iBase-t Integrates with Siemens Teamcenter to Create Fully Integrated Digital Thread, from As-Designed to As-Built

PLM Connector bridges manufacturing process execution and sustainment workflows with engineering design information to increase efficiency and data accuracy

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – April 30, 2019 iBase-t, a leading provider of digital manufacturing, MRO and quality software solutions, today announced that their iBase-t PLM Connector now integrates with Siemens Teamcenter, allowing for seamless communication between engineering teams using Siemens Teamcenter and manufacturing teams running iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing suite of products. The connector allows manufacturers to effectively handle data from conception through production, moving them one step closer to an Enterprise Digital Thread.

iBase-t PLM Connector integrates with a company’s existing Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system to automatically publish various objects into iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing (DM) suite. From last minute design changes, to engineering and manufacturing Bill of Materials, all the way to parts and visuals, data from Siemens Teamcenter will now be effortlessly integrated into iBase-t’s solutions.

iBase-t PLM Connector addresses the historically wide gap between engineering and production systems. The differing goals, interests, and work tasks between these teams often can lead to scattered silos of data and inefficient asset sharing methods. PLM Connector on the other hand, lets workshop floor and design teams collaborate effectively and communicate in real-time, preventing many back and forth iterations. The product also provides customizable API’s that configure workflows based on each teams’ needs and program context. Users can easily access 3D visualizations, illustrations, and multimedia objects. In addition, teams can receive notifications through a closed loop error reporting system.

“The connector for Siemens Teamcenter further highlights iBase-t’s commitment to transform the digital thread vision into action,” said John Fishell, VP of Products at iBase-t. “The out of the box PLM Connector will enable our customers to take advantage of automation to close the gap between engineering and production systems. This creates a more efficient and accurate process to send data across systems”

Gone are the days of manual data entry, duplicating master data or costly custom integrations with a high cost of maintenance.  No longer do manufacturers need to manage intermediate steps like having to use large XML files, requiring extensive labor hours and high storage costs.

All this results in an increased risk of data inaccuracy, and lower productivity. iBase-t’s PLM Connector allows for data accuracy during transfer by replacing manual steps with automation. Furthermore, incorporating an efficient change management system into the production cycle allows manufacturers to reconcile “As-designed” plans with “As-built” workflows, ensuring next generation of products have higher quality.

As part of the iBase-t DM suite, this new product is the second of iBase-t’s solutions to streamline and facilitate communication and transparency throughout the engineering and manufacturing environment. In June 2018, the company released iBase-t PLM Connector for PTC Windchill.  


About iBase-t

iBase-t is a leading provider of software solutions for complex, highly regulated industries, like Aerospace and Defense, Medical Devices, Nuclear, Industrial Equipment, Electronics, and Shipbuilding. iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing software streamlines and integrates Manufacturing Execution System and Operations Management (MES/MOM)Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS) for operations and Supplier Quality Management. iBase-t’s software is implemented by many leading industrial organizations as part of their enterprise Digital Thread initiatives.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Selects iBase-t for Next Generation Manufacturing Execution

Contract Calls for Implementation of iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing MES Solution Across Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics Division

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – April 24, 2019 – iBase-t announced today a contract agreement with aerospace company Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT). The company has chosen iBase-t’s digital manufacturing suite as its next-generation manufacturing execution system (MES) for its Aeronautics division, which designs and manufactures military aircraft.

iBase-t’s MES solution offers better visibility, control, and velocity to aerospace and defense manufacturers like Lockheed Martin. The solution is designed to improve manufacturing spans, quality, and compliance by giving plant managers complete visibility into their product production and offers better efficiency and continuous improvement through data capture and analysis.

“As iBase-t continues to expand in aerospace and defense on a global scale, our contract agreement with Lockheed Martin showcases the company’s commitment to assisting clients in establishing a foundation for their digital manufacturing,” said Naveen Poonian, President of iBase-t. “iBase-t’s MES solution is designed to help Lockheed Martin modernize manufacturing operations to efficiently meet global demand for aircraft production while helping to reduce operational cost.”

About Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics business area is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production, and support of advanced military aircraft. Rapid prototyping, simulation-based virtual design, and composite process development are just a few of the many engineering proficiencies that make this company preeminent in the aeronautics industry.

Aeronautics is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, with additional production and operations facilities in Clarksburg, West Virginia; Greenville, South Carolina; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Marietta, Georgia; Meridian, Mississippi; Palmdale, California; and Pinellas Park, Florida.



About iBase-t

iBase-t is a leading provider of software solutions for complex, highly regulated industries, like Aerospace and Defense, Medical Devices, Nuclear, Industrial Equipment, Electronics, and Shipbuilding. iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing software streamlines and integrates Manufacturing Execution System and Operations Management (MES/MOM)Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS) for operations and Supplier Quality Management. iBase-t’s software is implemented by many leading industrial organizations as part of their enterprise Digital Thread initiatives.

Virtual Reality and AR in Manufacturing

AR and VR are buzz words that have been trending around many industries including manufacturing for a while now. With so many companies claiming to provide AR/VR solutions for all types of different needs, this blog addresses how these technologies impact manufacturing and what you need to consider when adopting them.

What is AR? What is VR? Let’s get definitions of these solutions out of the way first.  Both are related to two largely synonymous terms–mixed reality and computer-mediated reality. Wikipedia defines augmented reality (AR) as a direct or indirect live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory. The overlaid sensory information can be constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment) or destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment) and is spatial registered with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment. This is not to be confused with virtual reality (VR) where an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. AR alters one’s current perception of a real-world environment, whereas VR replaces the real-world environment with a simulated one. The following picture depicts this very nicely:

How does ARVR impact manufacturing industry? Here are a few benefits when deployed correctly:

  • Reduction in Assembly Errors: This is crucial in complex, highly regulated manufacturing and sustainment environments such as aerospace and defense industries whereas a single error could cost millions of dollars.
  • Reduction in Assembly Time: Higher productivity equates into enhanced cost savings.
  • Reduction in Training Requirements and Time: Standardization of intuitive, readily reusable training content.
  • Increase Work Instructions Recall: Fast references to relevant and current work instructions.
  • Transfer of “Tribal Knowledge”: Expert knowledge can be captured, shared at the time work is performed as well as in the future to enhance on-boarding of new employees.

All these points translate into cost savings, increased quality, and higher customer satisfaction.

Modern, complex manufacturing involves assembling hundreds or thousands of components in a precise sequence as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even though we’ve come a long-way from the days of paper-based work instructions, thanks to MES solutions like iBase-t’s Solumina, current work instructions are now being served up via stationary displays (e.g., laptop or workstation PC). Augmented reality applications serve up work instructions in a technicians’ field of view, via VR goggles, so they no longer need to travel back and forth between tasks to review documentation or enter data. This keeps your most valuable resources focused, productive, and doing what they do best.

Additional benefits of AR in manufacturing is support of field personnel. In many situations field services technicians may require expert support when servicing equipment from long distance. AR minimizes the need for experts to travel to customer worksites by providing a real-time, “see what I see” kind of telepresence experience. This allows experts to see work being performed through the eyes of a technicians as they are performing maintenance tasks from anywhere.

In addition to time and cost savings, AR related technologies can also have a positive impact on quality assurance. Not only can these technologies deliver relevant multi-media information to QA engineers on the floor, it can also be used to record problems on the spot as they arise. We often hear from our customers that documenting nonconformance issues can be challenging and difficult. Accurately describing issues in writing is time consuming and burdensome on staff. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, quality staff can capture video on the spot and attach it against any product discrepancies. Sort of a show and tell, with a focus on the “show.”

We are certain that AR, possibly VR as well, technology can transform the user experience for complex, discrete manufacturing organizations. One of the most important things to consider when adopting AR/VR solutions for your workforce is to clearly identify your goals. Simply adopting technology for technology sake is not a goal. Benefits such as enhancing user experiences, cost savings, better resource utilization and customer experience, etc. all need to be weighted before you adopt these technologies. The possibilities are waiting for you.

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iBase-t Recognized by Gartner for Critical Capabilities in Manufacturing Execution Systems

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.April 18, 2019iBase-t today announced that Gartner, Inc., the leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry, has received the second highest scores in both of its applicable Use Cases.

The Critical Capabilities for Manufacturing Execution Systems, February 11, 2019, presented a number of specific findings, including: “Virtual parity exists across core capabilities of manufacturing execution systems (MES) offerings because MES is a mature technology market. Variation and differentiation come from specific focus on manufacturing styles or industries.” According to the report, “Vendors focused on a narrow set of vertical industries tend to have greater specific capability (reflected in higher scores) than vendors with more generic solution offerings.”

iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing software was ranked in the top third for complex discrete manufacturing use cases, scoring 4.01 out of 5 in the Complex Discrete – Make to Order Use Case and 3.98 out of 5 in the Complex Discrete – Engineer to Order Use Case.

“We’re glad to be recognized in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for MES report,” said Naveen Poonian, Chief Operating Officer at iBase-t. “We believe the recognition reflects our efforts to provide the best MES for complex discrete manufacturing coupled with integration, compliance, intelligence, and quality management solutions to our customers.”

Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Manufacturing Execution Systems, February 2019
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


About iBase-t

iBase-t is a leading provider of software solutions for complex, highly regulated industries, like Aerospace and Defense, Medical Devices, Nuclear, Industrial Equipment, Electronics, and Shipbuilding. iBase-t’s Digital Manufacturing software streamlines and integrates Manufacturing Execution System and Operations Management (MES/MOM)Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and Enterprise Quality Management Systems (EQMS) for operations and Supplier Quality Management. iBase-t’s software is implemented by many leading industrial organizations as part of their enterprise Digital Thread initiatives. 

Is Your Digital Transformation 5G Ready?

5G is upon us as every major telecom company is in a mad dash to bring 5G near you. In fact, Verizon just announced that 5G will be deployed across the greater Chicago area by April of 2019. But, this new platform brings more than just a speed upgrade from 4G. This is a major technology upgrade for consumers seeking enhanced speed and bandwidth. Now the real question is, are enterprises ready to take advantage of the new 5G enhancements? And, just as important, are their enterprise applications ready for 5G?

This latest 5G (Fifth generation) of cellular mobile communications comes packed with a host of performance advantages, such as higher data rate than previous cellular networks–up to 10 Gbit/s, which is much faster than current cable internet, and 100 times faster than previous 4G LTE cellular technology, that equates to lower network latency (i.e., faster response time) below 1ms in some cases compared to 30-70ms for 4G. Higher frequency radio waves (in or near the millimeter wave) provider higher data rates. At the same time, 5G uses wider frequency channels to communicate with more wireless devices and this translates into the ability to transmit more data (bits) per second.

This performance upgrade comes with a cost—mainly short range. So called millimeter waves are absorbed by atmospheric gases that have a shorter range than microwaves; therefore, 5G cells are the size of a city block as opposed to cells of previous cellular networks which could be many kilometers. These microwaves cannot travel through building walls, thus requiring multiple, smaller antennas to cover a cell area.

With 5G communication is truly in real-time. Networked applications can now react much faster than us humans. Average human reaction time to visual stimulus is 250ms, 170ms for audio stimulus, and 150ms for touch stimulus. Sub 10ms network latencies allow autonomous machines, devices to sense and actuate orders magnitudes faster than any human can process them. Truly autonomous machines will detect, process, and react faster than ever before. In addition, the higher speed and increased bandwidth will bring down costs, opening the door to everything wireless. Soon, IoT will become Internet of Everything.

This is exciting times for smart factories and Industry 4.0. What previously was not possible due to hardwired connection requirements is becoming possible via barrage of new wireless technologies like 5G, Wi-Fi 6, CBRS, etc. In the very near future (if not today), enterprises have big decisions to make in terms of physical connectivity. A great deal of innovations and improvements in how we connect is providing us an opportunity to make strategic plans on how we utilize new wireless capabilities, which in turn will influence how a business operates. As long as the value derived from data is greater than the cost of connecting devices to the internet, there is a business case to get connected. Computer architecture and software design needs to change fundamentally to support big data by default. So, the question you need to ask yourself is, are you ready to take advantage of what 5G has to offer? And, are your enterprise applications ready for 5G?

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Why MES is Foundational to Digital Manufacturing

Many new technologies are being introduced these days into manufacturing operations, yet MES—which has been around for decades—is viewed as a foundational enabler of digital transformation. Technologies like augmented reality, artificial intelligence, cloud and edge computing, mobile, and auto-ID are being integrated into MES solutions. Likewise, smart machines, sensors, and IIoT platforms are expanding capabilities to integrate to enterprise systems like MES.

Regardless of rumors about the potential demise of MES solutions, the facts are that many of the functions and features provided by MES cannot be replaced by new IIoT platforms, even with analytics and apps. Alone, IIoT devices and platforms do not offer many new possibilities to manufacturers because they cannot provide operational context for data, cannot trigger actions in response to data, and are not designed to orchestrate processes across the factory and value chain. Many production processes need the human in the loop and MES provides that platform.

MES does not deliver Digital Manufacturing by itself. It needs to be integrated into the organization’s digital platform and “system of systems” including engineering, business, and automation systems. MES does provide these important features required to integrate Operations into the Digital Transformation strategy:

  • Intelligent Insights. Raw data captured from machines and workers during production must be turned into information by adding context and organization. Context includes data about the product specifications, process step, people, and equipment involved in the activity when the datum—like a dimensional measurement or environmental condition—is captured.

Organization of stored data is also important to enable views that joins data from multiple activities for correlation and root-cause analysis. The organization of data makes it easier to aggregate data into significant metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). It helps put the human in the loop to make better decisions quickly.

  • Data Stewardship and Governance. A proliferation of custom apps in production can lead to a multitude of data silos that are not coordinated to facilitate integration and aggregation. The MES database provides de-facto governance, through its production-centric data model and integration interfaces, maintaining data clean, normalized, and organized to facilitate joins and searches across data in the enterprise.
  • Standardization and Control. The MES manages and enforces every aspect of the work steps including equipment, materials, and data collection for automated and manual processes. MES enforces the policies and rules to make sure people and equipment are operating as they’re supposed to. The standardization makes production processes repeatable with consistent performance and quality.
  • Responsive Action. MES functions include methods to handle exception-driven events during the production process. Events or incidents like a suspect defect or process anomaly. MES is the natural system to receive these types of notifications and alerts from an IIoT analytical platform. In MES, these triggers can initiate procedures to record a discrepancy, change the equipment settings or operator instructions based on an automatically detected condition.
  • Connection and Digital Thread. MES provides an integration bridge between the plant and key enterprise systems including engineering’s PLM system, and procurement, inventory and cost management’s ERP system. This integration can be orchestrated to provide a digital thread linking the product’s engineering design specification to the product’s realization process, and even the product’s sustainment services in a way that facilitates the maintenance of a digital twin for each physical product unit.

The digital thread and digital twin can provide many benefits including better data exchange across the enterprise, and capability to analyze the product design against actual performance for continuous improvement. The digital thread accelerates the introduction of new products and variations by making it easier to implement design changes into downstream production definition elements like inspection requirements, machining programs, and work instructions.

The need for more real-time factory data and enterprise-wide connectivity is refueling the interest in MES. IIoT technologies are a great addition to the manufacturing IT landscape however, for the reasons listed above, MES is needed more than ever as a foundational piece to the Digital Manufacturing strategy.

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