Microsoft and Siemens launch European MES Expertise Centre

Today at the Siemens SIMATIC IT Users Conference in Paris, Microsoft Corp. and Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) announced the launch of a joint European Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) Expertise Centre to be based in Genoa, Italy. The centre, which will open at the beginning of 2006, will support customers and partners in answering all questions about MES technologies, providing them with information about the latest Siemens SIMATIC IT solutions or the integrated Microsoft and Siemens technologies in detail.

The centre will be managed by Microsoft and Siemens staff, and will co-operate with University of Genoa at various levels. In addition to seeing the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems and Siemens solutions in action, the MES Centre will offer Microsoft/Siemens-hosted seminars and workshops to learn more about the benefits of integrated technologies available to them. This includes the ability to keep track of production schedules, inventory availability, work in progress and other information flowing to and from the shop floor. Participants will be part of plant floor architectural workshops and reviews and performance and scalability, as well as high availability and solution robustness, and openness and integration assessments.

Microsoft and Siemens will use the centre to promote the use of existing industry standards such as ISA-95 as well as developing propositions for new standards that will create efficiencies for all manufacturing industries.

Siemens has upgraded its SIMATIC IT solution set to include Microsoft Windows SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 will help to bring openness and flexibility into the Siemens SIMATIC IT MES product suite, providing manufacturers with the ability to seamlessly integrate any ERP/MRP system with their MES system.

Microsoft is deeply committed to promoting excellence to its clients and the creation of the MES Expertise Centre in Italy is a clear demonstration of this. Working closely with Siemens and other partners, we are looking to offer manufacturing customers software that will help them create the most efficient operations possible while addressing one of the most complex and mission-critical IT environments in manufacturing, said Lorenzo Pengo, managing director of Manufacturing Industries EMEA, at Microsoft.

Siemens, as the worldwide leading manufacturer in automation provides customers with products and solutions for high manufacturing profitability and operational excellence. Via the MES Expertise Centre, both partners Microsoft and Siemens will support their customers, dealing with the relatively new MES technologies, in optimising their production processes. The MES Expertise Centre will be a unique location where we will efficiently address requirements and issues related to this mission-critical IT environment both from the technological and from the application standpoints, said Giorgio Cuttica, managing director for Siemens MES Operations.

The events organised by the MES Expertise Centre will also be open to the University of Genoa, members of the local Genovese government and other partners who have supported the development of the MES Expertise Centre and are interested in developing their knowledge and understanding of MES and associated technology.

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