March 2008

MS MUG joins Automation Federation

By David Bauman

The Boards of Directors of OMAC and the Automation Federation (AF) approved the membership of the Microsoft Manufacturing User Group (MS MUG). 

When the user group formed under OMAC in 1999 to address issues of applying Microsoft technology in manufacturing, the Automation Federation was not in existence. OMAC was a user-based manufacturing organization. OMAC's strength in manufacturing has focused mainly on the discrete (machine tool) and hybrid (packaging) sides of manufacturing. MS MUG members come from discrete and hybrid sides as well as the process side of manufacturing.  Now that the Automation Federation exists and has a broader focus than OMAC, an Automation Federation member itself, it makes sense to move the MS MUG under the Automation Federation.
"The goal is to make sure users continue to view the MS MUG as the voice of manufacturing," said Erik Goode, enterprise architect with Cargill and the chairman of the MS MUG. "This means increasing membership and not showing favoritism between process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturing areas. The MS MUG can and should have representation from all AF member organizations."  

"Microsoft continues to work in close cooperation with the MS MUG to get input from the Microsoft users in manufacturing," said Chris Colyer, WW solution director of manufacturing operations at Microsoft. The company has been an active member of the MS MUG since its inception. "We have provided resources to the MS MUG in the last few months to help improve the collaboration capability of the MS MUG web site to encourage more participation from those involved in Microsoft technology in manufacturing," Colyer said. "We are supportive of any moves that broaden the reach of the MS MUG in manufacturing."

Find more information on MS MUG at

David Bauman is technical director at OMAC in Ft. Wright, Ky.