SAP nails Lighthammer acquisition

SAP is boosting its appeal in the manufacturing sector with the purchase of software company Lighthammer for an undisclosed sum

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By  Peter Branton Published  July 3, 2005

SAP is boosting its appeal in the manufacturing sector with the purchase of software company Lighthammer for an undisclosed sum. SAP said the deal will enable it to give its 12,000 manufacturing customers a rapid productivity boost with improved functionality in its software. Lighthammer, which is already an SAP partner, makes intelligence and collaboration software for the manufacturing sector. SAP said the deal will help it to provide an ISA-95-enabled (the industry standard for enterprise manufacturing systems) solution. “Acquiring Lighthammer supports SAP’s strategy of enabling adaptive business networks (ABNs) for our customers,” said Nils Herzberg, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Solutions, Product and Technology Group (PTG), SAP. “Essential to enabling the ABN is to bridge the disconnect between the shop floor and the enterprise through what SAP refers to as adaptive manufacturing — the ability of a manufacturer to profitably replenish the supply chain while dynamically adapting to unpredictable change. The SAP Lighthammer combination exemplifies the ABN vision.” SAP’s plan is to offer Lighthammer’s collaborative management suite (CMS) software as an application sitting on top of its NetWeaver integration platform. The announcement was made last month at the ARC Advisory Group’s Performance Driven Manufacturing Forum in Boston, Massachusetts, US. SAP executives said by offering an ISA-95 enabled manufacturing solution the company could help to reduce the complexity of building custom connections to shop floor systems, which in turn would increase time-to-value for the end customer. The SAP Lighthammer solution will provide real-time visibility to changes in the manufacturing performance processes,including root causes and business impacts, enabling manufacturers and their production staff to be more able to adapt to change and to respond quicker to glitches and unforeseen demand and supply events, SAP claimed. By linking enterprise resource planning (ERP) and plant floor systems in real-time, SAP said it can also better support unified, real-time analytics and visualisation, often referred to as “manufacturing intelligence” out-of-the box to its customers. The acquisition is expected to be completed later this month, with Lighthammer employees remaining in their current facilities in Pennsylvania, US and becoming a part of SAP America and SAP Labs.

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