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  1. Technology
November 24, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Stratus Computer Inc and Motorola Computer X Inc are, as reported briefly, to join forces to market a factory automation system intended, in the words of Stratus’ William Thompson to bridge the gap between the islands of automation in the technological race toward computer integrated manufacturing. The platform is intended to provide manufacturers with a single point of control over their plant operations, and consists of Stratus fault tolerant XA2000 Continuous Processing Systems and Motorola Computer X real time distributed computing systems, integrated via an Ethernet connection. It is designed to manage dynamic factory environments with a single view of the manufacturing process. It combines the real time features of Computer X, its distributed architecture, standard VME bus and support of third party Unix applications with an SQL-driven Sybase database on the XA2000 to process on-line area and plant applications and to communicate with minicomputers and mainframes running engineering and business applications. The system is being touted as an advanced way to integrate customer demands, engineering changes, materials, machines and manpower within one framework. It is intended to overcome problems usually associated with Computer Integrated Manufacturing such as the time and expense in developing application software and difficulty of modification to meet changing conditions. An interprocess communications model to aid systems integrators and end users in developing applications for the system is inplace, using an easy programming methodology and high level languages. SBI Corp, Fort Wayne Indiana, is the first systems integrator to provide applications software for the system, and demonstrated a prototype which can be tailored to fit a manufacturers unique requirements in October at Autofact ’88, Chicago. Motorola Computer X is a Motorola New Enterprises firm in Schaumburg, Illinois.

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