Gates Rubber Successfully Implements Intelligent e-Kanban Solution Using Invensys' Production Engine Technology | Automation.com

Gates Rubber Successfully Implements Intelligent e-Kanban Solution Using Invensys' Production Engine Technology

New Technology Provides an Interoperability Layer to Synchronize Material Flow Using Demand Signals and Workflows Throughout a Production Facility and Between Trading Partners

ORLANDO, Fla., INVENSYS SHOWCASE, Sept. 5, 2002 -- Invensys Manufacturing Solutions, a business unit of Invensys plc, today announced that Gates Rubber Co. has successfully implemented an e-Kanban solution built on Invensys Production Engine(TM) Technology. Production Engine, Invensys' new application interoperability technology, provides users with the ability to manage manufacturing operations, materials and orders through
graphically configured real-time workflows.

The Invensys Manufacturing Solutions group makes this announcement as part of the Production Engine technology rollout at the annual Invensys Showcase user conference and expo September 8-12. The event will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando.

Production Engine is being used to provide a Collaborative Manufacturing Network spanning two internal sites and an external supplier for Gates. Through this Collaborative Manufacturing Network, Gates is using demand signals, generated at the point of actual consumption, to drive the fulfillment process in real time.

The Gates solution is an intelligent e-Kanban application designed by Invensys Manufacturing Solutions to more effectively control the level of inventory necessary to support the production of cord used in the manufacture of belts and hoses. The solution manages inventory fulfillment by linking raw materials and work-in-process inventories, with the scheduling and purchasing systems in its Columbia, Mo. cord plant. The individual applications are from different software providers, including a Gates-developed Scheduler. This solution links the Columbia facility with its external cord supplier, and its downstream customer, a Gates belt and hose manufacturing facility.

This solution employs manufacturing workflows, which are the business rules that define how to respond to an event. A Kanban request is triggered by the release of inventory from a storage or work-in-process area. This solution goes beyond static Kanban signals by dynamically retuning the Kanban size based on delivery cycle time, demand, production and inventory indicators. When a Kanban is to be replenished, the workflow sends a request to the vendor after having validated the purchase order status and information from within the purchasing system. The upstream workflow is triggered when a bill of lading is created. The system transfers ownership and manages cost accountability for the inventory from finished goods at the sending location through in-transit stock to receipt at the destination. The increased visibility provided by this solution prevents duplication of orders that are already in transit.

"Production Engine is a technology that we have adopted to synchronize the flow of information between plant floor applications and across our value chain," said Jim McGill, director of purchasing for Gates Rubber Co. "The Production Engine solution helps us more effectively manage our in-process inventory, and integrate suppliers into the manufacturing process."

Business improvement consultants and engineers from the Invensys
Manufacturing Solutions group worked with Gates corporate IT and plant personnel to design, configure and implement the solution.

Gates is a long-time user of Wonderware FactorySuite(R) software and utilizes InTrack(TM) software as its manufacturing execution system for managing the production process.

"Invensys has demonstrated at Gates that the company can extend the value of its own products, such as the InTrack software, and can derive significant value from the investment Gates has made in both
Gates-developed applications and in competitors' products," explained Dave Westrom, senior vice president and general manager of Invensys Manufacturing Solutions. "Production Engine supports the Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma and continuous improvement initiatives at Gates while helping to eliminate non-value-added activities within their manufacturing processes," Westrom said.

The Invensys Showcase is expected to draw between 1,000 and 2,000 attendees from customer companies worldwide, including top management, manufacturing and plant management, maintenance/facilities management, corporate engineering groups, industry trade media and industry analysts.

For more information on Invensys accelerator solutions, please visit the Invensys Manufacturing Solutions' Web site at www.IMSaccelerator.com.

About Gates Rubber Co.
The 86-year old Gates Rubber Co., based in Denver, Colo., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based Tomkins PLC. Gates is one of the world's largest manufacturers of automotive and industrial belts and hoses and has plants in 17 locations worldwide.

About Invensys
Invensys plc is a global leader in production technology and energy
management. The group helps customers to improve performance and
profitability using innovative services and technologies and a deep
understanding of industries and applications.

The Invensys Production Management businesses work closely with customers in order to drive up performance of production assets, maximize the return on investments in production technologies and remove cost and cash from the whole supply chain. The division includes APV, Avantis, Baan, Eurotherm, Foxboro, SIMSCI/Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware. These businesses address process and batch industries -- including the oil, gas and chemicals, food, beverage and personal healthcare -- and the discrete and hybrid manufacturing sectors.

The Invensys Energy Management businesses work with clients involved in the supply, measurement and consumption of energy and water, to reduce costs and waste and improve the efficiency, reliability and security of power supply. The division includes Energy Management Solutions, Appliance Controls, Climate Controls, Global Services, Metering Systems, Powerware and Home Control Systems. These businesses focus on markets connected with power and energy infrastructure for industrial, commercial and residential buildings.

Invensys also serves the specialized rail, wind-power and electronic manufacturing (power components) markets through Invensys Rail Systems, Hansen Transmissions and Lambda respectively in the Invensys Development Division.

Invensys operates in more than 80 countries, with its headquarters in London. For more information, visit www.invensys.com.

Invensys, Production Engine, Wonderware, InTrack and FactorySuite are trademarks of Invensys plc, its subsidiaries and affiliated companies. All other brands may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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