The industry globalization we have seen take place over the past decades has forced manufacturers to produce high-quality products in the most cost-efficient manner. Operational excellence has become the key issue for the manufacturing industry. The need for integrated observation of the performance processes of production in real-time was quickly recognized. Manufacturers must be the most responsive, the fastest to market, the most flexible and the highest quality producers. In this demanding global market, the degree to which customer expectations are satisfied will ultimately determine success. This customer-oriented strategy requires an integrated information management infrastructure that completely integrates business needs with the manufacturing process.
As the business puts more pressure on its manufacturing process, companies are looking for a way to improve their operational excellence by adopting new initiatives, methodologies and tools. Additional new challenges for producers arise from norms and guidelines, such as quality assurance standards and regulations in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Today, transparency and traceability are playing an increasingly important role.