Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

Introduction to the Manufacturing Industry

In recent years, manufacturing needs have changed. Minimizing the total time from conceptual development through implementation and startup are paramount to ensure maximum return. Competitive pricing pressures continue to limit the ability to increase price. In union with price constraints, increasing regulatory compliance, reporting requirements, and growing raw material costs are squeezing profitability.

Out of this need the market has developed a modern approach, called Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), for production automation systems. The premise is simple: provide open information exchange from the plant floor systems to the business planning systems and provide integrated real-time manufacturing applications.

The Manufacturing Problem Statement

Every manufacturing organization has to improve their product quality, reduce production cost, and minimize lead to deliver the product. How does the plant optimize, monitor, and synchronize real-time production activities across globally distributed plants?

Challenges in Manufacturing

Prior to MES, collecting and sharing information was a tedious process. Let’s discuss two critical aspects of plant management: Inventory management and production order management. Inventory control is critical to be able to meet production goals, reduce shrink, reduce scrap, and ensure adequate supply of raw materials. Inventory control can be managed in many ways. Some plants utilize massive spreadsheets to show current inventory. These spreadsheets are shared by email, a portable disk, and other means. This leads to multiple versions of the same spread sheet and material order mistakes occur. Managing the excel files becomes time consuming and smaller plants often have a single highly knowledge individual that knows exactly what raw materials are present, and how much needs to be ordered.

Sending work instructions to a plant in an effective manner is critical to keep production running at maximum efficiency. A production order is sent out to the production floor. The production order is broken down into printed work instructions and handed over to each floor worker to complete. Some work orders can be completed in parallel, while other work orders need a proceeding work order to be completed first. How does employee B know employee A is finished with his work instructions so he can start his own? When did the employee start working on the work instructions? When did the employee stop working on the work instructions? This information isn’t readily available to management. Someone needs to manually gather this information and create a report. Identifying bottle necks is a longer process, and reaction time is slow.

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Source: Siemens SIMATIC IT MES Suite

The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Solution

A manufacturing execution system (MES) is a control system for managing and monitoring work-in-process on a factory floor. An MES keeps track of all manufacturing information in real time, receiving up-to-the-minute data from robots, machine monitors and employees. The goal of a manufacturing execution system is to improve productivity and reduce cycle time, the total time to produce an order. By integrating an MES with ERP software, factory managers can be proactive about ensuring the delivery of quality production in a timely and cost effective manner.

MES manages all material inventory automatically. When materials are received, they are entered into MES. When work instructions are issued, materials consumed in a work order are automatically removed from inventory. Plant managers can see in real time remaining materials in inventory. Plant managers can then determine how much product can be produced, if there are enough raw materials to start a production order, how much material needs to be ordered and so on.

MES manages production orders and work instructions. MES allows a production order to be sent out along with all the related work instructions. When one work instruction is completed, MES notifies related work instructions that they can be started. The real time status of the work order is available to plant managers to monitor if production is on schedule. At the end of the day, work order reports can be generated to see work instruction results.

By integrating today’s enterprise resource planning systems with real time production data, plant managers can now more easily schedule production, manage raw materials, and optimize equipment utilization. Bridging these systems is key to achieving an agile manufacturing environment. A solution like SIMATICIT can make this possible. Hyla Soft Inc. is a Siemens partner with the expertise to deploy SIMATIC IT MES systems in plants worldwide.

Hyla Soft's MES Expertise

Hyla Soft designs and deploys standard and custom MES solutions providing functionality to help reach such production goals as:

A manufacturing execution system (MES) is a control system for managing and monitoring work-in-process on a factory floor. MES keeps track of all manufacturing information in real time, receiving up-to-the-minute data from robots, machine monitors and employees. The goal of a manufacturing execution system is to improve productivity and reduce cycle times while still producing quality products. Hyla Soft clients who have deployed its MES solutions often see the following benefits:

  • Reduce scrap and waste
  • Increase up-time
  • Get rid of just-in-case inventory
  • Reduce “fire drill costs”
  • React sooner to the changing markets
  • Make more informed decisions about production
  • Improved quality
  • Improve throughout

Interested in speaking to one of our experts? Contact us at info@hylasoftusa.com.

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