GE Fanuc Closes Loop Between Production and Maintenance Systems

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, announced its newest addition to the Proficy software suite of Production Management solutions—Proficy Maintenance Gateway. The new software closes the loop between the plant floor and plant/corporate maintenance systems by using real-time production data, events, and information to drive maintenance. With bidirectional communication between production and maintenance systems, companies can improve asset reliability to reduce equipment failure rates and increase uptime.

"Production teams are looking for every advantage they can gain and every loop they can close—strategically moving from reactive to reliable maintenance," said Barry Lynch, Proficy Product Manager for GE Fanuc. "With Proficy Maintenance Gateway, manufacturers can drive maintenance systems with accurate, timely data that significantly extends the value of their existing systems, raises overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and increases return on production assets."

Proficy Maintenance Gateway monitors data points, events, trends, and conditions on the plant floor in GE Fanuc's production management software, Proficy Plant Applications, and maps maintenance-related asset information from enterprise asset management systems (EAM). Tightly integrating the two software systems, Proficy Maintenance Gateway uses the information in equipment to drive real-time optimization of maintenance systems. The software's rules-based configuration engine allows users to define business logic in an intuitive, drag-and-drop environment, which speeds deployment. The system then monitors data points on the plant floor, executes the business logic defined by the user, and executes the defined actions in the EAM system, such as creating a maintenance work order.

"Production teams can leverage Proficy Maintenance Gateway to monitor conditions, trends, or events on the plant floor," said Lynch. "The real-time responsiveness allows companies to react to problems more quickly or even to react to issues before they become problems, which can reduce unplanned downtime, improve first-pass quality and decrease waste. And Proficy Maintenance Gateway is just one of several production management software solutions that GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms is releasing in 2008 with enterprise-enabling capabilities."

The data starts at the deepest level of a company's plant systems architecture—the control layer—where PLCs, DCS, CNCs, and other devices provide the raw manufacturing data. From there, the data can be stored in a central repository for the site and then loaded into the business rules engine of Proficy Maintenance Gateway. This powerful engine contains rules that can be adapted over time to achieve a state of reliable maintenance in the plant environment.

Embarking on a path to increase asset reliability with GE Fanuc's Proficy Maintenance Gateway can help organizations to:

  • Raise OEE
  • Increase return on production assets
  • Decrease time to repair
  • Minimize unplanned downtime
  • Complete preventative maintenance work orders on time
  • Enhance Lean/Six Sigma initiatives
  • Reduce maintenance, repair, and operations inventory
  • Leverage corporate purchasing power
  • Boost return on installed EAM solutions

Most software technologies used to connect plant floor systems with enterprise applications require highly trained professionals with extensive knowledge of computers, networks, and databases. As an out-of-the-box solution, Proficy Maintenance Gateway allows plant engineering and maintenance personnel to easily manage this connectivity and support preventative, predictive, and emergency maintenance strategies. Users can view maintenance-related and performance-related information of each asset in one place—something not easily done before today.

In its first release, Proficy Maintenance Gateway provides a bidirectional connection between Proficy Plant Applications and MAXIMO. Future releases will connect to additional EAM software solutions, including SAP Enterprise Asset Management and Datastream 7i. Proficy Maintenance Gateway is available in April 2008.

About GE Fanuc
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a joint venture between General Electric and FANUC Ltd. of Japan, is a high-performance technology company and a global provider of hardware, software, services, expertise, and experience in automation and embedded computing, with products employed in virtually every industry, including manufacturing automation, defense, automotive, telecommunications, healthcare, and aerospace. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms is a worldwide company headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, and is part of GE Enterprise Solutions.

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