Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces the release of Real-time Production Organizer™ (RPO), a suite of manufacturing execution system (MES) platform packages that integrate the vertical production execution workflow across departments and empower decision-makers to organise their work quickly and efficiently.

Development background

Today’s plant operations need to be flexible enough to deal with the challenges of changing feed materials and market demands. However, there are many barriers in business processes that impede the flow of information between sections, posing serious challenges to agile plant operations. These barriers arise for a number of reasons, including poor information integrity due to insufficient MES connectivity, information resolution gaps that cause misalignment between enterprise resource planning (ERP) and MES, and the lack of proper tools for closing loops in business-focused manufacturing.

To address these needs and achieve its vision for production excellence based on VigilantPlantR and the CENTUMR VP platform, Yokogawa has developed RPO.

New RPO packages

Based on the ISA-95 manufacturing execution model, RPO performs the definition, dispatch, execution, analysis and tracking functions, thereby speeding up the ‘plan/do/check/act’ cycle. ISA-95 is the international
standard for the integration of enterprise and control systems. Based on this standard, Yokogawa is able to integrate ERP and MES rapidly and at lower cost. The ‘plan/do/check/act’ cycle is a four-step iterative process for improving business processes.

The RPO packages bring customers the benefits of business-oriented operations through shared information between planning and management, quick operation changes through co-operative operations, safe and stable
operations through plant-wide monitoring, and improved operator productivity.

RPO consists of five platform packages: Workflow Composer VP, Production Co-ordinator VP, Production Instructor VP, Production Supervisor VP and Production Tracker VP. Each package supports a web service, making RPO ready for a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Users can introduce these packages in stages.

Workflow Composer VP standardises business work processes and organises their execution, supporting business process modelling notation (BPMN). Production Co-ordinator VP co-ordinates information for accurate scheduling, providing an end-user computing (EUC) environment. Production Instructor VP issues specific work orders for correct and prompt operation, supporting
execution monitoring and analysis for identifying best practices. Production Supervisor VP supervises real-time performance for quick action by key performance indicator (KPI) monitoring. Web components on a role-based dashboard support drill-down analysis. Production Tracker VP tracks high-resolution production information for accurate planning and generates production accounting reports.

Delivery of Production Instructor VP and Production Supervisor VP will commence in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009.

A major milestone

Satoru Kurosu, senior vice president and head of Yokogawa’s industrial automation business headquarters, comments, “The release of RPO marks another major milestone for Yokogawa’s VigilantPlant initiative. With RPO bridging the remaining gaps between production management and production control, our VigilantPlant solutions now cover customers’ needs at the device, control system and manufacturing execution system levels. We are excited to deliver this new suite of solutions together with our
comprehensive lifecycle services, helping our customers achieve ongoing operational excellence in a challenging economic environment.”

Major target markets and applications are plant production and operation management in industries such as refining, petrochemicals and chemicals. VigilantPlantR is Yokogawa’s automation concept for safe, reliable and
profitable plant operations. It aims to enable an ongoing state of operational excellence where plant personnel are watchful and attentive, well-informed and ready to take actions that optimise plant and business performance. This initiative eliminates unplanned downtime, improves asset
utilisation and allows businesses to adapt to shifting market conditions quickly and efficiently. Based on this concept, Yokogawa launched Safety Excellence solutions in 2005, Asset Excellence solutions in 2006, and Production Excellence solutions in 2007.

CENTUMR VP is Yokogawa’s newest integrated production control system, launched in 2008. This takes the VigilantPlant initiative to its next evolutionary step, integrating the three excellence solutions into one operational excellence platform.