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Redmond,Wash,February23,1999MicrosoftPresidentSteveBallmertodayannouncedWindowsDNAforManufacturing,atechnicalarchitecturethathelpsvariouscomputersystemsinamanufacturingenterpriseworktogether。

WindowsDNAforManufacturingactsascommonplumbingindisparatemanufacturingsoftwareapplications,enablingthemtointegrateandoperateseamlessly。

TheresultisamoreefficientexchangeofinformationfromtheshopfloortoERPprocesses,equalingreducedoperationalandtechnicalcostsforamanufacturingenterprise。

Themyriadstepsandprocessesofbuildingaproductoftenresemblepiecesofapuzzle。

Suppliesmustbeordered,machinerymustbepreparedandtuned,partsmustbecreatedandassembled,featuresandaccessoriesmustbeadded,andtheendproductsmustbeindividuallywrappedandsenttostoragewheretheywillawaitdistribution。

Oneofthemainchallengesinvolvestrackinginformationthroughouttheentireprocessinformationaboutthevariousmaterials,parts,machinery,endproducts,inventory,etc。

Thisiswherecomputersystemsplayavitalrole。

Computersystemscanhelpamanufacturergather,shareandanalyzekeydataelementsandinformationthroughouttheenterpriseinordertomakebetter,moreproactivebusinessdecisions,becomemoreefficientandreduceoperationalcosts。

However,thisiseasiersaidthandone。

Justlikethemanypartsandmaterialsinvolvedinthecreationofaproduct,therearealsovariouscomputersystemsthroughoutanenterprise,whichtypicallywereneverdesignedtoworktogether。

Thiscreatesanintegrationnightmareformanufacturersseekingtodevelopanefficienttechnologyinfrastructure,andcanbeoverwhelminglycostlyandtime-consuming。

Integrationisamajorkeytothesuccessofdeployingamodernmanufacturingsystem,butpiecingthecomponentstogethertoproducesuchasystemisoftendifficult,timeconsumingandexpensive,saidBallmer。

Werestrivingtomakethisprocesseasierandmorecost-effectiveforcustomersbydevelopingthiscomprehensivenewWindowsDNAforManufacturingarchitecture,whichwillhelpcombinetheWindowsplatform,variousleadingline-of-businessapplicationsandlegacysolutionstocreatemanufacturing-specificDigitalNervousSystems。

CompaniesarealreadyreapingthebenefitsofWindowsDNAforManufacturing。

OceanSprayCranberriesrecentlystandardizedontheWindowsDNAforManufacturingarchitectureinitsnewestplantinHenderson,Nevada。

ThecompanysnewinfrastructurehasimprovedtheplantsaccuracyandtimelinessandhasenabledOceanSprayCranberriestomoreeffectivelyidentifyandanalyzeprocesschanges。

UsingtechnologiesfromMicrosoftand[softwarevendor]IntellutionasastandardforourmanufacturingandbusinessprocesseswastheonlysolutionthatprovidedOceanSprayCranberrieswithascalableenterprise-widearchitecture,saidMikeSmith,NationalManufacturingSystemsManageratOceanSprayCranberries。

Itallowsustogrowourapplicationswithinourplantandgrowourbusinessglobally。

WindowsDNAforManufacturingisbasedontheComponentObjectModel(COM),anunderlyingsoftwarearchitecturethatformsthefoundationforhigher-levelsoftwareservices,includingaddedsystemfunctionality,datatransferandothersoftwareinteractions。

COMisusedinmorethan150millionsystemsworldwideandprovidestherichestsetofservicesanddevelopmenttoolsavailablehelpingreducethecostofcreating,deployingandmanagingbusinesssolutions。

ByutilizingthescalableplatformprovidedbyMicrosoftandIntellutioninallaspectsofouroperations,fromtheplantfloortobusinesssystems,OceanSprayCranberrieshasseenprogrammingdevelopmenttimereducedby30to50percent,saidSmith。

Becauseofthisdistributedarchitectureandcomponentsolutions,wecanredeployprogrammedobjectstogaintimeandcostsavingsinotherareasofthebusiness,andatotherOceanSprayfacilities。

BallmernotedthatWindows-basedsystemshaveexperiencedtremendousgrowthinthemanufacturingindustry。

Inapreliminary1998study,leadingindustryanalystfirmAMRResearchestimatedthatthemanufacturingexecutionsystems(MES)marketwasnearly$300million,49percentofwhichcomesfromWindowsNT-basedproducts。

AMRResearchanticipatesthatoverthenextseveralyearsMicrosoftwillcontinuetomakeadvancesintheenterpriseapplicationsmarket。

By2002,AMRexpectsthattwo-thirds(66percent)ofallERPshipments,anintegralpartofthemanufacturingprocess,willbemadeonWindowsNT。

AccordingtoAMRResearchanalystJimShepherd,WindowsNThasbeengainingmomentuminmanufacturingplantsinrecentyears。

WindowsNTisnowthedefactostandardforshopfloorsystemsandisbecomingacredibleERPalternativetoUnix,Shepherdcommented。

ShepherdalsoagreeswiththevisionbehindWindowsDNAforManufacturing,statingthatasimplifiedwaytointegratedisparateanddistributedapplicationsiskindoftheHolyGrailformanufacturers。

Youcannearlyalwaysfindawaytomovedatabackandforth,butitsalongandpainfulprocesstomaketheminteroperateinameaningfulway,Shepherdsaid。

Piecingtogetherthemanufacturingenterprisepuzzlecanbelong,arduousandcostly。


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