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A productivity boost with new, flexible software

Products 4 Automation (P4A) in partnership with the Felten Group has introduced the latest version of its 'Pilot' process management soft-ware to the UK. The key feature of what is a highly developed and powerful software package is its flexibility; the Pilot suite can be used to increase production efficiency on just one production line, with no additional IT support, but in contrast it is also extensive enough to provide an easily configurable 'Production Intelligence' system for an entire manufacturing site, replacing manual systems or indeed expensive and inflexible systems from other vendors.

The people behind this launch will be interesting to anyone in the UK automation software sector; they are Werner Felten, CEO of the Felten Group and Paul Hurst, the new MD of Products 4 Automation (P4A), who was previously MD of Citect UK. The thing that makes Pilot so compelling is a combination of what Felten describes as "the functional part of SCADA and MES systems, but developed so that it is so flexible and easy to configure that it can be applied to virtually any process situation", and what Hurst describes as "the best opportunity to solve production problems and improve efficiency that has been launched in the UK in the last ten years".

Pilot can be used to increase process efficiency by providing accurate data and management of process functions, thereby reducing production costs and improving output levels. The flexibility of the system means that it can be applied to just one production line with a single PC or an HMI economically, and deliver improvements, whereas it's scope also means it can be used to link production on a very large site to other management information systems without the high cost of more traditional MES systems from larger vendors.

The holistic approach of Production Intelligence differentiates it significantly from the usual MES products by moving away from the very isolated view of the planning and control processes that they typically offer. PI makes way for the true integration of business and production processes, which are uniformly controlled by characteristic values. By doing so, performance potentials can be increased in a more targeted and comprehensive manner. 

At the same time, the technological advances of the Pilot products ensure that companies can create their workflows according to individual demand and that they can change their workflows in a matter of minutes. This results in an optimum ratio between automation and flexibility for each process.
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