GE Fanuc launches Proficy Workflow

System touted as industrial business process management system
By Plant Engineering Staff March 18, 2008

GE Fanuc announced Tuesday, March 18 its launch of Proficy Workflow to provide a digital workflow production process that the company said will drive adoption of industrial-based Business Process Management systems.

“Proficy Workflow brings the power and results of BPM to the industrial environment,” said Erik Udstuen, GE Fanuc’s software general manager. “GE can help companies deliver BPM to production operations and drive three key initiatives: integration %%MDASSML%% coordinating processes across the enterprise; digitization %%MDASSML%% driving processes electronically; and finally Lean %%MDASSML%% defining a process improvement framework for business transformation.”

The system is built on GE Fanuc’s Proficy service-oriented architecture platform. “Proficy Workflow enables companies to achieve a responsive, data-driven, event-based production management strategy,” said Greg Millinger, Workflow/SOA Product Manager for GE Fanuc. “By digitizing processes with industrial workflow, users can capture process, traceability and quality data, drive lean initiatives based on factual information, and close the loop for production improvement.”

GE officials said Proficy Worfkflow will help manufacturers integrate business and production processes across systems and departments for reliable, repeatable process execution. The software also provides for the integration of people and their functions, or roles, allowing for customization to individuals’ work styles and decision making.

Among the system benefits, according to company officials, Proficy Workflow will:

  • Graphically define logical execution steps in a process and the events that trigger the workflow

  • Include manual and automatic interactions with operators, equipment and machines.

  • Ensure proper execution and records the outcome.

    • In an exclusive interview with Plant Engineering, Millinger said the access to real-time data source is one of the factors that makes Proficy Workflow so powerful for the industrial applications.

      “One thing I never expected to find is that there are those companies that are solely implementing an MES solution, and once it gets implemented, they’re finding gaps in the system, so they’ll start manual processes,” Millinger said. “One of the strongest things with Workflow is that it will take out those manual processes and fill in the gaps.”

      Built on Mircosoft’s new platform, Millinger said the Workflow system will help managers create what he called “composite applications” through the integration of the software with existing data and software.

      For more on the new product offering, go to www.gefanuc.com/workflow.