A manufacturing execution system (MES) is among the most crucial elements of any digital information transformation initiative. The system lets you manage and monitor virtually every aspect of production in real-time. A facility’s production control and manufacturing form the bridge between strategic planning and daily production. At the same time, these core facets link the equipment and production units to the enterprise resource planning system (ERP). The MES quickly provides instant access to several key performance indicators like qualitative metrics and deliverability deadlines under a single platform.
Companies keep themselves up-to-date and competitive with a manufacturing execution system. The system’s main features such as multiple dashboard functions, production scheduling, machine, and production data traceability, advanced personnel training, convenient data management, and live-time energy consumption monitoring help set companies apart.
The added visibility into information ensures a reliable stream of valuable data in live time for all authorized staff across your entire organization. An MES gives you full control over your processes, letting you generate current analytics to swiftly initiate root cause analyses to optimize your production procedures. Your on-time delivery metrics and customer satisfaction levels consistently improve after you implement a manufacturing execution system.
An MES helps enhance decision-making to positively impact production, as well. Inbuilt order notification and stock replenishment recommendations translate to greater visibility into your operations across all levels, allowing for more accurate calculations of productions costs and optimal inventory management. The ability to peer into your inventory and processes for a real-time overview creates the basis for a dependable key performance indicator (KPI) system to evaluate production and efficiency at your facilities. Productivity gains from your MES mean you accomplish more in less time while reducing operational overhead at the same time.
Initializing your MES solutions
Implementing manufacturing execution systems is resource-intensive and requires a great deal of strategizing and testing for a successful outcome. If it’s your first time formally introducing a manufacturing solution, your entire organization must be on the same page. Most of your enterprise competitors are already ahead of you because they have already completed their MES initiatives. If you’re just getting started, keep in mind that there are ways of embedding and capturing MES functionality in multiple stages, and you don’t have to accomplish all your objectives upfront.
That mentioned, while non-standard MES applications might achieve their anticipated target production targets, they lack the tools for conducting a proper process analysis, improving quality control, product traceability, and change management. MES software is meant to act as an intermediary between enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse-level process control. Most common MES modules provide comprehensive operations management, including key performance indicators for manufacturing, production order management, and quality control validation.
The majority of manufacturing execution systems available today are compliant with ISA S95, meaning that it interfaces with nearly all enterprise resource planning software currently on the market. Once you introduce an MES into your operations, you’ll have an end-to-end view of several key performance measurements along with access to integrated production scheduling that works in tandem with your ERP and shop floor to produce a device history report.
3 tips for to ensure a successful MES implementation strategy
Many digital transformation initiatives fail because of budget overruns, or they simply fail to deliver as promised. Any MES implementation requires significant resources and capital. Adhering to the following tips represents the surest path for any manufacturing execution systems project.
1. Find an big picture overview
Sometimes thinking big means starting small. Anytime you undertake any comprehensive MES initiative, keeping the entire picture in view is crucial. This helps establish the best point of departure because you’ll understand the areas of your operation that can benefit the most while discovering the fastest return on investment.
Most companies aim to increase the productivity of their most expensive machines first. Yet, many of these seem businesses lack the necessary data indicators to tell them how productive their equipment really is. Quantitative voids like these means business owners must rely solely on instinct when it comes to selecting which process improvements to implement first.
Whenever possible, you should use the overall equipment efficiency (OEE) approach to leverage any machine data collection you do have. Take a close look at up to three of your most expensive machines and determine if there is any potential to optimize their efficiency. Once you find success in this first phase, work your way down to less critical equipment.
The machine data collection process is among the most time-consuming stages of your project. The effort could require as much as six months of challenging legwork before you are ready to move on to the implementation of your MES solutions. It’s worth mentioning, as well, that machine data collection is an ongoing process to be followed even after you introduce your manufacturing execution system. Businesses should always be looking at new ways to optimize their operating equipment.
2. Understand your investments
Not all manufacturing systems are created the same. Be certain that your required MES functional modules are available and that your system is capable of more than just pure machine and production data collection.
Oftentimes, stripped-down industrial automation solutions like these are marketed as comprehensive manufacturing execution systems at a budget price. Investing in a system like this can be tempting, but it ultimately costs you more when you have to upgrade to additional MES modules.
3. Keep an open dialogue with the participants
Keep all your relevant staff informed early and elaborately concerning your plans to implement MES solutions. Call frequent meetings across multiple departments from your operations managers and machine operators to your IT department and executive staff.
Strong communication channels at the forefront are the best ways to ensure the management buys in, setting aside any misgivings about the project straight away. Once everyone pulls together, you’ll have the best chance of maintaining the project timeline and coming in under budget.
Sourcing top industrial automation companies near me
EZSoft, a preeminent automation and system controls provider for the process industries in Pennsylvania, delivers expert consulting for several business sectors.
To find out more about how EZSoft can help optimize your MES implementation strategy, call (484) 568-5040 today.