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Oracle E-Business Suite 12 gets new manufacturing applications

E-Business Suite 12 eliminates the need for third-party Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software, according to Oracle.

Oracle E-Business Suite 12 is offering new capabilities for companies in the discrete and process manufacturing industries.

The new Oracle E-Business Suite 12 software includes Oracle Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for Process Manufacturing, which helps process manufacturers implement better controls and meet compliance regulations; and Oracle MES for Discrete Manufacturing, which helps discrete manufacturers deploy customized Oracle applications "directly on the shop floor," Oracle executives said.

The two new E-Business Suite applications eliminate the need for Oracle supply chain management and enterprise resource planning software users to undertake costly integrations with third-party MES vendors, according to Oracle.

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Oracle E-Business Suite 12 was initially released at an Applications Unlimited event in New York City in late January. During the event, Oracle also sought to assure customers that it will continue to support and enhance products acquired from PeopleSoft Corp. Siebel Systems Inc. and J.D. Edwards -- rather than force customers to migrate to its upcoming Oracle Fusion applications platform, which the company says will integrate the best spoils of 28 acquisitions in three years. The first Oracle Fusion applications are due out in 2008.

Oracle E-Business Suite 12 offers more than 1,500 new features overall, and one that stands out is the updated user interface, said Jan Wagner, president of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG).

"The [user interface] more easily ties together information from systems spread across different regions and company divisions," Wagner said. "There's also been quite a significant change in [E-Business Suite's] ability to talk to some of the other applications like Siebel CRM."

Oracle MES for Discrete Manufacturing gives manufacturers in "low-to-medium complexity environments" the ability to monitor shop floor activity and connect information about shop transactions directly into Oracle's ERP and manufacturing software systems, said Manish Modi, Oracle's vice president of manufacturing and PLM development.

Oracle MES for Process Manufacturing is completely integrated with the Oracle Process Manufacturing application and gives companies in, for example, the food and beverage, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotech industries better linkage between shop floor activities and manufacturing systems. The software also offers functionality to help process manufacturing companies comply with both internal and external regulations, said Karen Theel, Oracle's senior director of process manufacturing product management

Oracle MES for Process Manufacturing connects directly with devices on the shop floor so that users can pull data, feed it into analytical systems and report on it, Theel said.

Manufacturing companies have historically used third-party MES vendors to feed shop floor data into Oracle ERP or E-Business Suite systems. Oracle MES for Discreet Manufacturing and Oracle MES for Process Manufacturing eliminate this need, according to Modi.

"You'll find that third-party manufacturing execution solutions focus on one niche problem on the shop floor or the other," he said. "We offer not only what you need for tracking and [managing] a shop floor and producing all of the manual activities, but we also have a comprehensive scheduling solution."

Oracle MES for Discreet Manufacturing and Oracle MES for Process Manufacturing are both generally available now as options within Oracle E-Business Suite 12.

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