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Critical Manufacturing @ CIO Review
October 29, 2014
Empowering Operations with an Intelligent Manufacturing Execution System
Despite all the technological marvels, it is incredible that even the most advanced manufacturing facilities have a significant amount of improvement potential.“Many manufacturers tend to adopt a rather conservative risk averse approach,” notes Francisco Almada-Lobo, CEO, Critical Manufacturing. Due to a lack of comprehensive and flexible manufacturing software solutions, CIOs see a factory full of disparate applications—a complex set of interconnected systems with high integration and maintenance costs. Such an environment hinders the companies’ ability to cope with market changes and “modern software must be an enabler of this change,” continues Almada-Lobo.
Taking stock of all this, Critical Manufacturing built its solution on three distinct pillars—a consistent IT technology stack, a common rich framework, an open and extensible architecture. With a holistic view of the manufacturing operations management space, Critical Manufacturing brings a comprehensive set of functionality covering a wide operation spectrum. Its cmNavigo productivity suite is a portfolio comprising of more than 40 pre-integrated functional modules, which can be selectively deployed at any time.
“cmNavigo increases the efficiency and quality of manufacturers, while simultaneously reducing costs,” remarks Almada-Lobo. cmNavigo’s Factory Management suite ensures a modular, yet fully integrated management of shop floor resources, while the Operational Efficiency suite optimizes and increases the efficiency of shop floor operations. Other modules include Online Visibility and Traceability, Quality Management, and Operations Intelligence, which facilitate multi-source extraction, reporting, and data aggregation. Its Factory Integration suite is a “meta-data based integration and productivity platform that also includes equipment and ERP integration modules,” says Almada-Lobo.
Interoperability between modules requires no interfaces to be created, monitored, and maintained, resulting in low total cost of ownership.“We offer an advanced, out of the box, scalable solution with a broad set of features,” Almada-Lobo emphasizes. The company empowers end-users by leveraging the latest technologies. “Users can make their systems evolve at the speed their business requires and not at the speed IT can respond to their requests,” he adds.
Critical Manufacturing has always invested a significant portion of its revenue in R&D, from not only a technological perspective– which is clearly reflected in its top of the line product–but also from a customer engagement viewpoint. Besides working with several institutions and manufacturers on R&D initiatives, the company’s customer-centricity is the one to be noted.“We work closely with our customers and they have significant influence on our roadmap,” states Almada-Lobo.
The company’s services are widely being utilized in semiconductor, medical devices, and solar industries every day. A recent project undertaken by the company showcases their product strategy and capability. This state-of-the-art, high end multi-layer PCB manufacturing facility in China was designed to be highly automated with minimal human intervention. Critical Manufacturing deployed a full set of their MES capabilities to facilitate intelligent factory automation. Extensive data is collected across the shop floor and business rules orchestrate activities based on real- time information. Critical Manufacturing made the client more efficient and agile by providing detailed visibility into the operations and data transparency between applications to meet the ever-changing traceability requirements.
Critical Manufacturing has many exciting enhancements in the pipeline, including advanced sampling, warehouse and shift management, and an embedded scheduling solution.“We will also be launching mobile applications for Android and iOS. We have a lot in front of us and it is very exciting,” concludes Almada-Lobo.
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