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Proficy Smart Factory - MES Solutions

Wabtec speeds operations with Proficy


Faster production


Automated data collection

Data Entry

Less manual data entry



Wabtec Corporation


Manufacturing & Digital Plant


CIMPLICITY, Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Webspace

Product Categories

Proficy HMI / SCADA, Proficy Smart Factory - MES Solutions, Proficy Historian

Reprinted with permission from Control Design magazine


Digitizing Complex Discrete Manufacturing

No stranger to complex discrete manufacturing, Wabtec Corporation offers the world’s most comprehensive and competitive locomotive portfolio. From supplying a vast array of quality electronic, mechanical and pneumatic components to customized inventory management, Wabtec’s capabilities extend across all railway-industry disciplines.


In the past, complex discrete manufacturing required a large amount of information that was entered and managed manually or in multiple systems that were tied together by the operator and production process.


To improve its complex discrete manufacturing, Wabtec implemented a Proficy solution from GE Digital, featuring Proficy’s MES software, CIMPLICITY HMI/SCADA and Proficy Historian for industrial data management. The solution:


  • Accelerated operators’ work
  • Automated data collection
  • Leveraged mobility for the modern Connected Worker
  • Improved the operator experience by reducing the need to walk and enter data manually


The Journey to Optimizing Operations


"We knew there were challenges and that it would be difficult," Rob Burnett, IT leader, supply chain & Brilliant Factory at Wabtec, explained.

There were thousands of operators, and we were asking them to change their work. It is a difficult environment to forecast and plan, while continuing to properly serve our customers.

Rob Burnett - IT Leader, Supply Chain & Brilliant Factory, Wabtec

With Proficy, the evolution started with process visibility and went to analytics and to the digital thread, Burnett said.


"We needed a lot more information about our parts and processes," Burnett commented. "On parts both big and small, it was significant work for our operators to answer 15 or 20 questions, and they needed to use five different data entry tools to do it."


Improving the Operator Experience


By observing and talking to operators, the team came up with creative approaches to speed the operators' work. Automated data collection approaches were identified, and mobile tablets were introduced to the shop floor. These techniques improved the operator experience by reducing walking and data entry. 


"We also connected our digital thread through field services," noted Burnett. "With the field and part data, we can dynamically route the part through the shop.”

The data analytics can also be used to determine what services we can bypass. For example, many of the newer devices don't need to be rebuilt. We will be focusing on expanding the dynamic routing and forecasting of parts, knowing just a few days can greatly help our customers.

Rob Burnett - IT Leader, Supply Chain & Brilliant Factory, Wabtec

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