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Virgin Orbit’s Goryca describes ‘fast and furious’ implementation of MES software

It is possible to implement MES (manufacturing execution system) software that does away with paper documentation in less than six months, Andrzej Goryca, senior enterprise systems manager at Virgin Orbit, said today at the AeroDef Manufacturing conference here.

Virgin Orbit, a two-year-old firm preparing to launch small satellites midair using a rocket attached to a modified 747 aircraft it owns, works to “make space more accessible to people by bringing the price down for launches of satellites,” he said.

On the ground floor at Virgin Orbit, Goryca and his team first rolled out an ERP / MRP foundation from Oracle. At the same time, the team initiated an MES selection process, selected iBASEt’s Solumina MES platform by December of 2016 and began implementing it by late January 2017. “And by Cinco de Mayo, we were in production,” he said to a packed room at the conference. “So that’s fast and furious” and highly recommended.

On average, it takes a smaller company like Virgin Orbit at least a year to implement an MES, he noted.

To speed implementation, “first, we chose an uber-functional solution,” Goryca said. “We chose a solution that has a lot of stuff out of the box” so employees at the Long Beach-based company could immediately start playing with it.

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