Industry 4.0 Glossary

What Is A Manufacturing Execution System?

Manufacturing execution system (MES) provides real-time data that is used to monitor and track all of the processes on the shop floor. It monitors the entire life-cycle of a product from receipt of a purchase order to the invoicing of a finished good.

The MES seamlessly integrates and creates compatibility with evolving technologies such as industry 4.0, IoT, AI, and cloud consumption-based models. Through this integration, it is able to achieve its ultimate purpose which is to improve productivity.

How A Manufacturing Execution System Works

MES collects date from multiple elements of the digital manufacturing enterprise and turns it into actionable insights from the shop floor to the top floor. It provides all personnel real-time visibility, access, and control over the production process.

In the ISA 95 architecture, MES operates at the “level-2” or the “manufacturing operations management” level. It helps communication between field level and node level systems with enterprise-level systems. MES also enables operational aspects like scheduling, production, and quality management.

Today, guided analytics has empowered MES with the ability to decentralize tactical decisions through the power of decision support systems and predictive analytics. This has accelerated the lead time in response to a failure on the floor. It has also enabled harnessing the wisdom of experienced floor personnel towards optimizing day-to-day floor activities.

Benefits Of Manufacturing Execution System

When properly implemented, MES can achieve business outcomes through increased efficiency that drives profitability. It can also maximize production by accelerating the order-to-cash cycles which influence revenue.

Eliminate Paperwork And Data-Entry Time

Digitization of data and process is one of the most tactical benefits of MES. It helps to gather and visualize real-time data. Pencil and paper often delay manufacturing decisions by at least one cycle time or more whereas an MES based environment enables in-line decisions based on insights from data.

Increase Uptime And Machine Utilization

Scheduling modules in MES enable maximization of equipment utilization. Running simulations to identify the best possible OEE can help maximize production. Optimization of scheduled maintenance or preventive maintenance based on data on the life of parts and equipment can improve uptime. Improved visibility to material availability, manpower shortage, and maintenance alerts from MES systems can prevent unscheduled downtime.

Cost Savings

MES is the first layer in the digital manufacturing environment that can address cost savings from two perspectives. The first perspective is aimed at reducing certain wastes due to quality issues, unplanned production, unnecessary material movement, or inefficiencies. The second perspective is avoiding waste that could have occurred due to human intervention, over-processing, or waiting. MES can address cost saving from a more comprehensive perspective than disparate systems at a lower level of industrial automation.

MES Drives Manufacturing Success

MES provides the manufacturers with real-time visibility of the entire manufacturing process to enable quick action and ensures process adherence. This along with its ability to drive efficiency and reduce costs helps manufacturing organizations achieve business outcomes like revenue growth, profitability, and competitive advantage.