Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Leverage Workflow Technologies in Manufacturing

MESA International has released Whitepaper #32 to educate MESA members on approaches available to leverage workflow-enabled technologies to drive value in their plants and across their extended operations.

Workflows are structured activities primarily involving human-to-human or human-to-machine interactions, all directed toward the realization of profitable operations without compromising safety, reliability and consistency. Workflow technology is starting to move from a purely IT domain practice into the Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) domain as defined by ISA-95. This shift therefore justifies a deep understanding by MESA for its global community.

Charlie Gifford, Chair of the MESA/ISA-95 Best Practices Working Group and one of the paper’s authors noted, "Bill Gates was quoted as saying 'The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.' His point is especially true in production operations, and that’s why MESA is at the forefront of documenting the challenges, approaches, methodologies and best practices to drive value in this area."

The paper explores the globalization and organizational challenges associated with the introduction of workflow technology into MOM by providing examples of workflow technology implemented in production environments. These challenges, and the associated technologies to address them, are applicable across all manufacturing environments, but the paper provides a focus on the continuous process industries. It also provides a global viewpoint with input from North America and Southern Asia constituents.

This paper was produced as part of the MESA/ISA-95 Best Practices Working Group through an international peer review process involving 5 or more subject matter reviewers. This MESA whitepaper will also be published in one of two methodologies best practices collections by ISA, “Book 2.0, When Worlds Collide in Manufacturing Operations”. (Collections published by ISA, 1/1/11)
This whitepaper is available via MESA’s Resource Library.

MESA premium members have complimentary access to over 250 white papers, presentations, MOM/MES guidebooks, industry studies and web casts in the Resource Library. Others can purchase individual papers from the Resource Library for $25.00 per paper.

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