September 16, 2008
At Eyelit’s recent user conference in Toronto, the message to attendees was clear: With its 60% growth through 1H08 and 80% growth projection for the year as direct indicators, the company has
made the migration from its roots as an add-on component for front end Brooks Software’s (now Applied Materials) PROMIS product to a provider of full-blown manufacturing execution systems for the semiconductor,
solar, and high-tech industries.
One of the few remaining standalone MES vendors in the market—and one of the even fewer Java-based MES vendors at that—Eyelit breaks from the popular powered-by-Microsoft paradigm so prevalent in
manufacturing to offer a Java-based manufacturing platform that goes well beyond MES. Its functional footprint addresses a broad spectrum of manufacturing operations capabilities, including integrated CAPA, costing,
analytics, and asset management functionality.
Eyelit’s customers challenge the Microsoft paradigm in the production environment as well, using Linux and other open-source schemes. For example, Finnish sensor manufacturer VTI Technologies, which has been
running Linux since 2005, and two solar manufacturers discussed their experiences being operational on Linux during a panel discussion. The audience questions that followed indicated other customers and prospects
have interest as well.
Eyelit’s high-tech clients use high-tech architectures
Eyelit’s underlying product architecture is aligned with AMR Research’s Manufacturing 2.0 model. It provides an operations process management (OPM) engine called Factory Connect that offers process modeling and
real-time, event-driven workflow capabilities to connect multiple manufacturing applications with enterprise systems. For customers, this means having the ability to aggregate and evaluate events many times per
second. It also means triggering and executing workflows to coordinate activities across multiple resources and execution environments—not just within the four walls of a plant—as well as visualizing it all through the
Eyelit user interface.
For example, VTI needed to drive better real-time connectivity between its legacy ERP application and production to track inventory consumption and order management as well as handle serialized traceability. The
company constructed its own service bus on top of an application server from Oracle that uses BPEL and JDeveloper tools to access Eyelit’s web services at the production level.
In turn, Eyelit’s web services are used to drive bidirectional communication with a heterogeneous assortment of factory automation technologies. Using this schema, VTI has been able to perform real-time inventory
consumption between the production environment and the inventory planning mechanisms. The company is also doing automatic shipping of finished lots out of the MES application, with a message to the ERP
application that notes the order is shipped and completed. The subsequent order tracking is done in the ERP system. VTI maps the production schedules from ERP and uses the service bus to integrate back into its
product lifecycle management (PLM) application to provide audit trails on product configuration changes.
– Simon Jacobson