Online Development and ILS Technology Form Partnership to Provide Plant Floor to Company Enterprise Connectivity Solutions | Automation.com

Online Development and ILS Technology Form Partnership to Provide Plant Floor to Company Enterprise Connectivity Solutions

March 092005
Knoxville, TN and Cleveland, OH – Online Development, a developer of factory automation hardware and software, and the ILS Technology division of Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: PKOH), a specialized software developer that helps customers gain better production efficiencies, have formed a partnership to leverage the core expertise of both companies in the development of hardware and software tools to serve the market for plant floor to company enterprise connectivity. With increased global competition, financial pressures, and government regulations such as 21 CFR Part 11 for FDA compliance and Sarbanes-Oxley accounting reforms, companies more than ever before are seeking to capture and manage total enterprise data.

Online Development offers extensive factory automation and product development expertise, as well as advanced online CRM (Customer Relationship Management), help desk tools, and marketing knowledge. Park-Ohio’s ILS Technology division offers their deviceWISE™ software technology and their broad experience in developing software solutions for the manufacturing environment.

The partnership includes joint product development and marketing for new products such as the xCoupler™ enterprise transaction module. The xCoupler module is the first product to provide a true two-tier communication solution that enables customers to persistently bring plant floor data to company enterprise servers. The module enables manufacturers to manage plant data, installation and maintenance costs, while minimizing security and virus risks across enterprise networks. According to Craig Resnik of ARC Advisory Group, the thought leader in manufacturing, logistics, and supply chain solutions, “ARC feels that xCoupler is a timely and viable product that is anticipated to be well received by the market. The product looks very easy to use and implement. As is often the case, however, a seemingly simple solution has a great deal of creative and comprehensive work behind it by the developer company to in fact make it easy to use and implement by the end-user.”

Since its introduction in December of 2004, the xCoupler module has been approved for use in Rockwell Automation’s Allen-Bradley® PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and several other similar factory automation OEMs are also evaluating this technology. Large users in the food, tire, automotive, and chemical process industries are also evaluating the xCoupler for use in their facilities.

“While we have had success in promoting our e-manufacturing software solutions in the semiconductor and other related industries, we believed a different approach was warranted for the factory automation market. Our decision was to enter this market with an enterprise appliance offering and we feel Online Development is a perfect partner to package our software into such an appliance solution,” said Joe Cestari, president of ILS Technology. “Online Development will help us engage a broad market base while assisting us with the implementation of robust engineering and product support processes, a streamlined transaction model, and afford us savings in procurement and product support,” Mr. Cestari also commented.

“I am very excited about this partnership,” commented Ron Monday, president of Online Development. “The sophisticated enterprise software development capabilities offered by ILS Technology have opened up a totally new space in the factory automation market. We are looking at leveraging more of their software and e-manufacturing expertise for other products and markets. And of course, we plan to implement some of our automation knowledge, CRM and help desk tools in certain Park-Ohio facilities. I think the online collaboration tools we provided during the introduction of the xCoupler showed many industrial companies like Park-Ohio how these tools can help develop products quickly and cost-effectively while setting the stage for comprehensive CRM and product support,” Mr. Monday went on to say.

About Online Development
Online Development is a "fast track" developer of factory automation hardware and software for OEMs such as Rockwell Automation and ProSoft products in the industrial market space. Since its founding in 1989, the company has focused on developing the technologies needed to enable various leading brands of PLCs to communicate with either field devices or other brands of PLCs, as well as PCs. These technologies provide connectivity between various proprietary factory automation controls, barcode scanners, modems, printers, HMIs, sensors, popular factory/warehouse network systems, and PC-based enterprise systems to provide real-time communications throughout the enterprise.

Integral to the company's success is its use of the latest online CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and help desk tools. These tools provide OEM customers robust engineering and product support; plus streamline transactions while reducing procurement and product support costs.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Online Development is privately owned and has offices in Cleveland, Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio and Brussels, Belgium. Online Development, Inc. Headquarters Address: 7209 Chapman Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920 Main Telephone: 800-625-8678 Website: www.oldi.com.

About ILS Technology
ILS Technology LLC, a subsidiary of Park-Ohio Holding Corp., is a highly specialized software development organization that creates and installs applications and tools to help manufacturers achieve greater production efficiencies through the use of technology. Its solutions for real-time manufacturing intelligence enable customers to extract the information they need from production operations to make informed decisions and reduce manufacturing costs.

The company’s solutions are computer system independent and capable of running across multiple operating system platforms to fit any information technology environment including Linux, Unix, Windows, AIX, Solaris, WinCE, PalmOS and others. ILS Technology software solutions are being used for e-manufacturing applications in semiconductor and automotive industries, as well as turnkey embedded industrial applications.

ILS Technology has offices at 5300 Broken Sound Boulevard, Suite 160, Boca Raton, FL 33847. The company’s main phone number is 561-982-9898 and their web site can be found at www.ilstechnology.com/. For more information about ILS Technology, contact Mr. Joe Cestari at 561-807-0052.

About Park-Ohio Holdings Corp.
Park-Ohio Holdings Corp., primarily through the subsidiaries owned by its direct subsidiary, Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., is a provider of supply chain logistics services and a manufacturer of highly engineered products. The company operates through three segments: Integrated Logistics Solutions (ILS), Aluminum Products and Manufactured Products. ILS is a supply chain logistics provider of production components to large, multinational manufacturing companies, other manufacturers and distributors. Aluminum Products manufactures cast aluminum components for automotive, agricultural equipment, heavy-duty truck and construction equipment manufacturers. Aluminum Products also provides services such as design and engineering, machining and assembly. Manufactured Products operates a group of businesses that design and manufacture products engineered for specific customer applications.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the company operates 24 manufacturing sites and 32 supply chain logistics facilities.

Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. Safe Harbor Statement: This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations are the cyclical nature of the vehicular industry, timing of cost reductions, labor availability and stability, changes in economic and industry conditions, adverse impacts to the company, its suppliers and customers from acts of terrorism or hostilities, the uncertainties of environmental, litigation or corporate contingencies, and changes in regulatory requirements. These and other risks and assumptions are described in the company’s reports that are available from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update the information in this release.
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