Unplanned downtime with a customized business-critical system: How emulation was the answer

The Challenge

For over 162 years, the end user, has designed and supplied machines, process equipment, and production lines for the world’s largest industrial players. Operating with 250 employees, they serve various sectors such as Aerospace, Agriculture, Automotive, Construction, Job Shops, Mining, Oil & Gas, Power Generation, Rail, and Wind.

The end user’s entire global inventory system was on a customized operating system, which ran on a VAX server. The inventory system tracked the entire supply chain and was integral to operations and productivity. However, due to the system’s age, Becky A., Supervisor of Production Control and Logistics, encountered several issues with the VAX and had increasing concerns about the system.

While the operating system software and applications were stable, finding parts to keep the VAX hardware running was becoming difficult. There was also an ongoing lack of support which led to issues in backing up the system. “The inventory system is obviously essential to our operations. Relying on the VAX seemed precarious and made me continually uneasy,” stated Becky. The aging server also hindered the modernization of the IT infrastructure so as to take advantage of new technologies.

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