Brooks Software Introduces Enhanced FACTORYWorks

Enhanced MES Modules Improve Plant Floor Operations and Lower Total Cost of Ownership

CHELMSFORD, Mass., July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Brooks Software, a division of Brooks Automation Inc. (NASDAQ: BRKS), and a leading provider of real-time applications for discrete manufacturing environments, today announced a wide range of new functionality to its manufacturing execution system (MES) applications. FACTORYworks(R), its core MES offering for complex manufacturing environments has been enhanced significantly and is now available on the Microsoft Windows platform. 300works(TM), a MES offering that meets the unique requirements of highly-automated semiconductor manufacturing facilities (fabs) has also been enhanced. The new functionality will improve productivity and make it easier to interoperate with enterprise-level applications.

"The changes we are announcing to our MES products bring exceptional value to our customers," said Joe Bellini, president and chief operating officer for Brooks Software. "Intelligent and interoperable plant floor applications are a requirement for today's manufacturers. Brooks provides a robust suite of production-proven applications that drive improvements at the plant level and extend those benefits to the enterprise level. Having FACTORYworks now available on Microsoft Windows means our customers can gain access to the depth of functionality and reliability they expect from MES offering on a platform that not only lowers their total cost of ownership, but also offers increased security and ease of integration."

Discrete manufacturers are looking for competitive advantage through improved performance across their global supply networks. The semiconductor industry has proven that full-featured MES solutions are critical to achieving the level of productivity required to effectively manage complex plant floor operations and drive bottom-line profitability. Other manufacturers, such as medical device companies, are being driven by increasing compliance regulations to adopt more robust MES functionality in their production environments. Brooks has been working with Microsoft to extend the key FACTORYworks functionality to the Windows technology platform to help customers lower their total cost of ownership, fuel innovation and integrate more easily -- without compromising on performance, security and reliability.

"The move by Brooks Software to offer solutions using the Microsoft Windows platform helps manufacturers to gain significant real-time visibility into their plant floor operations while empowering them to drive operational excellence," said Bill Gerould, industry director, worldwide discrete manufacturing, Microsoft Corp. "Through our strategic alliance, Brooks and Microsoft are enabling innovative results, and we look forward to working toward a long-term vision for the semiconductor industry and other discrete manufacturers."

Enhanced MES Functionality

Brooks Software has established a leading market position for its manufacturing operations management applications. In its 2005 Collaboration Production Management Survey, ARC Advisory Group ranked Brooks Software first with over 13 percent worldwide market share from among 15 other named suppliers of production management software and services. Brooks MES applications are installed in over 300 manufacturing facilities around the world and have managed the production of over 100 million units over the past 10 years.

Brooks has enhanced many of the core modules that comprise its FACTORYworks MES application suite. Key upgrades and/or new functionality include:

    * Work Order Management -- The FACTORYworks Work Order Management module
      allows manufacturers to create a production work order directly from
      customer order information contained in the ERP system. When used in
      conjunction with the Brooks Enterprise Interoperability Hub (EI Hub),
      the Work Order Management module maintains real time connectivity to
      the ERP system.

    * Manufacturing Bill of Materials (MBOM) -- The FACTORYworks MBOM module
      defines where the parts will be consumed in the manufacturing process
      (the build profile), stores as-built configurations (ABC) and tracks the
      entire component genealogy through the manufacturing process.

    * Inventory Management -- The FACTORYworks Inventory Management module
      allows the ERP system to pass bills-of-material to the MES, thereby
      eliminating duplicate manual entry. The inventory module tracks
      consumable material on the shop floor. The Brooks FACTORYworks
      inventory module provides functions such as receive, reserve, reclaim,
      scrap, and replenish, to assist manufacturing in making operations run
      more efficiently.

    * Nonconformance for Manufacturing -- The FACTORYworks Nonconformance for
      Manufacturing module creates issues and tracks all nonconforming work in
      process (WIP), inventory and MBOM throughout the manufacturing process.
      A web-based client with a powerful workflow engine allows operators to
      place material on hold until a disposition is issued.

    * Business Objects Reporting -- This release of FACTORYworks incorporates
      enhanced reporting functionality through the integration of Business
      Objects(R) technology. The web-based reporting tool allows users to
      create detailed, drill-down reports based on their top key performance
      indicators (KPIs).  The reporting data warehouse is optimized for
      reports and is isolated from the production database so reporting does
      not compromise MES server performance.

    * Enterprise Interoperability Hub (EI Hub) -- Brooks MES exchanges data
      between the enterprise and the MES using a real-time event driven
      approach. The EI Hub improves the coordination of planning and
      scheduling with plant floor assets for better utilization of capacity
      and more accurate manufacturing status. The EI Hub also provides
      improvements in functional areas such as configuration, production
      run-time data, work-order management, as-built configuration,
      nonconformance archives, equipment repair history and product costs.

    * JMS Message Bus -- FACTORYworks now incorporates an industry standard
      message bus based on JMS. JMS reduces the costs of integrating
      disparate systems through its open standard interface and supports
      existing IT systems and new technologies such as J2EE and .NET.

Brooks Software has also added a number of enhancements to its 300works MES offering, which is built around FACTORYworks. These new features include wafer tracking, wafer parameters, improved performance, advanced database archiving and purging, dynamic function calls, out-of-the-box integration with Brooks' iReticles reticle management software, and integration with the Brooks Enterprise Integration Hub (EI Hub).

Visit Brooks Software at SEMICON West

Brooks Software is exhibiting at SEMICON West in the Brooks Automation booth 716 located in the South Hall and in the Microsoft Corporation booth 4712 located in the Esplanade Hall. Stop by and talk with our application experts to learn more about how our applications can improve your manufacturing operations.

About Brooks Software

Brooks Software, a division of Brooks Automation, provides real-time applications that support enterprise-wide initiatives for greater efficiency and productivity in collaborative, complex manufacturing. Brooks' Sense Decide Respond(TM) manufacturing software solutions are the foundation for enterprise initiatives in supply chain execution, closed loop automation, lean manufacturing and enterprise performance management. Installed in the majority of Fortune 500 manufacturers, Brooks Software delivers competitive advantage to aerospace & defense, automotive, high tech, life sciences and semiconductor manufacturers worldwide. For more information, visit

About Brooks Automation, Inc.

Brooks Automation (NASDAQ: BRKS) delivers automation solutions to the global semiconductor and related industries. The company provides hardware, software, and professional services to help manage every wafer, reticle, and data movement in the fab, improving throughput and yield while reducing cost and time to market. Brooks' products and capabilities are used in virtually every semiconductor fab in the world. For information, visit the company's web site at

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The foregoing discussion contains forward-looking statements related to future results and product capabilities and speaks only of Brooks Automation's expectations as of the date of this press release. The forward-looking statements involve several known and unknown risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, the continued success of Brooks Automation, Inc. (the "Company") in the marketplace, the Company's dependence on the cyclical semiconductor industry, the highly competitive nature and rapid technological change that characterize the industries in which the Company competes, the performance of the Company's products and services, and other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements include statements concerning the Company's MES software products and their capabilities, the Company's software marketing capabilities and its ability to continue to expand its market focus in software. As a result, there can be no assurance that the Company's future results will not be materially different from those projected. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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