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Collaborative Production Management for Process Industries Is Back on Track

The past couple years has been a tumultuous time for the Collaborative Production Management (CPM) market for the Process Industries. The CPM market did not feel the financial crisis and the resultant recession until 2009, contracting for the first time in recent memory.

The contraction was not long lived however, as the market rebounded strongly in 2010. The CPM market for process industries is expected to exceed $4 billion by 2015, according to a new study by the ARC Advisory Group.

“Currently, there is pent up demand for manufacturing solutions that were postponed during the recession. With the improvement of the global economy, companies are loosening the purse strings and once again investing in CPM solutions.

The next big focus area will be in production applications areas as companies replace homegrown systems and upgrade outdated systems and move plant operations to the next level that allows them to compete more profitably on a global basis,” according to Senior Analyst Tom Fiske, the principal author of “Collaborative Production Management Systems for the Process Industries Worldwide Outlook”.

CPM has three main areas of functionality that include plan, operate and inform. The “plan” segment consists of functions such as short-term production planning, plant simulation and modeling, and scheduling.

The plan functions determine what products to make, when to make them, and what equipment to use. The “operate” segment emanates from the need to continuously find new and better ways to control process equipment and operate plants more efficiently.

The purpose of the “inform” category is to gather, store, organise, and communicate data and information. It includes data collection, performance analysis, reporting, and role-based KPI visibility.

Manufacturers Implement CPM to Improve the Bottom Line
Achieving and sustaining profitability in manufacturing is getting more challenging as the uncertainty and volatility in the cost of energy, raw materials, water, and other resources rise, and compliance and risk management become more complex. Improved visibility, lower cost of ownership, and reduced product costs were key drivers for many CPM solutions over the past year.

Sustainability, while a key driver, was not as high a priority over the past year due to economic concerns. Thriving in today’s market requires agility and effective use of both physical and human assets so plants can execute flawlessly to planned targets and profitably capture fleeting opportunities without compromising quality or safety.

Manufacturers need to utilise powerful and cost-effective CPM solutions which offer benefits in the areas of operational excellence, compliance, supply chain synchronisation, and dynamic value creation.

Track and Trace Capabilities Drive Need for CPM
Today, users need to have the ability to track and trace products throughout their plants and supply chain. Some industries require greater granularity and functionality, while others need traceability for anti-counterfeiting and brand protection purposes.

Depending upon the industry, track and trace can include tracing and tracking the raw materials, production, operations, and information that tracks the product to the consumer or retailer. Most track and trace software focus on packaging lines and are designed to minimise the impact on line changes, improving efficiency, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

The software is highly collaborative, integrating with other technologies and solutions, including both ERP and automation systems, as well as with the other applications. These applications can range from operations intelligence, workflow management, recipe management, electronic batch and electronic batch recording, raw material genealogy and material tracking to energy and utility management. 

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