CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Dec. 12 — GE Intelligent Platforms today announced that it is building on the expertise of GE as a world-class manufacturer to introduce advanced manufacturing software solutions that drive lower costs, faster production and tighter control on quality. Deployed at GE manufacturing plants around the world, these solutions are continuously honed to keep GE and other manufacturers competitive in their markets.
The software solutions, called Proficy for Manufacturing, address key challenges faced by companies across a diverse range of manufacturing businesses. The first in the family is aimed at long cycle, engineer- or build-to-order (ETO or BTO) complex manufacturing operations. For companies in aerospace, defense, heavy equipment, energy or other complex discrete manufacturing industries, paper-based processes to manage plant floor production are still the norm. The need for comprehensive visibility into production performance has become increasingly important to stay competitive. Elimination of the paper-based processes through digitization provides fast, reliable and accurate information manufacturing businesses need to effectively manage their operations and work toward optimizing their supply chains.
“Manufacturers and their suppliers face multiple industry challenges today,” said Jim Walsh, Software General Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms. “These include agile product development, price pressures, customization to meet consumer demand, quality, and, of course, cost.”
GE companies deploying pieces of the solutions have already realized significant benefits such as: 70% faster order-to-delivery, 15% reduced WIP, 12% less rework and 24% reduced warranty costs.
A key aspect of Proficy for Manufacturing includes the ability to reduce costs through MES digitization of existing paper processes. Manufacturers can then leverage the benefits of digitized processes such as reducing waste, increasing flexibility and decreasing lead times. Digitization makes it possible to capitalize on the value of fast, reliable and accurate information to maximize production performance, save time and money while still providing a consistent high quality product.
The main points of digitizing for many complex manufacturers are:
- Produce products faster to enable single piece flow manufacturing, improve throughput, reduce lead times and balance workloads;
- Reduce Work In Process to enable “Just In Time” material delivery, free up floor space, and reduce the cost of inventory;
- Gain tighter control on quality that will serve to standardize proven processes, eliminate process waste, reduce rework and meet regulations in a more efficient way.
“The key thing we’re striving to do is drive for standard, repeatable tasks throughout the process,” said Jeannine Abele, CIO – Supply Chain Division of GE Aviation. “We want to make it easy for our employees to execute the work that they need to complete. In addition, we need to put auditability and traceability in place so we have a verifiable record of what’s been done to every part, to every engine, throughout the whole lifecycle of the manufacturing process.”
GE Aviation is one of the first companies to pilot Proficy for Manufacturing at its plant in Middle River, Maryland. Other companies working with Intelligent Platforms include GE Power & Water in Belfort, France; GE Energy Storage in Schenectady, New York; GE Transportation in Las Vegas, Nevada and Kansas City, Missouri; GE Lighting in Hendersonville, North Carolina; GE Power Conversion in Campinas, Brazil; and GE Appliances in Louisville, Kentucky.
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