GE Fanuc and Microsoft host event for manufacturers

15 July 2008

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GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms recently co-hosted an event with Microsoft at London's National Gallery for senior executives from manufacturing and logistics companies across Europe. Entitled Manufacturing Business Intelligence Leads to Lean Operational Excellence, the event featured presentations and round-table discussions probing the immediate challenges of global manufacturing, including a case study using a joint GE Fanuc Proficy Production Management and Microsoft software approach to meet the demands of customers while maintaining shareholder value. In addition, attendees were treated to a look at Microsoft's interactive desk of the future.

Thirty-two senior executives from European blue-chip companies listened to Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco, President and CEO of GE International, as he considered the manufacturing challenges in major countries from East to West and provided a view on the hurdles companies must overcome to establish a successful manufacturing operation. He stated: "The international business climate today warrants a very close look at all options before investing in a complicated manufacturing base. A thorough understanding of the financial, political and demographic mix of each market is required to develop a lean supply chain strategy and achieve operational excellence."

Anna Cusmano, a Senior Supply Chain Executive, commented: "It was a very enlightening and extremely interesting presentation. It helped me crystallise on one page the local situation mixes around the globe and use this knowledge to identify the best place for manufacturing and sourcing investments."

Jaguar Land Rover case study

A presentation was made about the successful integration of GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms and Microsoft software at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). This looked at the impact of change on manufacturing over 60 years at Land Rover, leading to today's focus on the 3 Cs: customers, compliance and cost. It was argued that, in order to meet the exacting demands of customers today, while meeting legislative compliance and driving down cost to generate shareholder value, insight into the manufacturing process is the key. Proficy Production Management and Microsoft software are providing vital business intelligence at Land Rover. The company has transformed its manufacturing processes, leading to increased lean operational excellence and competitive advantage.

Before dinner and a private tour of the Impressionist Rooms at the National Gallery, the delegates were introduced to one of Bill Gates' legacies to Microsoft, namely Surface, which is described as a multi-user interactive touch and visual desk of the future. A video demonstrated the concept and how it might be developed to become the centrepiece of manufacturing control for tomorrow.

Ed Martin, Chief Marketing Officer of GE Fanuc, said: "Digitisation is the key to sustaining competitive advantage in today's manufacturing environments. For GE and Microsoft, the Digital Plant has turned into reality. We provide a unique foundation of agile, advanced and ultra-reliable technology that companies around the world can trust to ensure their long-term success."

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