What is MES, and how does it make sense for your company’s manufacturing goals?
MES / MOM Overview
A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is an information system that connects, monitors and controls complex manufacturing systems and data flows on the factory floor. The main goal of an MES is to ensure effective execution of the manufacturing operations and improve production output. Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) is an approach of overseeing all aspects of the manufacturing process with a particular focus to increase efficiency.
Compliance & Quality
The MES collects data about product genealogy, performance, traceability, material management and work in progress (WIP), and other plant activities as they occur. This data, in turn, allows decision-makers to better understand the current settings of the factory floor and to optimize the production process.
Process & Operation Impact
An MES greatly impacts processes and operations by tracking and gathering accurate, real-time data regarding the complete production lifecycle, beginning with order release and ending with the product delivery stage for finished goods.
An MES is often integrated with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), supply chain management, product life-cycle management (PLM) and other key IT systems. Benefits of MES are numerous, including:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Improved regulatory compliance
- Better agility and time to market
- Improved supply chain visibility
- Reduced manufacturing cycle time
- Elimination of paperwork and manual data-entry processes
- Reduced order lead time
- Lowered labor costs
- Reduced work-in-progress (WIP) inventory
- Increased machine utilization
Pursuing Operational Excellence
Advancing Through the Manufacturing Maturity Model
Maturity is the process of meeting current and future responsibilities—for manufacturers, the maturity of your production process and every aspect that impacts it is what gives you an advantage or puts you far behind competitors. Manufacturing excellence is the goal. As you pursue operational excellence, the maturity model will help you to determine your current system positioning within the maturity life-cycle. After knowing the “what” of the maturity model, focus then turns to the “how” – how a company can overcome the obstacles to advance throughout the maturity model.
Using MES to Drive CII
The goal of MES readiness is to – based on business objectives and drivers – evaluate the readiness of individual units to contribute to (and benefit from) MES/MOM implementation. MES/MOM systems impact (directly and indirectly) many aspects of the manufacturing operation and support organizations. The impact and projected return on investment (ROI) of an MES/MOM on an organization must be addressed from many perspectives, as it is a solution that includes much more than simply “technology.” To ensure MES/MOM readiness, it is important to analyze, assess and document potential MES requirements from four perspectives: business, user, processes, and technology. This analysis will better define the potential cost-benefit of an MES/MOM solution (return on investment – ROI), and also increases the consistent adoption of the MES/MOM throughout the organization.
Manufacturing Solution Best Practices
Global MES Infrastructure Best Practices
Utilize the best practices (below) to accurately and effectively select your MES Solution:
1. Define Business and Project Goals. What do you wish to achieve when implementing an MES solution?
2. Assemble the Team. The team you place on the project (from selection to implementation) will make the difference between success and failure. Your team of management sponsors, project manager, and subject matter experts are the heartbeat of your successful implementation.
3. Realize Industry Requirements. Multiple levels of manufacturing processes exist. Within each level are a variety of standards and specifications, making it critical to keep the requirements of your specific industry in mind. Many MES solutions have been designed for continuous (or batch manufacturing) environments, so you want to find and MES provider who will offer solutions focused on complex, discrete manufacturing.
MES Solution Design
The design (engineering) phase follows the advise phase, and is prior to development. Engineering a MES system is complex because it impacts several business processes. After a software solution is selected and user requirements are clarified, these requirements must be translated into an effective, functional design. The technical design engineering will describe in detail the structure of the software and the technical assembly of the hardware.
Manufacturing Execution System (MES) – Product Lifestyle Management (PLM) – Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration is crucial to digital enterprise, where the real-world environment – from concept design to physical production of a product through customer usage – is connected and simulated in a virtual world. By connecting core systems and weaving a digital thread throughout all phases of a product’s life-cycle, manufacturers can gain insight to optimize the product and implement key processes to achieve higher levels of productivity.
MES Technical Track
MES Modeling & Configuration
The incremental nature of the modeling approach facilitates continuous improvement of the plant process. The elements of the resulting model are used directly in the configuration of object-oriented MES systems.
Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software helps manufacturers to smoothly manage daily processes. MES integration with additional systems – including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) – further aids in the management of these daily processes. The integration of MES with ERP systems enables manufacturers to orchestrate work orders and additional resource needs. Integrating real-time data about the availability of materials throughout the supply chain allows manufacturers to minimize unnecessary interruptions and delays.
Manufacturing Execution System User Interface (UI) requires strategic customization, flexible reporting and ease of access.
The MES is designed for longevity. It is important, therefore, that the system API needs to work with a wide range of devices and servers to meet both present and future requirements.
Static reporting gathers real time data from your equipment to provide a solid overview of production. Systems generate standard production reports that can be separated and analyzed by time, material, customer, and other parameters. These reports can be utilized for internal and external reporting needs.
As manufacturing moves toward Industry 4.0, software and big data are the main drivers of this transformation. Big data refers to data sets with a size beyond the ability of typical database software tools to effectively capture, store, manage, and analyze. By introducing software-based big data analytics and more flexible production techniques, manufacturers can boost productivity as much as 30%.
Manufacturing Intelligence software is embedded into your manufacturing system of record, and includes specialized database structures, naming conventions, reporting and dashboards. This software is pre-built to provide the manufacturer insight needed to manage the business while supporting continuous improvement.
Business Intelligence is needed to know what has occurred in the past. In addition to this, however, predictive analytics are also needed to optimize resources, make more-educated decisions, and to confidently take actions to establish future success of the manufacturer.
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