Compiled ByJill Jusko Pelion Systems Inc. recently introduced Collaborative Flow Manufacturing (CFM) 2.0, a modular software suite that was designed exclusively to optimize demand-driven manufacturing processes. The software automates core functions that comprise lean flow, including facility optimization, supply-chain modeling and analysis and demand management. Among its capabilities, Collaborative Flow Manufacturing 2.0 analyzes factory-floor configurations and then uses algorithms to provide interactive graphics that accommodate mixed-model, lean manufacturing practices. It also can analyze supplier performance and test the likelihood of various lean-flow scenarios and the viability of supplier support of those scenarios based on historic performance. The software also tracks incoming orders and formulates resource requirements and plans needed to meet those goals. "We had developed our own lean-flow operation in-house using homemade spreadsheets, yet we quickly realized that to sustain and optimize our lean flow program we needed software capable of automating the process," says Dick Bredehoft, vice president of manufacturing for Detector Electronics, Minneapolis, which deploys Pelion's CFM software. "The software integrates nicely with our existing MRP system, which was a major concern when we started looking at outside software." Pelion Systems is based in Lafayette, Colo.