What is a Manufacturing Execution System?


Written by Luca De Ferrari on 5/24/2017

Industry leaders in manufacturing understand the importance of controlling production capacity, optimizing quality control processes and standardizing information received from their production facilities to provide management tools to compare results and make decisions.

The overall role of the Manufacturing Execution System can be broadly described as implementation of a highly integrated management information system that uses modern concepts and technology to reduce costs, improve business processes and standardize the industry by embedding best-practice technology.

One of the main strategic advantages of an MES solution is the capture of manufacturing-related data which can be turned into information that can drive business decisions and improve KPI scores, process and product quality and productivity.

Production Management and Execution

  • Order management and execution
  • Material management
  • Tracking and tracing
  • Product definition management
  • Detailed scheduling
  • System integration
  • Asset management, OEE and KPIs
  • BOM and Recipe management
  • Inventory management 

Data Acquisition

  • Third-party
  • Automation layer interface
  • ERP interface
  • Planning system interface
  • LIMS interface
  • SCADA interface
  • SPC interface 

Quality Management

  • LIMS integration
  • At-Line and In-Line testing
  • 21CFR11 compliant
  • Full product genealogy
  • Statistical Process Control (SPC)
  • Audit trail and Electronic signature 

KPI Management

  • KPI calculation and Visualization
  • Efficiency KPI calculation and Visualization 


  • Reports
  • Scorecards
  • Dashboards 

Primary MES Features

  • Standard interfaces to keep the ERP and the shopfloor in sync (ERP orders, material master, product definition, planned production schedule, production performance, material consumption) according to ISA-95 and ISA-88 standards.
  • Automatic tracking and tracing and full genealogy creation for all the materials present in the plant. Integration with handhelds, RFIDs and barcode scanners.
  • Management and execution of orders manually created within the MES solution or coming from the ERP layer (Plant order, Production order, maintenance order, transport order, …)
  • Management of material master data and product definitions manually created within the MES solution or coming from a specification software. ERP and specification software are constantly kept in sync by the MES solution.
  • Integration of data coming from different multiple systems (LIMS, SPC, ERP, SCADA, …) and plants in a unique data repository optimized for reporting and OLAP analysis.
  • Ability to acquire Key Operational Parameter (KOPs) linked to process orders as well as calculating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will drive the decisional process and strategic planning.
  • Asset Management with real-time monitoring of production lines and equipments. Capability to associate reasons to downtimes as well as collecting and aggregating counter data coming from several different PLCs, DCs, SCADA and Batch systems.
  • Compliancy with the 21CFR Part 11 quality regulations through sophisticated audit trail, logging and electronic signature mechanisms.
  • Ability to manage the material inventory automatically and in real-time. Inventory levels and consequently ERP are automatically updated during the production process with consumption data and each time new materials enter or exit the plant.

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