Siemens Acquires Preactor

If Dassault Systemes’ recent acquisition of Apriso was to cut into Siemens manufacturing execution systems (MES) and manufacturing operations management (MOM) prowess and advantage, the thrill might have been short-lived. Namely, Siemens quickly responded by acquiring the Preactor Group headquartered in Chippenham in the UK for an undisclosed price. Preactor's advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software solutions will join the Siemens MOM portfolio. Once the deal is complete, the UK-based company will be assigned to the Siemens Industry Automation Division.

Preactor has been developing software solutions for efficient automated production planning processes for over 20 years—the company was founded in 1992—and currently employs a workforce of 70. Alongside its base in the UK, the company is also represented in North America, India, France, Spain, and China. Preactor's APS planning software has been installed by over 4,500 small, medium, and large multinational companies in 75 countries, and is used to drive down production costs, boost productivity, and improve adherence to delivery deadlines.

MES and APS Synergy
The solutions supplied by Preactor should complement Siemens’ MES product portfolio well. While MES solutions can tell you which products and quantities have been competed vs. being in progress, they are not order and customer aware, let alone able to do any quick rescheduling and optimization in case of constraints. That is where APS solutions such as Preactor (the name came from combining the "predict" and "act" words) come in to the picture. Siemens will be extending its industry software offering to include APS as a key component in the field of MOM, which already includes manufacturing execution, manufacturing intelligence, lab information management, spec management, and other components.

Preactor software will remain available on the market, but will, in future, also be part of an integrated Siemens portfolio (MOM+APS). Timelines on this integration cannot be disclosed yet due to the early stage of the project. Driving this move is a specific demand in the market for MES/MOM vendors to also offer APS functionality (meaning for MOM/MES and APS capabilities to come from a single vendor). However, this does not alter the fact that Preactor APS software will remain available separately on the market. Preactor offers a family of applications ranging from mid- and long-term capacity planning to detailed scheduling and is translated into 30 languages. The solution has a vast global reseller network and is frequently integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP), MES, and Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions. Microsoft Dynamics, QAD, and SYSPRO have been some higher profile ERP alliances.
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