Brewing Up Standards

Even though bringing standards together in an enterprise-wide solution is very new, there are companies that are now reaping the benefits.

“We have been able to reduce our overall inventory value by up to 30 percent and achieve a flow of better and faster management information,” says Paul Bloemen, director of ICT, Brouwerij Martens, following the implementation of a three-phase business and production strategy at the Belgian-based brewers.

Among its goals were increasing business and production efficiency, reducing time to market, exposing product cost structures, enhanced management information, integrating the supply chain from vendors to customers, and standardizing technology enabling collaboration and traceability.

The first thing the company did was to install an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, the Invensys Protean ERP system, to optimize stock levels, capacity and manpower.

The next step was to automate Martens’ plant-floor system. The existing system included a variety of equipment with production data entered into the ERP system manually.

Martens went with the S88-based Invensys Batch Management System in order to develop or refine recipes for new products very rapidly without modification to the controller programs. Production schedules are automatically downloaded and inserted into the batch management schedules to start at the planned time, based on optimum equipment availability.

Martens built its plant floor-to-business integration on the ISA S95 standard. It used the Invensys interfaces developed using eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to send messages the business/ERP system, Microsoft BizTalk server and the Invensys Production Server. The S95 standard paves the way for easier collaborative production management, using consistent models and language.

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