GE Fanuc gets new name; backs new ARC manufacturing model

Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group is offering up what it calls “Collaborative Production Systems” (CPS) as a new manufacturing model that views operations management and automation control as a single collaborative space. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms—which combines the former GE Fanuc Automation and GE Fanuc Embedded Systems—has been quick to say it sees the effi...
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff January 1, 2008

Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group is offering up what it calls “Collaborative Production Systems” (CPS) as a new manufacturing model that views operations management and automation control as a single collaborative space.

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms —which combines the former GE Fanuc Automation and GE Fanuc Embedded Systems—has been quick to say it sees the efficacy of the emerging model. Perhaps that’s because the GE reorganization and name change are a response to the same market and technology forces that are behind the new model.

GE says the name change better reflects its real focus—that is, rather than simply supplying automation products or embedded computing components, the company provides solutions that combine domain expertise, automation, and IT elements.

In somewhat like manner, the ARC model presents a holistic vision of manufacturing that extends from IT-based management systems to automation elements such as PLCs, says Craig Resnick, research director with ARC.

CPS combines ARC’s collaborative process automation systems (CPAS) and operations management models, outlining systems infrastructure as well as the requirements, functions, people, and processes needed for manufacturers to achieve operational excellence.

“Collaborative Production Systems prevent assets from being niche islands of information, and ensure that all assets deliver maximum return-on-investment to manufacturers and shareholders,” says Resnick. “Collaborative Production Systems also eliminate manufacturers’ internal barriers that may exist between, for example, plant-floor and IT personnel.”

According to Bill Estep, VP of control systems for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, the company wants to break down the barriers associated with traditional “layered” production environment with thought leaders such as ARC.

ARC’s CPS model highlights the need for collaboration and integration among the domains of automation and operations management. Working together, these domains form a framework for operational excellence in the manufacturing industries.

“We have solutions that align with the CPS model to deliver the consolidation of process control, automation/visualization, and production management functionality that connects into enterprise and supply chain systems,” Estep says. “Dissolving the walls and eliminating boundaries customers have faced between operations management and automation systems is exactly what we focus on with our solutions, and ARC’s CPS model clearly articulates the next-generation model for those seeking operational excellence.”

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms solutions are a good match for Cascades Group , a Quebec-based specialist in packaging products. Cascades Group recently chose the GE Fanuc Proficy suite of production management solutions to meet business-optimization requirements for its worldwide manufacturing operations, says Daniel Gelineau, VP of operations, Cascades Tissue Groupe.

“Cascades is focused on leadership in our industry, and to do that, we need visibility into our production operations,” says Gelineau. “The Production Management Software solution enables us to become very nimble in our development and delivery processes, empowering us to optimize profit as well as global growth.”