Author: Paul Henriques in: MES
With the constant goal of doing more with less, you need to improve in all your areas, including how you execute your production. There are many acronyms that you have likely heard recently that relate to productivity improvements. Stuff like:
Another important tool for your digital transformation is a manufacturing execution system, or MES.
An MES is a system that connects your work centers and fixtures with your central planning unit and continually monitors their operations. It is your control center, monitoring the process speed, parts used, setup time, etc. It monitors everything and feeds the information back to your ERP, which then delivers it to you so that you can review and refine to improve your processes.
In other words: A good MES is integrated with your many other digital systems and uses digital technology, like shop monitors, scanners, and vision systems to improve your manufacturing productivity, reporting, and quality.
MES functionality has been standardized by the MESA-11 model. This has set the core functionality of any MES at 11 core functions:
As stated, while having an ERP system is a crucial part of manufacturing, MES complements ERP by being another digital tool that will help in your continued success.
While your ERP system handles integrating your business units along with planning your capacity and resources, your MES works with your ERP to provide a control layer on top of your current production and manufacturing. The ERP plans what you need and the MES shows you how you are making it.
This means that an MES is an important part of the productivity puzzle. It provides you with real-time data from your shop floor at various stages and translates ERP information into usable and plannable operation instructions. It is another layer in an efficient shop.
Certain smaller enterprises can see the benefit of an MES but may be unwilling to commit the added resources to acquire another application to use alongside their other digital tools, like ERP. In this regard, it should be worth looking into ERP system that come with an MES included as an integrated module.
Companies that have implemented an MES alongside their ERP, or started using the MES within their existing ERP system have seen 30% improvement to their OEE and up to a 50% reduction in scrap.
An MES is a crucial element in monitoring your production line. This, in turn, allows you to improve your production efficiency and efficacy. The MES is made to work in tandem with your ERP and other digital tools and can be enhanced with new industry 4.0 technology like shop monitors, scanners, and other tools.
When shopping for tools to digitize your manufactory, look for tools that are integrated into the ERP, or where extra modules can be easily integrated into your ERP.
All together, the greater access to shop-floor data provided by an MES combined with the planning power that comes with a better ERP, your firm can keep its competitive advantage.