Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

9.2.3 Software for the Process Industry or the Processor-Oriented Concept

Intended learning outcomes: Describe some typical modules of software for the process industry. Identify specific software packages.

The processor-oriented concept for the process or basic producer industries requires appropriate ERP software, that is, in which the emphasis is placed on mixing ratios and recipes, rather than on bills of material.

Software for the processor-oriented concept largely originates from the chemical, pharma­ceuticals, and food industries in the United States or Germany. It includes software such as Blending from Infor, Infor LX (in the past Bpics), Cimpro from Palomino Computer Solutions, Ross ERP from Apten, MFG-PRO from QAD and, in the past, Protean (once Prism from Marcam).

Figure shows typical modules that make up such software by way of example. The make up highlights the emphasis placed on resources and on the production model (processor-oriented production structures as described in Chapter 8).

Fig.         Software for the process industry: some typical modules.

Problems specific to the process industry that are covered include:

  • Different lots of a bought-in product have different characteristics and must thus be handled differently (e.g., production of tomato products: addition of sugar according to the sugar content of the tomatoes, use of different grades for different products).
  • The process industry often uses by-products, recycled products, or waste products. The traditional representation of product structures in the form of bills of material is not suitable for such cases.
  • Planning & control do not just apply to materials. They are of equal importance for capacity and production equipment (e.g., molds for manufacturing chocolate bars).

Electronic control boards (“Leitstand”) software packages are used for IT support of master production scheduling. These packages take account of the limited capacity typical of such industries and, by changing these limitations, allow reliable and appropriate production schedules to be created (constraint-based techniques).

Course section 9.1: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes