IT News round-up

Posted on 16 Nov 2009 by The Manufacturer

A round-up of all the news making the headlines in November.

Autodesk expands options for Mac users

Autodesk announced the signing of an agreement to make Parallels Desktop for Mac Autodesk’s preferred Mac virtualisation software.

Autodesk will now support use of AutoCAD software; AutoCAD LT software; Autodesk Inventor Professional software; Autodesk 3ds Max software; Autodesk 3ds Max Design software; and the Autodesk Revit software platform for building information modelling (BIM) on Mac OS X via Parallels Desktop.

Said Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk chief marketing officer. “We are pleased to welcome Parallels as a partner and Parallels Desktop as our preferred Mac virtualisation software. This is the latest step in Autodesk’s ongoing efforts to support our customers on the Mac, who will now be able to use some of our most popular 2D and 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software alongside Mac OS X, in addition to the five native Mac applications we currently offer.”

Siemens PLM Software purchases Rulestream engineer to order software

Siemens PLM Software announced the purchase of the Rulestream software technology and brand assets, an engineer-toorder (ETO) software application for streamlining the business processes associated with custombuilt products.

ETO business processes are employed by a large and growing number of manufacturing industry segments, including power generation, HVAC, fluid flow technologies, heavy equipment, machinery, and the automotive and aerospace supply base.

Siemens will offer the solution to its customers under the Rulestream brand name, assuming full responsibility for technical development and support. Through ongoing software enhancements, the company also plans to tightly integrate Rulestream with NX software, its digital product development offering, and Teamcenter software, its digital lifecycle management portfolio.

Said Chuck Grindstaff, executive vice president of products and chief technology officer of Siemens PLM Software: “The Rulestream technology’s ability to assist in simultaneously increasing revenues and lowering operating expenses makes it a compelling solution for the marketplace. As the newest member of our product family, it will serve as an ideal complement to our comprehensive suite of product development and lifecycle offerings.”

Electro-Mechanical company selects Infor for ERP

Infor announced that Grupo BTM, a company that manufactures and assembles switchboards and low and medium voltage electrical panels, has selected Infor ERP VISUAL to gain better visibility of transactions across the enterprise.

The deal between Infor and BTM was closed in June 2009, with the ERP solution expected to be implemented in 4 to 6 months. BTM has a revenue of R$ 50 million per year (approx U$D 26 M) and will invest approximately R$ 167,000 during the first year (approx U$D 90,000) including licenses and services.

“Each of BTM’s products has its own engineering process, which varies according to the characteristics of each project.

We needed a robust ERP solution that could support our complex customised production, and the other solutions we evaluated were more focused on the finance and administration operations, and not on the manufacturing process. ERP VISUAL offers us an integrated approach to all our core manufacturing requirements,” says Wallace Vidal, IT manager, Grupo BTM.

SAP and HP Help customers attain business intelligence benefits

SAP AG and HP announced an agreement through which the companies will integrate the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) component and the HP Neoview enterprise data warehouse platform.

The integration of SAP NetWeaver BW and HP Neoview is designed to address the challenges associated with the continuous distribution and growth of data volumes while obtaining increased returns on existing BI investments.

Accordingly, the HP Neoview platform’s capability is complemented by SAP NetWeaver BW and highperformance SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator (SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator) software for the data warehouse layer, as well as by software from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, which act as the BI front-end tools to provide high-speed analysis of data.

“With broader visibility across their business networks, companies can gain the insight needed to act decisively in today’s global economy,” said John Schwarz, member of the Executive Board, SAP AG. “Working together, SAP and HP are enabling customers to achieve visibility by delivering integrated solutions that offer increased scalability and greater flexibility for any data environment.”

Saint-Gobain Glass deploys private mobile network supplied by TeleWare

Saint-Gobain Glass UK has installed a private mobile network using DECT handsets, expanding the PMN coverage to nearly 100% of its Selby, Yorkshire site.

The site extends from the furnace through to the float line, laminating and coating lines as well as offices and extensive warehousing. Effective communication services on-site are seen as essential to maintain health and safety standards.

A PMN was installed as part of a voice services replacement programme delivered by Saint-Gobain’s telephony supplier, Central Telecom. DECT handsets have been replaced by standard ruggedized mobile phone handsets.

The PMN installation integrates with the Saint-Gobain PBX, enabling calls to external destinations to be made from a mobile at the company’s standard landline tariff while internal calls incur no call charges. The solution was configured so that incoming calls ring at the employee’s desk phone and mobile concurrently.

Coverage has increased from 50%-60% with the previous DECT handsets to almost 100% coverage of the site. This has been achieved using just eight base transceiver Station units compared to the 17 base stations required for the previous installation.

Xtrac continues winning streak with Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation announced that Xtrac has implemented and gone live with the Epicor ERP solution.

Xtrac provides a unique blend of design, engineering and manufacturing to motorsport teams in Formula One, World Rally, and Indy Racing League. As part of their continuous improvement policy the company decided to update their ERP system as the existing solution had reached its ceiling for further developments.

Said Ross Brumwell, implementation project manager for Xtrac: “We chose Epicor not only because of the system functionality and the company’s pedigree, but because they are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. This assured us that our solution would be built on the latest technology and able to communicate with some of the other systems we run alongside such as our Unigraphics CAD software.”

Gemba help Gripple triumph at Best Factory Awards

One of Gemba Solutions’ long-term customers, Gripple, has triumphed at the recent Best Factory Awards, winning several accolades, including Best Small Business and Best Engineering Plant.

Gemba Solutions has been working with Gripple since 2005, and has supplied them with software and services to support their success in improving production efficiency.

“Using Gemba’s OEE IMPACT, with its automated data collection, enables us to rapidly identify key production bottlenecks and take action to remove them. This has resulted in a 20% improvement in OEE for the company,” says Gripple’s director of engineering, John Joyce.

DigiMIS provides seeds of change for the Stewart Company

Cloud computing specialist DigiMIS is helping injection and rotational moulder The Stewart Company sustain its business growth and efficiency, following a management buyout and the company’s return to profitability.

The cloud application service from DigiMIS provides a critical platform for the business in sustaining future growth and profitability. As well as delivering the company’s Syspro enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution as a cloud application, DigiMIS is also hosting its Microsoft applications and Crystal reports.

The applications are hosted using high-end data centre infrastructure and accessed on demand via the internet, so the company only pays for what it uses — and without the worry or cost of managing and maintaining a complex IT infrastructure or employing specialist staff.

The Stewart Company’s commercial manager, Shirley O’Connell, says: “DigiMIS is focused on first-time fix, 99% of the time, whether telephone or email queries. If five of our people have a query simultaneously, all are dealt with at the same time; that could never have happened before.

Epicor announces Epicor iScala 2.3 SR2

Epicor Software Corporation, a provider of enterprise business software solutions to the midmarket and Global 1000 companies, announced the general availability of Epicor iScala 2.3 SR2.

The release features a number of new modules such as Credit Control and Distribution Planning.

With Credit Control, finance departments can work smarter, mitigate risks, and control credit globally. The Distribution Planning module enables organisations to manage their logistics processes efficiently in order to save money, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce their carbon footprint.

“Epicor iScala 2.3 SR2 focuses on providing a robust platform for growth through business agility while driving down cost to help companies cope with regular changes in local business requirements,” said Adam Prince, senior director product marketing for Epicor.

“We consulted closely with our existing customers during the development process to ensure that the scope of what we’re delivering removes barriers to their business growth by helping eliminate non value-add activities and improving support for better cost management without jeopardising customer service.”

Kuehne + Nagel Commits to INTTRA eInvoice Platform

INTTRA, the e-commerce platform for the ocean freight industry, announced that Kuehne + Nagel is collaborating with INTTRA for INTTRA eInvoice implementation.

INTTRA eInvoice is an electronic invoicing, dispute resolution, and payment processing solution designed to enable freight forwarders to receive, process, and pay carrier invoices and offers the potential to cut average transaction processing costs by more than half.

“There are an estimated 150 million invoice transactions processed a year for ocean shipping, with average costs ranging from $20 – $60 per invoice. Logistics Providers and their ocean carriers can benefit from standardising the process, improving visibility to their cash liabilities, and providing a more transparent invoicing process saving time and resources,” said Otto Schacht, senior vice president global seafreight at Kuehne + Nagel.

1,000,000 starts of Cocreate Personal Edition from PTC

The Product Development Company announced the 1,000,000th start of CoCreate Modelling Personal Edition, the world’s first free explicit 3D CAD software.

Since its release in January 2007, users have experienced the explicit modelling approach in over 100 countries, with more than 50% of companies who order CoCreate Modelling as a result of trying the Personal Edition being new PTC customers.