Information systems for manufacturing often follow a three-layer architecture based on an enterprise resource planning (ERP) layer (for order planning), a manufacturing execution system (MES) layer (for factory control), and a shop floor layer (for machine control). Future requirements on flexibility and adaptability require a much closer integration of ERP systems with the manufacturing floor. To achieve this integration, an MES often pushes customer orders to the manufacturing floor in a flexible manner. Moreover, a large amount of shop floor data needs to be filtered and fed into business planning applications such as production planning or supply chain management. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips can play an important role in the collection and management of such data.
Günther, Kletti, and Kubach explain the potential advantages of using RFID technology in a modern manufacturing and supply chain context. Areas of emphasis include integration of RFID data into legacy IT architectures, RFID-MES-ERP integration, and cost-benefit considerations. Their presentation is not restricted to intra-company production planning, but also emphasizes the benefits of inter-company collaboration. Six case studies based on SAPs ERP systems and MPDVs MES solution show how to successfully implement cross-company supply chain integration using RFID technology.
About the Author
Oliver Günther has been a Professor and Director of the Institute of Information Systems at Humboldt University in Berlin since 1993. There he also directs the Berlin Research Center on Internet Economics (InterVal), and Humboldt's Interdisciplinary Center on Ubiquitous Information. He is President of the German-American Association for Scientific Cooperation in Computer Science and serves on the Advisory Board of SAP Research EMEA.
Wolfhard Kletti has been working for MPDV Mikrolab GmbH since 1986. Today, as Vice President, he is responsible for the development of their Manufacturing Execution System HYDRA. Moreover he manages MPDV´s Program MES Services for SAP users, which provides the consultancy and MES software to integrate ERP in the manufacturing processes.
Uwe Kubach joined SAP Research in Karlsruhe in 2002 and was one of the key initiators of SAPs Smart Items Research Program. Since 2005 he has been the Director of the SAP Research Center in Dresden. In this role he is also responsible for coordinating SAP Researchs global activities in the field of Future Manufacturing including Plant-to-Business Integration.