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Combining WebFOCUS and iTapestry Reduces Manufacturing Errors, Latency, and Downtime, Creating a More Efficient Manufacturing Plant Floor



London, UK – November 3, 2003 – Information Builders, the leader in enterprise business intelligence (BI) and real-time Web reporting, and Starthis, the industrial automation middleware company, today announced a strategic alliance focused on providing real-time plant floor reporting throughout the manufacturing enterprise.


The companies offer an integrated technology-set that collects data directly from the manufacturing floor, distributes the data to existing enterprise resources, and creates reports using the WebFOCUS business intelligence suite. Using this solution, real-time reports can now be generated instantaneously from plant floor data and delivered to the appropriate people throughout the manufacturing enterprise.


Starthis is the first and only provider of software to directly link Java 2 Enterprise Edition™ J2EE applications with plant floor automation networks. WebFOCUS reads Starthis data tools from iWay Software – an Information Builders company that accelerates business integration – then creates reports on the data collected directly from plant floor sensors and programmable logic controllers (PLC). The resulting solution allows rapid identification and resolution of manufacturing inefficiencies and/or problems.


"Understanding plant floor information is vital to the successful management of manufacturing operations, yet this data is typically not analysed today," said David Naylor, CEO of Starthis. "Two reasons why Starthis and Information Builders can offer this new level of insight are because of the advent of enterprise Java or J2EE and the emergence of industrial networks. Sensors now monitor everything on the plant floor using barcode scanners, photo sensors, colour sensors, and PLC data. Using WebFOCUS and iTapestry, enterprise executives gain a new perspective of the manufacturing floor by simply and intelligently collecting and analysing readily available data."


Starthis builds a bridge between disparate islands of automation on the plant floor to accommodate the flow of information to and from enterprise information systems. WebFOCUS turns the collected plant floor data into intelligent information that can be easily understood by anyone in the extended enterprise, including executives, suppliers, customers, or even the general public.


"This is another example of 'rings of data' inside an enterprise that can access and analyse critical information. In this case, tying together Information Builders and Starthis technologies provides a unique snapshot of a manufacturer’s work in progress," said Gerald Cohen, CEO of Information Builders. "Imagine the value of customisable, detailed information about cycle time, uptime, downtime, pieces an hour, and error rate. We are providing a better understanding of the production process and drastically improving reaction time. This unprecedented new perspective into the manufacturing process can translate into substantial annual savings for manufacturers, not to mention possibly generating new services that could ultimately give them a competitive edge."


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About Starthis

Starthis is a pioneer in industrial automation software for linking manufacturing enterprise software systems with the wide variety of programmable logic controllers and industrial automation networks used for machine control. Starthis is the only provider of software that allows enterprise applications running on a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Application Server to communicate directly with industrial machines and controllers. The software enables improved information flow and better factory process coordination. When implemented, the product makes U.S. manufacturers more efficient, nimble, and competitive. Further information about Starthis is available at www.starthis.com.


About Information Builders

Information Builders is one of the world’s largest privately owned software companies. With almost 30 years experience in the management and integration of information, Information Builders specialises in the supply of Web based Business Intelligence and Enterprise Application Integration. Its enterprise solutions enable the timely delivery of information to over 11,000 customers, 1800 employees and 350 business partners across the globe.


With headquarters in New York City, Information Builders has 90 offices worldwide. Fifty people are employed in the UK, at Wembley, Middlesex and in Warrington, Cheshire. Turnover worldwide is £300 million, with UK turnover at £10 million.


Press Contact:

Magdalen Bush/Sonia Panchal

Citigate Communications

Tel: 020 7282 2901/2923

Fax: 020 7282 1064

email:Magdalen.bush@citigatec.co.uk/sonia.panchal@citigatec.co.uk


Donna Land

Information Builders

Tel: 020 8982 4700

email:donna_land@ibi.com


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Trademarks: This press release refers to numerous products by their trade names. In most cases, their respective companies claim these designations as trademarks or registered trademarks


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