The intent of the cooperation is to address some of the major concerns that production supervisors and plant managers of manufacturing companies are facing today such as the lack of integration of MES on the plant floor with business software solutions, increased IT spending, and the need for production personnel to measure, monitor or control their key performance indicators (KPIs) on demand. The joint offering shall be a significant step in helping manufacturing companies address these everyday issues, while also lowering total-cost-of-ownership (TCO), and easing implementation, maintenance and performance management. Greg Gorbach, ARC Advisory Services, stated in “Connecting the Last Mile: Tales from the Leading Edge of P2B Interoperatility,” that, “There is also a clear need for an easier, cost-effective, standards based way for manufacturers to connect the ‘last mile’ between business and plant systems.”
To support comprehensive integration in order to enable and manage change even more efficiently, Siemens intends to get their interfaces for SAP NetWeaver’s Enterprise Portal and Exchange Infrastructure Content certified. The intended solution will thus be Powered by SAP NetWeaver, and will leverage the ISA-95* industry standards to integrate mySAP ERP with Simatic IT, the Siemens MES products, for manufacturing enterprise interoperability. Both Siemens and SAP support the industry standard ISA-95*, with SAP having expertise in business solutions (“Level 4” in ISA-95) and Siemens providing their expertise in MES and Control Systems (“Level 3” in ISA-95). Adoption of common standards for process interoperability is the key to alleviating the disconnect between manufacturing processes on the shop floor, enterprise business processes, and the combined capability. The solution shall enable company’s production personnel to have real-time visibility into planning and execution exceptions, as well as visibility into key operational and cost performance indicators to rapidly respond to production issues and allow the business offices to have a view back to the factory floor.
Furthermore, SAP and Siemens intend to enable extended interoperability of their solutions by jointly focusing on technical enhancements and an alignment of their development roadmaps around initiatives such as Communication (e.g. B2MML), Data Definition (e.g. combined manufacturing KPI´s – Key Performance Indicators), Workflow Management (e.g. enabling planning and execution capabilities at plant and business level), Visualization of the Simatic-IT MES solution (KPIs) within SAP Enterprise Portal enabling the interaction with other SAP applications through a single user interface. This interoperability allows the shop floor personnel to monitor their KPIs against business targets,using their Simatic IT screens. Moreover integration with SAP and Siemens Automation applications and products through single user interfaces will also expand the value proposition to customers.