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MES (Manufacturing Execution System)

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What is MES?

Manufacturing Execution System is a shop floor execution software that monitors and analyzes machines to ensure quality and efficiency are implemented in the manufacturing process. The main purpose of an MES is to solidify digital manufacturing and improve production efficiency. 

MES implementation can integrate and connect with multiple sites, resulting in a transparent, controlled, and optimized environment for manufacturing. 

MES Core Functions:

MES’ core functions include, but are not limited, to the following:

  1. Data Collection  – Gathering and storing all factory data onto one central software. 
  2. Performance Analysis – Reviewing and analyzing MES analytics to compare with set KPIs. This keeps factory employees in the know with how the production process is functioning and how it can be optimized. 
  3. Process Management – Providing full production traceability and process routing.
  4. Operations management – Sharing all employees with the planned manufacturing orders and their process in order to increase communication and collaboration. 
  5. Product tracking – Controlling the flow of products in real time and group corresponding batches. 
  6. Quality management – Managing the quality of products during the manufacturing process, including detecting malfunctions in batches. 
  7. Resource tracking – Managing and tracking status of materials and how they’re constantly used in manufacturing. 

Benefits of MES:

MES shop floor control can provide extraordinary improvements in the manufacturing industry, from an increase in product delivery, to capturing costs more precisely. Although MES systems differ from one another, here are basic benefits of MES implementation any factory would enjoy:

  1. Reduced inventory – constant updates to inventory records can eliminate surplus goods and enables your departments to know which materials are available at each factory. 
  2. Increased flexibility and uptime – Smoother implementation of products, ability to react quickly during unplanned events, uncovering inefficiencies, and a great increase in uptime with proper maintenance. 
  3. Decrease in costs and increase in quality control – With greater transparency and managing of all production, factories gain an increased control of material costs, energy costs, direct labor costs, and more. 

MES and ERP:

As nearly every factory hosts an ERP solution, implementing an MES software means taking into consideration the overlapping functions of both systems. But it’s important to remember they are not the same. While MES focuses on the factory’s physical operations, ERP directs its attention to the factory’s strategy planning. Without MES in place, factories need to translate the ERP plan manually. With MES, unique production operations can be created by using information derived from the ERP’s strategic plan. Basically, with the goal of optimization in mind, ERP is used for planning, and MES is used to put the action into place. 

Cloud-based MES vs. Traditional MES:

Taking into consideration the vast amount of data that factories rely on nowadays, traditional MES platforms are no longer able to keep up with the scope of operations. This is where cloud MES software comes into play. Acting interchangeably to a manufacturing  execution system, the cloud uses the latest advancement in technology and delivers on-demand scalability, real-time notifications, and quick integration with other systems. This has become the go-to solution for manufacturers that are seeking to maximize production, enhance customer satisfaction, and streamline operations, and overall, become better equipped to handle the next industrial advancements.  

MOM vs. MES:

In the debate of “MOM vs MES,” both terms are often used interchangeably in the manufacturing world, but it’s crucial to distinguish their unique origins and functionalities. While MES (Manufacturing Execution System) has its roots in specific operational tasks, MOM (Manufacturing Operations Management) is a holistic approach aimed at achieving full transparency, having evolved from the traditional MES. As previously discussed, many traditional MES platforms are struggling to keep up with the modern manufacturing demands. In contrast, a MOM solution integrates all processes of production, optimizing factory systems, floor productivity, and quality management.

MES in Real-Time:

Often referred to as the next generation of cloud-based MES, RtOI (real-time operational intelligence) enables businesses to properly delegate vast amounts of data into readily available and actionable insights, anytime, anywhere, and across many devices, including tablets and smartphones. RtOI makes the data useful and productive for the users. 

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While each Industry 4.0 MES is varied upon the business type and customer size, they all share various combinations of the functions and benefits discussed in this post. Manufacturing businesses that can’t track nor manage their products, materials, or employees would greatly benefit from implementing an MES system in their factories.

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