New QuickStart Use Cases for Proficy® Workflow Enable Manufacturers to Reduce Costs Through Lean Work Processes and Exception Management


Charlottesville, VA, April 21, 2009    GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, today announced new QuickStart use cases for Proficy® Workflow, Powered by Proficy SOA – which help companies quickly decrease production costs through lean work processes and exception management.
“Imagine that every worker is your best worker – and that every work process is a best practice,” said Greg Millinger, Product General Manager for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. “With Proficy Workflow, manufacturers can reduce the variation in performance, cost, quality and brand protection, achieving a new level of operational excellence.”
As a Work Process Management software system, Proficy Workflow enables power users and domain experts to digitize manual and automated processes with one tool – capturing process, traceability and quality data across systems to reduce errors, waste and delays. Companies can manage by exception, orchestrate production and achieve event-based, data-driven results. Built on the Proficy SOA platform, Proficy Workflow also is third-party extensible and enables composite solutions, enhancing the value of existing MES, HMI and ERP systems.
The new QuickStart use cases for Proficy Workflow include:
Work Instructions
·         Electronic Work Instructions /SOPs – Guiding operators through step-by-step instructions, this use case ensures production complies with defined processes through validated entry. Users can capture both automated and manual data entry. In addition, they can digitize and enforce compliance with policy manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Through this use case, Proficy Workflow can reduce errors and costs of compliance.
·         Lean with Electronic “Standard Work” – Proficy Workflow helps production teams find and eliminate waste faster and easier by making sure best practices become standard practice. This use case focuses on electronically and interactively managing work processes and compliance by guiding operators through Standard Work, ensuring proper completion of all work process steps. Teams can graphically map work processes and existing SOPs. In addition, the software facilitates analyzing processes to develop new best practices for continuous improvement and quickly deploying and monitoring them.
·         Production Set Up – Operators can walk through the steps to set up a machine or recipe, and companies can verify proper machine set up – prior to raw materials usage. Companies can control set up processes regardless of the level of traditional automation and independent of automation. Teams can record operator input, validated equipment calibrations, batches/lots, and more. Proficy Workflow decreases costs of machine changeover and errors, downtime associated with equipment set up, and inventory through less waste. Companies increase efficiency and quality through faster and better production set up, agility for changing production, and sustainability of production processes.
·         Virtual Trainer – Digitize the expertise of your best operators in a form that all operators can use. With Proficy Workflow, companies can provide new operators with instructionally sound training and the ability to practice production tasks and SOPs before actually operating equipment and using materials. Teams can electronically capture knowledge from expert workers due to retire and embed the expertise in training materials before attrition affects plants.
·         Quality Hold: Non Conformance, Rework and Quarantine – By automatically triggering non-conformance workflows, companies can better manage – and take steps to prevent and minimize – quarantines and recalls. Proficy Workflow coordinates the activities of production, quality and management. On the plant floor, the software guides operators through supplemental testing, inspecting, rework and re-dispositioning. Teams can automatically bracket product batches/lots suspected of sharing a quality problem – then manage and track the process of testing and assessing bracketed product for conformance and then releasing, splitting, rejecting or reworking. This use case decreases costs by reducing product waste / scrap, time and costs associated with manual recordkeeping, shipping delays by driving fastest resolution, and risk by enforcing non-conformance SOPs.
Corrective Action and Exception Management
·         Alarm Management, Corrective Action and Exception Management – React immediately to alarms and process exceptions with best practice corrective action and exception management. This use case allows companies to automatically and dynamically respond to production problems and events, monitoring alarms and out-of-spec conditions from multiple systems. Users can send tasks to people or systems to correct problems in real time and escalate as needed. Companies can minimize nuisance alarms and ensure proper action on critical alarms. Additionally, users can track QA data in real time and automatically adjust work processes to conform to specs. Companies can take corrective action on an event-triggered basis, adjusting processes on an as-needed basis only. Furthermore, they can record exceptions and corrective actions for compliance audits and continuous improvement of processes. Proficy Workflow can make every operator an expert – and decrease costs by reducing waste and labor, downtime through faster response, and risk through automatic remediation or escalation.
·         Troubleshooting Trees: Equipment Repair & In-Process Product Repair – Troubleshooting Trees walk teams through production problems to determine root cause and solution, therefore increasing uptime as well as compliance. This use case involves repair of equipment as well as in-process product and materials. In addition, companies can capture the knowledge base of expert workers, reducing effects of attrition on the plant.
“At GE, we have a long heritage of lean and digitization,” Millinger said. “Proficy Workflow packages this experience to help companies react to change and leverage their best practices in a repeatable way across their enterprise. When every worker is your best worker, then you truly have a sustainable advantage.”
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About GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a joint venture between General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and FANUC LTD of Japan, is an experienced high-performance technology company and a global provider of hardware, software, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique foundation of agile, advanced and ultra-reliable technology that provides customers a sustainable advantage in the industries they serve, including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government & defense, and telecommunications. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms is a worldwide company headquartered in Charlottesville, VA and is part of GE Enterprise Solutions. For more information, visit
About GE Enterprise Solutions
GE Enterprise Solutions elevates customers' productivity and profitability with integrated solutions using sensors and non-destructive testing; security and life safety technologies; power system protection and control; and plant automation and embedded computing systems. Enterprise Solutions' high-tech, high-growth businesses include Sensing & Inspection Technologies, Security, Digital Energy, and GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. The business has 17,000 problem-solving employees in more than 60 countries around the world.
Media Contact:
Elli Holman, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms