USDATA Corp. promises to narrow the gap between business systems and production control system with its new Xfactory manufacturing execution system that became available last month. Using an intuitive, object-based system to model processes, Xfactory enables companies to install the MES quickly and to make changes in the system easily, company managers say. "Xfactory has helped Systron Donner to rapidly expand our production capability and improve our processes," says Gerald Brasuell, vice president of the Inertial Division at Systron Donner, a test firm for the new software. "More importantly, it allows us to effectively manage change and raise visibility of the production process throughout our value chain." Xfactory enables companies to integrate, coordinate, and manage data across multiple levels -- including all areas of production, inventory management, scheduling and planning. The system creates a visual representation of the factory using objects to represent various functions. "For the first time, an intuitive visual object modeling environment can simplify, enhance, fine-tune, and truly revolutionize manufacturing and business processes," says Bob Merry, president and CEO at USDATA in Richardson, Tex.