Profitability is the prime factor in any manufacturing process. While you can streamline material cost and time spent in production, there is another way to increase the profits of a manufacturing operation. By implementing a manufacturing execution system or MES, a company can improve the bottom line without sacrificing quality or safety. However, a well-honed MES offers additional, latent benefits for companies that further increase its value potential. Consider these benefits as you weigh the cost analysis of implementing an MES system within your company.
A manufacturing execution system is designed to gather and store production information for a factory. As such, an MES is networked to be integrated with equipment for ease of data collection. Controllers and managers are trained to process and aid in this data gathering process. Finally, enterprise business applications are tuned in to the MES for a complete system.
As a result from this networking, a manufacturing facility achieves total transparency, control, and optimizing with manufacturing. Every step from placing orders and product development, to process control and output of production, is documented and analyzed. Missteps or dysfunctions that cost time or money can easily be identified and corrected or replaced. This networking capability greatly increases the efficiency and capabilities of manufacturers of all sizes.
Thanks to the use of an manufacturing execution system, a manufacturing plant can reduce waste in a number of areas. First of all, an MES is a computerized system that involves digital master logs, as well as electronic batch and device history records. For an office space, this means little to no need to maintain paper copies of documentation. Filing, storing, and time spent tracking down paperwork is no longer a factor in time and expense among offices. Speaking of time saved, when using an electronic data entry system, the use of back-office automation helps to reduce data entry time.
Another instrumental area of waste reduction is in the manufacturing plant. Using an MES reduces scrap and wasted material thanks to set-ups that are consistent and streamlined. If there is a problem with a step in the manufacturing process, the MES will detect the issue in real-time, and the production process is halted until the issue is corrected. This is a major cost saver considering how much product could be improperly produced within just a few hours’ time.
Along the same lines, an MES is highly effective at increasing the productivity of both a back and front office, as well as a manufacturing line. When everyone is on the same page, there is little room or opportunity for error. An MES keeps all members of a manufacturing team on the same page.
For instance, consider if a material needed for production is not in stock. Rather than wasting time reaching out to various individuals in search of the material, everything is registered in a universal system accessible by all team members. Everything from properly maintained machinery to source inventory and the right tooling for a project is documented via this system. Bolstering productivity also increases uptime, which is paramount for the success of any manufacturing facility.
One of the most costly attributes of any manufacturing company is inventory. Having a sizable inventory is expensive to store and manage. Then there is the consideration of supply and demand that can add or detract from the value of an inventory. Based on the market value of your inventory, whether it is stocked with materials or finished product, this can skew the value of your entire operation. Yet your company needs to have a certain amount of inventory to remain in business.
How do manufacturers balance this? They start by reducing the amount of inventory that is stocked just-in-case. Using an MES system allows manufacturers to be confident in the amount of material and finished product needed for the subsequent future. Furthermore, an MES documents and tracks purchasing and shipping so that a manufacturing facility is able to minimize excess inventory.
Production managers will no longer scramble to find enough material on hand to keep assembly lines running or in case of an emergency. Instead, the company will maintain the necessary amounts of materials based on production needs, as well as emergency runs. As a result, employee satisfaction and customer service will skyrocket since everyone has what they need to get their jobs completed without a struggle.
The benefits of an MES system are outstanding in terms of productivity and profitability. However, there is one additional reason why manufacturers are transitioning to a digitally-based manufacturing execution system. In this modern age, everyone is going digital. For manufacturers to be able to keep up and communicate effectively with shippers, customers, and logistics an MES is fast becoming an instrumental part of any plant’s operations.