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  • Kobe to Use Camstar System in Disk Wafer Plants
  • September 23, 1998 (BOSTON) -- Kobe Precision, a division of Japan's Kobe Steel, Ltd., said it will use Camstar Systems Inc.'s MESA manufacturing execution system in its U.S. and Malaysian disk wafer plants.
    The MESA system from Campbell, Calif.-based Camstar reduces production inventory and improves a manufacturer's ability to meet deliveries, the company said.

    Kobe Precision will use the software in both its Hayward, Calif. plant, Kobe Precision Inc., and its Penang, Malaysia plant, Kobe Precision Technology.

    Kobe Precision is a leading supplier of aluminum disk substrates to the disk manufacturing industry. It said it will be using the Camstar manufacturing software to help fine-tune manufacturing operations, increase process yields and maintain high standards of product quality.

    At the Hayward plant, Camstar's manufacturing execution system (MES) will also be used to control and track the production process for the newly created Kobe wafer reclaim division.

    According to Robert Rebosura, Kobe's director of information technology, the Camstar MES was selected because it was able to handle both the disk substrate and wafer reclaim operations, making it possible for Kobe to standardize on MESA and use the same MES for the two different types of manufacturing.

    "Camstar's configurable process modeling and flexible data structure capabilities enabled us to familiarize ourselves with one system, and then adapt it quickly to both sets of manufacturing requirements," Rebosura said. "We also were impressed that Camstar is the MES leader in the disk drive industry. That enabled them to deliver a complete turnkey solution that will help us to immediately control and improve the efficiency of our manufacturing operations."

    Camstar's MESA manufacturing execution system is a set of modules that control and manage the flow of product as it moves across the manufacturing plant floor. Based on client/server technology, MESA captures information about the manufacturing process in real time -- storing, analyzing, and presenting that information as in-process intelligence so that plant management can easily track product, maintain work-in-process inventory and optimize production processes.

    MESA uses COM/DCOM client technology and has an ActiveX interface module that is designed to integrate with existing shop floor control applications. This will allow Kobe to retain the investment it has already made in developing Visual Basic user interfaces for their shop floor controls.

    "The resulting tight integration of MESA into our manufacturing operation will enable us to provide immediate response to errant conditions," Rebosura said. "And that will allow us to maintain the stable production environment that we need to remain competitive."

    He said his company also plans to implement "kanban" just-in-time methodologies using MESA to further reduce inventory and provide more timely delivery of customer orders.

    (Lori Valigra, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Tue Sep 22 18:59:01 1998 PDT