By Doug Bartholomew Gates Rubber Co., a leading global manufacturer of automotive and industrial belts and hoses, is depending on an intelligent e-Kanban software application designed by Invensys PLC to more effectively control the amount of cord it needs for making belts and hoses. The system manages inventory fulfillment by linking raw materials and work-in-process inventories. Using Invensys Production Engine, Gates Rubber, with plants at 17 locations worldwide, is able to use demand signals generated at the point of actual consumption to drive the fulfillment process in real time. "Production Engine is a technology that we have adopted to synchronize the flow of information between plant-floor applications and across our value chain," says Jim McGill, director of purchasing for Gates Rubber, based in Denver. "It helps us more effectively manage our in-process inventory and integrate suppliers into the manufacturing process." Adds Dave Westrom, senior vice president and general manager of Invensys Manufacturing Solutions: "Production Engine supports the lean manufacturing, six sigma, and continuous improvement initiatives at Gates while helping to eliminate non-value-added activities within their manufacturing processes."