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Wescast Opts for Plexus MES

April 8, 2008
Cast-iron manifold producer adopting Web-based, global enterprise system

Wescast Industries Inc. has contracted Plexus Systems to implement its manufacturing enterprise software for the producer’s global operations. Wescast produces cast-iron exhaust manifolds for passenger cars and light trucks, and with manufacturing operations in Ontario, China, and Hungary, it is among the world’s largest suppliers of such components.

The MES, Plexus Online, is seen bringing “continuity, flexibility, and adaptability” to the Wescast organization, which also includes sales and design centers in the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan. “As a result,” according to Plexus, Wescast will have “consistent and integrated business information throughout its organization, including manufacturing processes, engineering, sales, accounting, quality, production, supply chain (purchasing, receiving/shipping, inventory, and supplier assessment), finance and human resources functions, thereby lowering costs and improving productivity. “

Plexus Online has over 350 functional modules, and gives instant access to manufacturing information and management functions using a Web browser. It’s built on what Plexus calls a “Software as a Service” deployment model, and presents enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions (e.g. accounting and finance modules); customer relationship management (CRM) features (e.g., order entry and tracking); manufacturing execution systems (MES) functions (e.g. production scheduling and machine integration); and supply chain management (SCM) functions (e.g. supplier quality and traceability.)

Plexus indicates that implementation will begin at Wescast’s Asian business unit in Wuhan, China, and at one unidentified plant in Ontario.

“Plexus brought a deep understanding of the automotive industry, core competency in manufacturing, and the flexibility to meet both local and global requirements,” states Wescast Industries chairman and CEO Ed Frackowiak. He said the deployment model, demonstrated the Plexus could initiate system changes to meet our requirements in a matter of days and hours, rather than in the months-and-years timeframe that typical system upgrades take.”

“The customer had a critical need to find an information system solution that would facilitate the execution of its newly established Wescast Operating System,” explains Plexus Systems CEO Mark Symonds. “Plexus Online offers Wescast the ability to manage the enterprise globally with full visibility and accountability.”