Information systems for manufacturing often follow a three-layer architecture based on an enterprise resource planning (ERP) layer (for order planning), a manufacturing execution system (MES) layer (for factory control), and a shop floor layer (for machine control). Future requirements on flexibility and adaptability require a much closer integration of ERP systems with the manufacturing floor. To achieve this integration, an MES often pushes customer orders to the manufacturing floor in a flexible manner. Moreover, a large amount of shop floor data needs to be filtered and fed into business planning applications such as production planning or supply chain management. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips can play an important role in the collection and management of such data. Günther, Kletti, and Kubach explain the potential advantages of using RFID technology in a modern manufacturing and supply chain context. Areas of emphasis include integration of RFID data into legacy IT architectures, RFID-MES-ERP integration, and cost-benefit considerations. Their presentation is not restricted to intra-company production planning, but also emphasizes the benefits of inter-company collaboration. Six case studies based on SAPs ERP systems and MPDVs MES solution show how to successfully implement cross-company supply chain integration using RFID technology.

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