ILOG(r) (NASDAQ: ILOG; Euronext: ILO, ISIN: FR0004042364) today unveiled an integrated production planning and detailed scheduling solution - ILOG Plant PowerOps(tm) - that represents a major breakthrough in planning and scheduling precision that can produce significant efficiency gains of up to 25 percent. The latest addition to the ILOG PowerOps(tm) Suite of manufacturing and transportation solutions, Plant PowerOps (PPO) introduces several innovations to the Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) market, while allowing customers to leverage their IT investments in most legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems.
Innovations in PPO include detailed models that capture the realities of both discrete and process manufacturing, as well as support the interactivity and flexibility needed by decision-makers. Production planners, plant managers, and front-line schedulers can all create and compare scenarios, perform "what-if" analyses, and define warning messages and alerts using a business rule management interface. The efficiency gains are driven by optimization models that take into consideration the resources, activities, and operating constraints of modern manufacturing.
Most ERP and SCM scheduling solutions address about 80 percent of the realities of the manufacturing process and fail to address a host of important considerations including true set-up costs, switch-over procedures, earliness costs, tardiness costs, waste factors, and the special requirements of process manufacturing. ILOG Plant PowerOps (PPO) is designed to address the remaining 20 percent of required functionality, allowing manufacturers to produce optimal plans and schedules that are realistic, addressing the main resource capabilities, costs and operating constraints experienced by most manufacturers. Manufacturers in process industries will also benefit from support for lot and batch planning, cleaning procedures, tank minimums and maximums, the tracking of reservoir consumption, and the scheduling of divergent, convergent and cyclical material flows.
Because of the limitations in their ability to address all aspects of detailed scheduling problems, most existing SCM solutions cannot offer a comprehensive integration of the planning and scheduling functions, which often keeps planning departments and the manufacturing floor from being synchronized. ILOG Plant PowerOps fills the gap by enabling plant and supply chain managers to model their manufacturing and supply chain processes at a granularity that corresponds to their business operations. Their plans and schedules are automatically synchronized because they use the same information and assumptions.
According to leading manufacturing research firm, AMR Research, organizations can cost-effectively get more out of their existing supply chain technology by installing business components into their software infrastructure. AMR compared this to an "aftermarket" where "accessory components can be installed within an existing software infrastructure to increase functionality, much like buying an aftermarket audio or alarm system for your car." ILOG PPO "bolts on" to most existing ERP and SCM systems so customers do not have to perform a "rip and replace" operation to add new, leading edge APS capability.
In addition to integrated production planning and scheduling and the most complete set of models on the market today, ILOG PPO offers:
* An Interactive Planning Board - based on ILOG's visualization technology - that allows plant managers to validate plans and manage exceptions at a glance. The planning board also supports "drag and drop" editing, partial freeze and solve, undo/redo, alerts, and other ease of use features.
* "What-if" analysis and scenario comparison for planning and scheduling that allows users to understand key performance indicators (KPIs), and define scenarios and alerts using ILOG's business rule management systems (BRMS) technology.
* A Solution Generation window with a graphical display of optimization progress on multiple dimensions of cost, level of service, inventory, etc.
* Pre-defined connectors to SAP and Oracle. Connectors to other systems will be available later.
The leader in optimization technology, ILOG currently provides this technology through OEM agreements to eight of the top 10 ERP/SCM vendors. More than 60 manufacturing companies in the Global 500 are currently using ILOG optimization technology in custom planning and scheduling systems. Over the past 10 years, the company has developed significant experience solving complex scheduling problems for manufacturing customers throughout the world through its professional services organization. ILOG PPO is the direct beneficiary of this real-world implementation experience, resulting in a next-generation APS offering.