level. Financial reporting is much improved, with easy access to financial and statistical profitability information. The accuracy and timeliness of production recording is greatly improved through the use of the integrated Sage ERP X3's data collection module, thereby improving the production planning process. "This is one feature of the system from which we derived benefits immediately right from go-live," says Marc Lefebvre, vice-president and CIO for Ganong. Since its initial implementation in 2002, Ganong has maximized its investment in Sage ERP X3, extending its usage across the organization and to additional users, and updating the software as new releases become available. A recent software upgrade to Version 5 boosted the functionality of the browser-based interface and added expanded inventory functionality. The browser interface proves ideal for remote users of the software, as well as local users who appreciate the familiar web look. Ganong has also implemented EDI, a process made much simpler due to the flexible architecture of Sage ERP X3, explains Lefebvre.
THE COMPANY: Mitchell Mill Systems Canada Ltd. designs and manufactures material handling equipment used in grain, livestock feed, pet food, fish food, fertilizer, seed cleaning and other industrial processes. THE CHALLENGE: For many years, the company used 2D CAD software to develop its material handling equipment designs. As the manufacturer grew, however, its equipment business included an increasing number of standard products. In addition to improving the development of custom material handling systems, the company's need for a 3D CAD application for realizing greater efficiencies in standard equipment assembly design became increasingly apparent, according to Stephen Mitchell, the company's president. "We have been developing material handling systems for some time, and the part of our business focused on standard product lines has grown to about 50 percent of the total," Mitchell explains. "We began looking into 3D tools primarily to improve our standard equipment development efforts through greater efficiencies in the handling of assemblies. Design reuse and configurable assemblies were important goals, and we also believed 3D would improve interaction with our customers." THE STRATEGY: Mitchell Mill Systems selected SolidWorks Professional software because of its ease of use, sheet-metal design features and large assembly capabilities. Mitchell Mill Systems also values the software's design configurations, interference detection and advanced visualization functionality. Mitchell Mill Systems managed its transition from 2D to 3D in phases, starting all new development of standard equipment in SolidWorks software before moving on to existing design modifications and retrofits, and then to custom-designed projects. The company quickly realized the benefits of visualizing large assembly designs in 3D as part of its CAD migration. THE RESULTS: "Because we can better visualize what we are designing - such as simulating motion to detect interferences - and because it's easier and faster to make design changes, we not only are saving time and money, but also boosting the level of innovation that we design into our systems," Mitchell notes. "With SolidWorks, we can both see where a collision can occur, which eliminates errors and reduces development costs, and explore new ideas, innovative concepts and better ways of doing things." With the implementation of SolidWorks software, the company has also achieved greater efficiency during equipment manufacturing and assembly. "Having a 3D model to work from generates additional efficiencies throughout production," Mitchell stresses. "Working from a 3D model makes it easier and faster to assemble our equipment. In manufacturing, our assembly time has improved since we moved to SolidWorks. "Having the 3D design and the 2D drawing as references gives our production personnel a better understanding of what they are building and manufacturing," Mitchell adds. "There are fewer assumptions and back-and-forth questions, which saves time and contributes to our overall productivity. SolidWorks is a tremendous tool when used properly." By moving to SolidWorks software, Mitchell Mill Systems has improved the quality and effectiveness of its communications with existing and prospective customers. The company uses 3D visuals produced in SolidWorks as part of its sales presentations and proposals, and relies on eDrawings design communication tools to communicate more effectively with customers. "With eDrawings, we can design our systems and send 3D models to our customers so they can visually evaluate the design," Mitchell points out. "Our customers can visualize the design better in 3D, and typically see things in the initial design that they might not have caught in 2D. This capability results in much better feedback from our customers, which translates into fewer customer problems and misunderstandings. "In addition to improving design communication with existing customers, 3D models certainly add pizzazz to our presentations and proposals," Mitchell adds. "More and more of our customers expect to see what a system looks like without trying to envision a 3D image from a 2D line drawing. SolidWorks provides us with the tools we need to secure new customers, and better communicate effectively with the customers we have worked with for years."
THE COMPANY: Incorporated in 1992, and headquartered in Montreal, Que., WeighPack Systems is a packaging equipment industry leader with an extensive, high-quality product line, and leading-edge packaging equipment designs. For more than 18 years, WeighPack has delivered packaging equipment for applications throughout the world, within industries as diverse as food, hardware and pharmaceuticals. "Our core business is the manufacture of weighing and bagging equipment," says company president and founder, Louis Taraborelli. "Our machines process snack food, frozen food, candy, hardware - anything in a bag." While WeighPack's primary market is the U.S., the company is rapidly expanding its international presence with locations in Chicago, Las Vegas and Shanghai, and a new location in Southern Florida. THE CHALLENGE: "We're not a high-volume business," says Taraborelli. "Most of our sales are build-to-order. Our products are extremely variable, and our customers typically require a high level of customization. In consequence, we need to maintain a huge inventory of stock codes and componentry across multiple warehouses and subsidiary companies. We require an ERP that gives us complete control over our inventory, and provides us with real-time financial information." THE STRATEGY: During the early 1990s, WeighPack hired a third-party consultant to research the ERP products available at the time. "We considered several brands of ERP," says Taraborelli, "but there was one product that clearly came out on top. In 1995, we implemented Syspro." Today, WeighPack has been leveraging Syspro for more than15 years. To prospective ERP users, Taraborelli offers a word of advice. "To gain optimal benefits from your ERP system, a company must be willing to make some changes to both workflow and work processes. After making the decision to buy, dedicate a project team to speed the implementation process, and facilitate the necessary changes." THE RESULTS: "We now have a standard platform across all our warehouses and subsidiary entities," says Taraborelli. "Using a centralized server, we can access real-time inventory information from any of our warehouses. We can also access the bookkeeping records of our subsidiary companies, allowing our accounting department to stay on top of our financial health. To get the same level of information without Syspro, I'd need double the accounting staff." Syspro lets WeighPack know to the penny what a job will cost in advance. "We can now predict the cost of a finished product before we do the job. And within seconds of the job being closed, we know the real cost, and can advise our sales department if they need to adjust the price for future business opportunities. "Syspro continually upgrades and revises its software to make use of emerging technologies," Taraborelli says. "Syspro invests in keeping its product leading edge. From my perspective, everyone at Syspro Canada is accessible, personable and interested in the well being of our company." For more information on WeighPack Systems, visit www.weighpack.com. For more information on Syspro, visit http://canada.syspro.com/?//.
THE COMPANY: B.C.-based StructureCraft Builders Inc. harnesses master-craftsmen traditions, sophisticated engineering and modern construction techniques to create complex structures. The company recently demonstrated its engineering and design prowess in building the now iconic roof for the 2010 Richmond Olympic Oval. THE CHALLENGE: StructureCraft has earned particular recognition for its exposed wood and timber structures. But designing wood structures does have its challenges - in particular, balancing aesthetics and function. Not only did the Olympic Oval roof need to be beautiful, it had to control and dampen echoes, as well as hide electrical, mechanical and sprinkler systems. In addition, StructureCraft co-ordinates and communicates with a wide range of stakeholders on projects, from the project owner and architect to manufacturers and subcontractors. THE STRATEGY: Co-ordinating a project such as this without visual models would be nearly impossible. StructureCraft relied on Autodesk Inventor software, which helped the company to iterate complex design options more quickly, co-ordinate with subcontractors and project partners, communicate designs clearly to stakeholders, and streamline fabrication. To meet the acoustical and aesthetic requirements of the Richmond Oval roof, StructureCraft explored in Autodesk Inventor software the many different options for the pattern that ultimately drove the WoodWave roof panel design. For project co-ordination, Autodesk Inventor incorporated components from other trades and manufacturers into its design. StructureCraft credits the interoperability and extensive user base of Autodesk software with making co-ordination with trades and manufacturers easier, allowing them to efficiently share data with subcontractors. And if an issue arose, StructureCraft could pass along the information to the appropriate trade accurately and quickly. THE RESULTS: By making the data manageable, StructureCraft was able explore design changes easily, and keep complexity at bay. With help from Autodesk Inventor software, StructureCraft completed the Richmond Olympic Oval project on aggressive schedules, meeting the complex design requirements within budget.
THE COMPANY: Magna Advanced Technologies is a division of Magna International Inc., a global automotive parts manufacturer based in Aurora, Ont. The company designs, develops and manufactures automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, and engineers and assembles complete vehicles. The Advanced Technologies division focuses on the development of new products and technologies - from prototyping to tooling. THE CHALLENGE: The automotive market is very competitive, and has faced many economic challenges in recent years. As a result, "capital is always constrained, [and] companies, Magna included, are always looking to conserve capital expenditures where possible," explains Durward Smith, director of Magna Advanced Technologies. "We need our programs and processes to be running as fast as possible." The company aims to develop new products and technologies that will help make parts faster and better without sacrificing quality. THE STRATEGY: Magna Advanced Technologies chose PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL, from Delcam, to machine parts because the software allows them to easily transition from prototyping to tooling. PowerSHAPE CAD software provides a complete environment to take product ideas from concept to reality. It offers the freedom to manipulate surface form of the CAD model, to build from wire frame and make global changes with solid feature operations and editing. PowerMILL CAM software is designed for the manufacture of complex shapes typically found in the aerospace, automotive, medical device and tool making industries. The solution allows for high-efficiency roughing, high-speed finishing, five-axis machining techniques and fast calculation times, and provides powerful editing tools to ensure optimum performance on the machine tool. THE RESULTS: Paul Miranda, a project leader for Magna Advanced Technologies, and a designer of many of the company's inventive and inspired creations, couldn't be happier with the Delcam solution. "I've used several softwares in the past. PowerMill, by far, is the quickest, easiest to use," he explains.
THE COMPANY: Based in Port Coquitlam, B.C., Wesgar Inc. is one of the largest precision sheet metal manufacturers in Western Canada. The company's slogan, "Artistry in Metal," reflects Wesgar's innovative approach to manufacturing and its overall mantra. Wesgar prides itself on being the premier provider for companies throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with precision sheet metal requirements. In business for nearly 45 years, Wesgar designs and manufactures products for a wide variety of industries. THE CHALLENGE: Wesgar began implementation of Epicor's Vantage manufacturing solution in 2008, and moved to the next-generation Epicor 9 enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in June 2009. "We wanted a modern manufacturing platform that offered better access to data for reporting and customization," explains Troy Richman, IT manager at Wesgar. "We also were looking for improved scheduling capabilities, and the ability to leverage fully integrated financials." Richman says the move to Epicor took less than three months to implement and go live, and the process was pretty smooth throughout. "Everything worked out very well," he says, adding that one of the biggest challenges was getting users comfortable with the system in a relatively short time period. "We definitely took advantage of Epicor's online educational tools, and the onsite support from Epicor consultants who were at Wesgar for about a week and half." THE STRATEGY: The company maintains a total manufacturing space of 80,000 square feet, and its 5,000-square-foot assembly cell has the capability to perform simple to complex mechanical and electrical assemblies. Richman explains that the company is "viewed internally and externally as a branch plant for each of our customers." The company's goal is to ensure its customers become the most cost-effective manufacturers in their industry. To achieve this goal, Wesgar employs state-of-the-art machining, highly skilled personnel and systems, as well as Lean Manufacturing practices combined with Continuous Improvement methods to simultaneously increase the quality, decrease the costs of component parts, and increase velocity to the market. Wesgar looks to Epicor's fully integrated suite of manufacturing and distribution management solutions to help support such initiatives. THE RESULTS: Among the new features of Epicor that Wesgar is leveraging is the solution's streamlined graphical user interface, which enhances visibility of data by making it easier to drill down for more detailed information, and "right-click" features, which facilitate customized reports. "Users know how to get the data they need. This is very empowering to them, and it saves me a lot of time not having to show each user how to find the information they are looking for," explainS Richman. Integrated scheduling functionality allows Wesgar to schedule more resources more efficiently than ever before. It vastly improves the visibility and access to schedules throughout the plant, and reduces lead times. Wesgar has been able to improve its operational visibility and efficiency via Epicor's Material Requirements Planning (MRP) capabilities, which help manage materials consumed, forecast end-product requirements, adjust production as forecasts change, and generate suggested purchase orders to fill anticipated gaps in raw material inventory. For custom jobs, this enables Wesgar to closely manage costing of each set of production; and Epicor's comprehensive Quality Suite automates the regulatory compliance process, helping Wesgar meet ISO requirements. Richman also says the company has benefitted from Epicor's integrated financials, which provide users with the ability to drill down into financial reports to provide the requisite high-level "big picture" information, as well as access to more detailed information for financial "power users." "Prior to Epicor, our accounting was mostly a manual process," says Richman. "Now it's all in one place, and we have visibility to all transactions. Our accounting group is particularly happy with the system's support for FIFO (First in, First out) costing. We're also now able to quickly see and track our estimated costs versus real costs, for improved financial control and management of the business."
THE COMPANY: Davis Controls, based in Oakville, Ont., is a distributor, representative and licensed assembler for international manufacturers of instrumentation and control products, offering a range of products for the industrial market. Founded in 1933, Davis employs 50 people in seven offices, working with more than 30 suppliers to serve thousands of customers across Canada and the United States through local sub-distributors and representatives. THE CHALLENGE: In an organization such as Davis Controls, seamless communication and information exchange with the entire value chain is crucial. When the company's sales and distribution began to excel, the organization started to take another look at their internal business processes to insure they could meet competitive pressures, one of which was customer service expectations. Davis Controls was having difficulties wrapping their arms around their growth and accelerated internal processes, putting a real strain on their relationships with customers, partners, suppliers and distributors. The company kept their information in separate silos, and frequently did not have instant access to their own workplace information, leading to timely delays and poor communication. THE STRATEGY: Davis Controls immediately recognized the need to streamline its business processes and consolidate its workplace information for real-time review and analysis across the entire value chain, aiding in customer support. "Integration of both disparate solutions and multiple processes was critical to us, not only between departmental information and function, but between employees, customers and suppliers," states Neil Montgomery, president and CEO of Davis Controls. THE RESULTS: Davis Controls was already using Exact Macola ES for its back-office ERP needs, so the integration with Exact Synergy was an easy transition for the company because it provided what other solutions did not - one holistic view of the company's business operations, and the ability to enhance its existing ERP investment. Exact Synergy's web-based collaboration platform brought together the essential people, processes and knowledge by allowing real-time collaboration between departments, offices, countries and, just as importantly, Davis Controls' outside partners, so that everyone was working with the same, accurate information. "Synergy, by default, breaks down functional silos through its integration of workplace data, while its workflow facilitates function through communication," explains Montgomery. "We have complete management of value chain, financial, workflow, document and project information through an online browser. You can't get more powerful than that." Davis Controls continued to invest in the Exact Software e-business suite, with the purchase of Exact Event Manager, which enables organizations to define the events important to their business and the actions they would like to take in response to these events. This application, along with Synergy workflow, truly provides a complete business operations system for Davis Controls, helping to streamline processes across the entire organization. With Exact Synergy and Exact Event Manager, Montgomery believes the possibilities are endless. "Synergy grows as Davis Controls grows, and has improved our bottom line and increased productivity," says Montgomery. "Bringing the value chain into our organization has resulted in faster customer feedback, true collaboration and greater efficiencies. We can't imagine our corporate life without Synergy." For more information about Exact Software, visit www.exactamerica.com.
THE COMPANY: Backed by 40 years of experience, Drayton Valley, Alta.-based Surefire SCADA Inc. creates web-based hosted SCADA systems that encompass all aspects of industrial automation. The company designs and implements industrial control systems and maintains information technology. THE CHALLENGE: One of Surefire SCADA's customers was looking for a solution to get a fast, reliable update performance. Previous solutions from industry leaders couldn't deliver both. Kyle Chase, a systems integration specialist for Surefire SCADA, describes the dilemma: "One product gave them the reliability, but it could only give updates once every eight seconds, and the customer needed updates every second. Another product they tried provided the performance needed, but it would shut down every day." THE STRATEGY: Earlier this year, Chase found Ignition by Inductive Automation, which included an OPC-UA server, making the entire software system Linux compatible. Having used Inductive Automation software for the past three years with much success, he was confident in trying out the company's newest release for the distillation refinery project. THE RESULTS: After conducting dry runs with the system, Chase has been more than pleased with the results. "The performance is absolutely crazy," he says. "Ignition is actively subscribed to 30,000 tags with updates every second. We can finally monitor all of our tags at the speed we want, with the reliability we need." Chase is sold on OPC-UA and being able to use Linux for control systems. "To me, the move to a true cross platform environment is important," he explains. "This holds many advantages, especially when it comes to system flexibility and security. It helps keep costs down as well." For more information about Ignition by Inductive Automation, visit www.inductiveautomation.com.
Dassault Systèmes, a provider of 3D and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, recently launched V6R2011, the latest release of its PLM 2.0 platform, as part of its Lifelike Experience strategy. The release includes advances in collaborative creation with 874 new features, additional collaborative innovation enhancements, as well as an entirely new V6 Academia solution. V6R2011 includes CATIA advancements in systems functionality and content, such as various automotive-focused Modelica libraries, as well as Lifelike Human and Lifelike Conveyor - two new DELMIA production solutions for enterprise resource modelling. V6R2011 also updates Dassault Systèmes' PLM Express offer with new key attributes for the mid-market. A complete list of functionality enhancements in V6R2011 is available at http://www.3ds.com/products/v6/latest-release/.
Remtec Inc., a subsidiary of Remcor Inc., designs and manufactures tanker trailers for petroleum products. These are the big tanks you see delivering gasoline to service stations but they also transport other petroleum products, such as asphalt. While from the outside it may look like one big tank, on the inside, it is divided into four to six separate compartments. Remtec is the main petroleum tanker trailer manufacturer in Quebec, based in Chambly, but its parent company owns a similar business in British Columbia as well as two in the U.S. (in Nebraska and South Carolina). According to Remtec's director of research and development, André Bourgault, the market for these tanker trailers is not as large as for other truck trailers, so competition is strong. Customers expect faster and faster delivery times, so "the ability to design and assemble a trailer fast is a competitive advantage," he says. In addition to the pressure to deliver tankers quickly, Remtec faces other challenges in the design of its products. First, these tanker trailers consist of many parts (some designed in house, others provided by suppliers) and it's necessary to keep track of everything with an accurate bill of material (BOM). Second, because Remtec's tankers are oval rather than round (to lower the center of gravity and prevent rolling over), designers must work with complex shapes, in particular where the front and back "heads" of the tanker interface with the main portion of the body. Third, the majority of these designs involve sheet metal, making the creation of accurate flat pattern drawings crucial. Remtec's previous CAD system was 2D AutoCAD. It claimed it was difficult to do this work in 2D, especially when creating the complex surfaces of the heads as well as keeping BOMs up to date. It was necessary to create a new BOM each time a design variation was made. This was also true for the sheet metal flat patterns. With AutoCAD it was also more difficult to detect interferences prior to having parts made. Errors that were detected on the shop floor delayed delivery and increased development costs. Realizing that 3D modeling could address these issues, Remtec evaluated a number of solid modelers, and the first couple was ruled out due to cost. SolidWorks and Solid Edge were put through a thorough benchmarking process that led to the selection of Solid Edge. "The Solid Edge guys took better care of us and we were satisfied with the capabilities of the software," Bourgault explains. "Also, Solid Edge is easy to learn and use." WORKING QUICKLY, VIRTUALLY Remtec now builds virtual, complete tanker assemblies in Solid Edge, parameterizing the model so that it can be changed quickly to meet a customer's needs. "We have several models and depending on what the customer wants, we simply modify variables such as length, height, width, number of compartments and so on," Bourgault says. "With parametric modeling, this happens much quicker than it used to with AutoCAD." Once a parametric model is done, it takes Remtec about half as much time as it did in the past to tailor a design to a customer's specifications. One very important benefit of Solid Edge is its sheet metal modeling environment. Once a sheet metal part is designed, the flat pattern is generated automatically. "With 2D this was very time consuming, but with Solid Edge it is just a mouse click," Bourgault notes. A BOM is also just a mouse click away once the model is finished, saving the company the 12 to 15 hours that used to be required to generate a single BOM from drawings. The BOMs are also more complete because Solid Edge counts all the small items such as fittings, washers and bolts that used to be omitted in the past. When a customer asks for something unique and a new design is required, Remtec no longer builds a mockup. Remtec is confident about doing this because the company is able to detect interferences in the software. The accuracy of the designs created in Solid Edge has made it possible to design and build a first production unit 20 percent faster than before. And because there are fewer errors and scrapped parts, the company saves money on development costs. Solid Edge brings other advantages as well. Production drawings are now easier for shop personnel to understand. "They are clearer than before because now we can do exploded views and 3D views. The guys in the shop all like that and there is less error in assembly now," Bourgault says. "Another advantage of Solid Edge is that designers like it. It is a lot more motivating to work in 3D." Remtec also sends its 3D images to its customers for design reviews. The customers find the 3D images much easier to interpret than 2D drawings. John Smith is a technical writer for Siemens PLM. (c)2010 Siemens PLM Software Inc. Reprinted with permission.
Level II Introduction to Robotics – e-Cobra/Viper/Cobot
July 9-17, 2019
Product Safety & Liability Prevention Seminar
August 7-8, 2019
Digital Industry USA
September 10-12, 2019
EMO Hannover 2019
September 16-21, 2019
Autonomous Mobile Robot Conference
September 17, 2019
International Metrology Congress
September 24-26, 2019