NEURON DATA IN MANUFACTURING
Monroe Auto Equipment
Procter and Gamble
ADDISON WESLEY (U.S.A.)
Addison Wesley is developing client/server-based Production Publishing Systems that will enable the company to closely and automatically track every aspect of a book's production cycle. The pilot is installed on a Pentium server running Sybase and linked via Novell local area network to Mac and PC clients.
AMBER ENGINEERING (U.S.A.)
Amber Engineering is a leading designer and manufacturer of Infrared detection chips and systems. The company used SMART ELEMENTS to assist them in cost effectively manufacturing custom chips. The first phase of the project utilizes an intelligent requirements editor. A customer's requirements are entered into a system that looks for discrepancies and bad, missing or inconsistent data. Once the data has been approved, it is sent to the intelligent design assistant.
The intelligent design assistant is the second phase of the project. The customer's requirements are compared against a database of existing designs that have "similar" requirements. These existing designs are presented to the engineer for modification. The changes are also reviewed by a set of approved design rules.
BAUMER ELECTRIC (SWITZERLAND)
Baumer Electric is a leading supplier of sensors used in automatic manufacturing and industrial robotics. Baumer sensors use many kinds of input (pressure, ultrasound signal, etc.) to obtain desired output signals that control the manufacturing process. The sensors must match all customer specifications for voltage, sensitivity, accuracy, range, etc. It is impossible to keep every sensor in stock. The sensors are therefore built in a modular way, and a parts list is prepared for every order. Before sensor input knowledge was implemented with NEXPERT OBJECT into a knowledge base, it took an engineer from 15 minutes to several hours to create these parts lists. With NEXPERT OBJECT, Baumer employees can now generate a list in 15 to 45 seconds directly from the customer's specification, without engineering knowledge. The application also has access to Baumer Electric's main database, and will offer assistance with information about parts availability, pricing and delivery dates.
Carleton, a Belgium-based software company, developed an application called "OpenHouse" using OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS. OpenHouse simplifies the use of information already available in Carleton's production databases. The OpenHouse architecture uses a pragmatic development, implementation and maintenance approach. It is designed to meet the objectives of information users, as well as the company's development, implementation and maintenance guidelines. OpenHouse provides the ability to reformat data into any of several PC file formats. Supported data structures include DIF, SYLK, PRN, CSV and SAS. OpenHouse is available on multiple hardware platforms supporting a wide range of operating systems, user interfaces and databases, as both source and target.
COLGATE PALMOLIVE (NEW YORK, U.S.A.)
OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS is the key software tool used in the development of a new generation of manufacturing scheduling systems at Colgate Palmolive. The use of OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS has also sped up the deployment process for these systems. "Its object-oriented structure and sophisticated graphics enable us to deliver these mission-critical plant applications in record time," said J.M. Schwartz, Manufacturing Manager of Colgate Palmolive.
DELOITTE & TOUCHE (CONNECTICUT, U.S.A.)
Deloitte & Touche automates mass merchandise pricing with NEXPERT OBJECT. The knowledge of an experienced merchandiser was used to develop a NEXPERT knowledge-base, which now formulates mass merchandise pricing strategies and proposes recommendations. The application runs on PCs under MS-DOS linked to an IBM mainframe under MVS, and accesses data in VSAM.
FOSTER WHEELER (NEW JERSEY, U.S.A.)
Foster Wheeler Corporation is an international organization that provides a broad range of design, engineering, construction, manufacturing, plant operations and environmental services. Foster Wheeler is using Neuron Data's Elements Environment family to build an integrated engineering application that will include process simulation, plant design, procurement and material management information. The application will integrate an array of information from Oracle, SQLServer, spreadsheets, process simulation data stored in an object-oriented database and CAD designs in Integraph, PDMS or Autocad. Their environment will include PC and UNIX workstations; Sun, Novell and HP servers; IBM mainframe and IBM AS400.
FUJI HUNT PHOTOGRAPHIC CHEMICALS (SWITZERLAND/GERMANY)
The OASIS family of applications is used by Fuji Hunt's photographic labs all over the world. Fuji calls it a "revolutionary system for total chemical and process control management." OASIS Pro is 100% user-definable: it allows the user to define his own checks on chemical parameters as required. This information is then used by OASIS Pro for chemical or water additions, to correct bath density, for regeneration of chemical overflows and even for advanced diagnostics of process control problems. By maintaining the proper chemical balances, Fuji labs are able to optimize their chemical mixes and keep photographic quality levels as high as possible. Koller + Partner AG used OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS to develop the application, a full-featured Windows program that runs on IBM-compatibles.
HUSKY INJECTION MOLDING SYSTEMS BOSTON, INC. (U.S.A.)
NEXPERT OBJECT has been incorporated by Husky Injection Systems Boston Inc. to design pail molds. The program assimilates all of the engineering design rules which Husky has learned about the design and manufacturing of pail molds.
LINDE VA (GERMANY)
Linde VA, a division of Linde AG, specializes in plant engineering and construction. Because of the company's international contracts, engineers work at jobs sites around the world and use a variety of computer platforms. Linde wanted to make its extensive mainframe database and ancillary databases easily accessible and usable for all of its engineers, regardless of their location. In response to their engineers' needs, Linde developed Database for Windows (DfW) using OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS. DfW acts as a front-end, providing VESUF, Linde's centralized database access program, with multi-platform capability and a graphical user interface through a client/server architecture. VESUF is able to access data in both DB2 on the IBM mainframe and Oracle on IBM RS/6000.
Using OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS, MAZDA developed an application that enables them to reduce manufacturing time significantly. The application is a manufacturing process job flow support system (assembling automobile parts). It runs on mainframes and PCs and is moving to a UNIX client/server system. Hardware to be used is NEC EWS4800 accessing Oracle databases. The middleware is SequeLink. The high-level benefit, according to MAZDA, is that they have cut the actual manufacturing process time in half.
OWENS CORNING (U.S.A.)
Owens Corning ensures manufacturing quality with NEXPERT OBJECT. Production line workers call on NEXPERT an average of 16 times per week to help them locate potential trouble spots on three fiberglass mat production lines. The application runs on Macintosh and accesses data in an Oracle database running on HP 9000s.
PARADIGM SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY (SOUTH AFRICA)
Paradigm Systems Technology has developed a product called Engineering Planning and Management System (EPMS). EPMS monitors and controls all of the facets of plant and equipment engineering during its total life cycle (design, construction, operation and end-of-life phases) in order to achieve the desired output at predicted maintenance costs. EPMS was developed with OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS.
PHILIPS SEMICONDUCTORS (CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.)
Philips Semiconductors is using C/S ELEMENTS to build RelNet, an application that will track semiconductor parts and enable the storage and efficient retrieval of reliability testing information. RelNet will also allow the access, querying and analysis of test results.
RENAULT AGRICULTURE (FRANCE)
Renault Agriculture is a leading manufacturer of tractors for various farming uses. In the agricultural industry, the complexity of on-board electronics has grown, and the spectrum of vehicles is varied, leading to complex diagnostic and maintenance procedures involving additional costs and training for Renault distribution networks. Using NEXPERT OBJECT, Renault Agriculture developed METADIAG, an expert system for farm tractor diagnosis. The application runs on a portable PC, directly connected to the electronic boards of the tractor vehicle, from which diagnostic data is extracted for analysis and recommendation. The expert system also supports detailed documentation of the on-board electronics and hydropneumatic systems through the extensive use of graphics.
Saab has integrated NEXPERT OBJECT with SQL*Forms, Oracle and their C environment to configure cars based on global customer demand. According to Saab engineers, "the equivalent performance and functionality could not be obtained by traditional means."
SIMON & SCHUSTER (NEW YORK,
Simon & Schuster has more than ten independent business units responsible for their individual finance, production and manufacturing systems. Operational inefficiencies led to the need for a cohesive and unified server- based system. Thus, Simon & Schuster chose OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS to develop Publishing Control System (PCS). PCS ties into a SQL server running on a Digital VAX. The application enables departments to share information, automates daily tasks such as forecasting the profitability of new textbooks and analyzes and consolidates business unit financial forecasts. PCS has been so successful that Simon & Schuster is planning to use OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENTS to develop other client applications for Macintosh and Window workstations tailored to individual department needs.
Sony Japan used NEXPERT OBJECT to develop an application that speeds time- to-market for camcorders. NEXPERT OBJECT captured chip design engineers' knowledge to perform CCD simulations. The application runs on a Sony NEWS workstation and significantly improves productivity, reducing the chip design process by two-thirds.
At Sony Wales, NEXPERT OBJECT maximizes production monitoring. The application is an automated fault diagnosis system used to identify and rectify defects in Cathode Ray Tubes, the central components of televisions. The application runs on HP UNIX platforms and HP PCs, either running DOS or acting as terminals to the HP UNIX systems, all linked on an Ethernet network.
STILL OTTO GMBH (GERMANY)
Still Otto GmbH is a plant construction company that performs systems engineering in various fields. They recently complemented their conventional production automation system with an expert system for fault diagnosis. At Still Otto GmbH, NEXPERT OBJECT diagnoses faults in complex manufacturing processes. Coke Plant Expert System was first developed on a DEC VAX platform, then ported to lap-top PCs.
STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS RESEARCH CORPORATION (OHIO, U.S.A.)
Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) is a leading vendor of mechanical design automation software, focusing on solid modeling. NEXPERT OBJECT is embedded in the analysis and design modules of SDRC's I-DEAS product in order to provide the "intelligence" needed to evaluate product performance and manufacturability issues. A few of SDRC's customers include Hitachi (television systems and screen displays), Sony (VCRs), Honda (motorcycles) and Waterman (pens).
VOEST-ALPINE INDUSTRIE ANLAGENBAU (AUSTRIA)
Using NEXPERT OBJECT, Voest-Alpine Industrie Anlagenbau developed VAI- SchedEx, a hybrid expert system for cooperative production scheduling in steel plants. Scheduling is a critical job because of increasing product quality requirements and increasingly-stricter time limitations due to a strong coupling of the various steel plant components. VAI-SchedEx runs on a VAX station and accesses Oracle.