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Pinnacle Systems Corporation


The Ekho Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Solution

Manufacturers are striving to achieve competitive advantage through best-in-class manufacturing execution. To do this, they need real-time plant information systems that are both cost-effective and flexible. The Ekho MES solution provides you with real-time visibility and contextual insight into factors that must be measured and managed in order to achieve the following: sustainable levels of plant and process availability; continuous improvement to throughput and yield; and world-class quality.

Roll of Paper
Sheet Aluminum

The Ekho Downtime Solution

The Ekho Downtime Solution provides all of the critical tools required to identify the key factors affecting equipment efficiency and rate them back to your manufacturing process.

A Solution Configured To Your Needs

Ekho Downtime is 100 percent configurable. This means that you can quickly and easily implement a Downtime Capture and Reporting system that delivers optimal returns and effortlessly adapts and modifies to meet your ever-changing needs. This results in low cost of implementation and ownership, coupled with an immediate return on investment.

Automated Capture of Downtime and Rate Events

Ekho insures accurate data capture by collecting the Downtime Events directly from control equipment, process historians or any system with OPC access. Capturing Equipment Events automatically insures accurate recording of time, duration and location, items that are critical to root cause analysis.

Ekho Downtime will also allow you to define “Intelligent Event Triggers,” which will capture events related not only to equipment stoppages, but also Production Rate Events where a line is producing below a target, or standard production rate.

Multiple Levels of Location and Reason Codes

Ekho optimizes the organization of your Downtime Event data by allowing the definition of multiple levels of Location, Cause and Reason codes. Each piece of equipment may then be configured for unique combinations of Location and Reason codes, which will track any manufacturing or process issue relating to equipment availability.

Capture Operator Knowledge

Ekho Downtime provides for comments to be associated with any or all downtime and rare events, which may be included with any reporting or analysis process. These insights often provide the key relationship of equipment to process, which leads to improved equipment availability.

Comprehensive Reporting and Analysis

Ekho’s reporting and analysis capabilities focus on the primary issues affecting equipment availability, determine root cause and implement corrective action. The Ekho Downtime Solution includes Look and Clock Explorer, the industry standard for availability reporting and analysis. With all Ekho applications, downtime and availability data is available for direct Excel® export.

The Ekho Quality Management Solution

In order to meet today’s demands, a quality program must extend throughout the entire production process, from raw materials to final product shipments. The Ekho Quality Management Solution provides everything needed to integrate quality information into your business processes.

Plant Floor Integration

Ekho provides standard real-time and historical interfaces for process historians and control systems, allowing you to associate process data and manufacturing events with quality—a critical element of every quality improvement program. This feature will also provide the ability to link quality results and specification information into the production control process.

SAP® Integration

Ekho includes industry standard integration into SAP for all quality management data. This provides the flexibility necessary to manage your quality information at the most effective level without compromising your enterprise requirements. Ekho provides an efficient, flexible and cost-effective means to manage your production and process quality requirements without any needed modifications to your SAP® environment.

Flexible and Scalable Solution

Ekho Quality provides a solution that is flexible, which will conform to whatever your environment demands. Ekho’s scalable licensing structure allows you to control and manage the implementation and scope of each phase of your project.

Complete Specification Management

Ekho Quality has the ability to easily manage and incorporate product specification information. Product specifications form the foundation for real-time feedback and reporting and may be implemented into an Enterprise Product database. Ekho keeps a historical archive and audit of all specification transactions. Each change transaction will also include who made the transaction, as well as the comments associated with why the modification was made.

Real-Time Intelligent Alarming

Ekho provides the ability to apply Intelligent Alarm Filters so that you are able to focus on the “significant few” as opposed to having them lost, or buried, among the “trivial many”. Ekho also allows you to define how, where and to whom different levels and types of alarms will be issued and displayed. This can also include paging and e-mail to selected response personnel.

Complete Support for Continuous Improvement Efforts

Ekho provides all of the tools necessary to effectively support all of your continuous quality improvement programs. Ekho’s comprehensive analysis tools, combined with its process and manufacturing event historians, will ensure that your product and process quality results will continue to meet and exceed market demands.

The Ekho Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Solution

OEE is a standard measure of performance, which brings together the three most significant production metrics—availability, performance and quality.

OEE in Practice

Used effectively, OEE is much more than a calculated number; it is a combination of Business Process and Toolset.

The Business Process may be viewed as the logical transition of data into information, which results in increased knowledge and leads to improved manufacturing performance.

Data: Process and Quality variables are collected manually and automatically and archived. Key manufacturing events are detected and appropriate actions taken.

Information: Data is collected, summarized and organized into structured information at each event.

Knowledge: Information is reported and analyzed within the context of product, production line, time/shift and more within a structured improvement process resulting in knowledge.

Performance: Knowledge combined with action results in improved performance. In order for the OEE business Process to achieve the objectives of increased availability, quality and production rate, the right set of tools have to be employed. The Ekho OEE Solution Toolset includes the following:

  • Process Historian and Automatic Data Collection
  • Event Historian
  • Quality and Production Specification Management
  • Downtime Capture
  • Manual Entries
  • Production Rate Capture
  • Quality Data Capture
  • Comprehensive set of Drill Down Reporting and Analysis tools
  • Industry Standard Flexibility and Scalability

The Ekho OEE Solution Benefits

  • Improved Equipment Runtime
  • Improved Production Throughput
  • Improved Final Product Quality
  • Improved Equipment and Production Scheduling
  • Improved Raw Material Supplier Accountability
  • Improved Profitability

The Ekho SAP Interface Module

Taking full advantage of your SAP® investment requires integration down to the plant floor. Ekho provides an interface that manages the exchange of information from the Plant Floor to the Enterprise and back. The Ekho SAP Interface Module significantly reduces the time, expense and risk of integrating the plant floor into SAP® by providing a pre-built, standardized and supported integration. Fast to implement and easily extensible, it requires no end-user coding.

Simple to Deploy

Like all Ekho applications, the SAP Interface Module is a configuration-based product; no end-user programming is required. It is designed for deployment in environments and on projects where full-scale IT support is not always available. Underlying details of the data formats, protocols, transports and applications interfaces are hidden from the end-user.

Small Footprint

The Ekho SAP Interface installs in minutes with no other third-party components required. It’s configuration-based so that changes to existing interfaces may be made quickly and easily. This means both a low cost of installation along with a minimum long-term cost of ownership.

Reliability, Flexibility and Performance

The Ekho SAP Interface supports flexible and sophisticated Error Handling facility. It uses a set of reusable components to handle common functions. Its Error Logging and Audit Trail capability can be easily activated or de-activated with all error messages optionally e-mailed to designated administration or support personnel. The interface works with any version of SAP® and has been extensively tested against all major SAP R/3 versions.

The SAP Interface is fully multi-threaded and operates as an in-memory process. This combination of advanced design techniques yields an impressive performance that is difficult to match.

Summary of Benefits

The Ekho SAP Interface contains a variety of features that make it superior to all other methods of connecting to SAP.

  • It uses field-proven technology that is patented and SAP Certified.
  • Fast to implement and easily extensible, the SAP Interface can be quickly and easily implemented to support customer-specific requirements.
  • SAP Wizards: Several Wizards are provided to simplify and automate the SAP R/3 configuration process, greatly reducing time for deployment.
  • The SAP Interface does not require you to install anything into your SAP R/3 or mySAP environment, yet it provides you with the ability to run any exiting, customized or standard ABAP, RFC or BAPI; any customized or stand IDOC; or any customized or standard transaction via BDC.


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