Software provides universal manufacturing connectivity.

Press Release Summary:

I/Gear data transport software offers platform for integration of manufacturing systems and devices. It provides real-time connectivity between PLCs, human machine interface software, enterprise software packages, barcode scanners, marquees, scales, printers, email systems, and pagers. Intuitive wizard-based screens step user through even complex connections. Flexible triggering system supports complicated data exchange rules.

Original Press Release:

Data Transport Software Provides Universal Manufacturing Connectivity

(Louisville, Kentucky; February 14, 2003) -- Advanced Productivity Systems, Louisville, Kentucky, has announced the introduction of I/Gear data transport software which offers
a platform for the integration of a wide range of manufacturing systems and devices. I/Gear provides simple and inexpensive connectivity between nearly all types of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), human machine interface software, enterprise software packages, bar code scanners, marquees, scales, printers, email systems, pagers, and the wide range of other tools used in the manufacturing environment.

"As manufacturers move towards a mass customization mode, there is an increasing need to provide real-time communications among the wide range of software applications and equipment they use," said Don Korfhage, President of Advanced Productivity Systems. "I/Gear is the only product that addresses this need by providing a vendor-neutral communications platform that makes it easy to provide both vertical - between enterprise systems and the manufacturing systems - and horizontal - between different manufacturing systems - connectivity."

A continually increasing emphasis on quality along with the trend towards smaller and smaller lot sizes has greatly increased the need to move information to and from the plant floor. At the same time, the implementation of new technologies and equipment in the manufacturing environment has increased the magnitude of the data integration challenge. Up to now, most manufacturers have addressed these issues with point solutions such as writing custom integration routines or purchasing interfaces provided by software or equipment vendors. But these one-to-one connectivity approaches have led to the proliferation of custom and packaged data transport applications that are expensive to create and difficult to maintain.

I/Gear solves this problem by providing reliable, real-time connectivity between a wide range of technologies and systems such as OLE for Process Control (OPC), OLEDB, Ethernet, serial, email, file, Web, WAGO, TCP, UDP, Telnet, and ICMP. I/Gear dramatically reduces manufacturing integration costs because its universal connectivity eliminates the need to re-invent the wheel on every project. Intuitive wizard based screens step the user through even the most complex connections in a fraction of the time it takes to write custom code or configure monolithic packages. A flexible triggering system supports the most complicated data exchange rules. Maintenance is drastically reduced because I/Gear's hub approach dramatically reduces the number of links needed and it will be upgraded to support new and modified technologies.

Korfhage provided examples of how early adopters have already taken advantage of I/Gear' s capabilities. "One major Tier One automotive supplier uses I/Gear to collect data from press shop PLCs such as the number of strokes and cycle times and transports it to a SQL Server database," he said. "When a press goes down, I/Gear captures a fault code and triggers a page to maintenance personnel. Another Tier One supplier uses I/Gear to communicate between a SQL Server database that houses the production build schedules and appropriate bill of materials and the PLC that ensures proper execution of the order. When the operator begins an assembly, they swipe the parts with a bar code scanner. I/Gear checks that the parts are correct before providing a signal that activates production tooling and allows the operator to complete the build."

For more information about I/Gear, including a free demo, visit For more information about APS' e-manufacturing solutions, call (502) 423-0882 or toll-free at (800) 841-3141. E-mail: or visit

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