NEC and SAP Japan Integrate Their Systems to Make Production Lines “Visible” from a Management Viewpoint

TokyoNEC Corporation, NEC Informatec Systems, Ltd., and SAP Japan Co., Ltd. have decided to collaborate on manufacturing execution systems (MES), which link backbone and planning systems, as exemplified by ERPs, with production progress and performance information systems at manufacturing plants, to manage all production activities from production planning to the finishing of products.

The collaboration will involve (1) co-development by NIS and SAP Japan of systems that integrate the NIS process management system SFCPOP/J, which boasts a sales record of 200 production sites among big businesses in Japan, and a streamlined version of SFCPOP/J called PROIMPROVER, with SAP xMII, a manufacturing process visualization tool from SAP Japan; and (2) joint marketing and sales activities by NEC and SAP Japan targeting assembly industries, primarily the electrical, electronic component, machinery, and automotive component manufacturing industries.

As a result of the collaboration, SAP users will be able to ascertain their entire manufacturing situation, from production planning to progress and performance at all their manufacturing plants, in real time by installing a system that integrates SAP xMII and SFCPOP/J or PROIMPROVER. This will enable visualization of manufacturing lines from a management viewpoint, as well as faster decision-making in response to changes in orders received or production situation.

Systems that integrate SAP xMII and SFCPOP/J will be priced from 40,000,000 yen (excluding tax, Note 4), and sales activities will start today. NEC and SAP Japan aim to sell such systems to 100 companies over the next three years.

The main features of the collaboration between NEC and SAP Japan are as follows.

  1. Integration of SAP system with NIS process management systems, SFCPOP/J or PROIMPROVER

    The capabilities provided by SAP are mainly for upstream areas of the production process, such as demand management and production planning. Now, for the first time, SAP xMII, a manufacturing process visualization tool that compiles data for manufacturing at many plants in real time, making the factory floor transparent from the viewpoint of managers, will be integrated with the NIS systems SFCPOP/J or PROIMPROVER, which provide detailed data on work performance and progress at plants and production lines. This will enable businesses to ascertain their entire manufacturing situation, from upstream to downstream.

  2. Joint system construction, product development, sales, and marketing

    In the area of production process management, NEC and SAP Japan will deploy a total of 60 staffs for joint promotions and proposals to customers, and support services for system construction and installation. Based on the customer needs ascertained through these activities, NIS and SAP Japan will step up their activities such as system construction and product development.

In the manufacturing industry, businesses need to develop value-added products with a short lifecycle to meet diverse customer needs, and manufacture and launch those products with good timing. Consequently, the product development and production process plays a key role as the wellspring of business competitiveness. The construction of systems that enable businesses to ascertain the total status of their production process – not only upstream areas (production planning), but also downstream areas (day-to-day progress and performance on the factory floor) – can make production more efficient, by eliminating bottlenecks at an early stage. This, in turn, enables more speedy management of business overall.

The systems provided through the collaboration between NEC and SAP Japan will help such customers improve their competitiveness.

These systems will be exhibited at C&C User Forum & iEXPO 2006 (Dec. 6-8, Tokyo Big Sight).


This system covers all aspects of manufacturing, including management of resources such as workers and equipment, especially process and quality data management at factories and other production sites. SFCPOP/J accurately compiles data from terminals, converts it to visual form, and provides it as management information to upper-level backbone systems such as ERPs. This system is effective for resolving core issues in management, such as reducing shelf time requirements, through such means as utilizing RFID tags for data entry.


This system enables speedy installation and start-up of SFCPOP/J capabilities by narrowing those capabilities down to essentials, such as progress management, quality control, and production analysis. PROIMPROVER, which also supports open source software such as Linux, is available at a reasonable price. It also supports numerous languages other than Japanese, including English, Chinese, and Portuguese.

■About SAP xMII

This tool enables business managers, plant managers, and quality & operation managers to extract and visualize the information they need, in real time, from the vast amount of fine-meshed management data in an MES database. SAP xMII covers not just ERPs, but also business processes that are coordinated with the production process, including detection of abnormalities and immediate response.

Note 4: This price assumes 20 factory-floor terminals in a plant with about 100 workers. The system hardware includes one xMII terminal, one manufacturing management server, one management terminal, and 20 factory-floor terminals.