MES – What Is It & How Can It Help Your Manufacturing Business?

MES — What Is It & How Can It Help Your Manufacturing Business?

Steam and water acted as the primary agents of change in the first industrial revolution. The next revolution introduced electricity to the manufacturing ecosystem, and eventually that was joined by electronically operated automation frameworks. Each revolution was brought about due to an increased demand for greater quantities, superior quality and better integration, all at an ever-increasing speed. The world does not slow down; neither can manufacturing.

Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, is upon us, and with it comes even greater demands. To usher in a more efficient and environmentally responsible manufacturing ecosystem, we need to leverage the next revolutionary innovations of industry; the integration of the Internet of Things, and more efficient Manufacturing Execution Systems software.

What is a Manufacturing Execution System?

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) provides the framework for a more efficient manufacturing ecosystem through better integration and monitoring of critical processes coupled with cloud-based manufacturing software. Basically, with a MES system in place, every entity in your production ecosystem becomes part of a more integrated and automated manufacturing experience.

Consider your factory floor as an example of the capabilities of a proper MES framework. A production line only works when all of its individual processes and machines work seamlessly together. Part of this ecosystem is being able to track defects and deal with them before products are released to end-users. Yes, quality checks are an invaluable asset, but wouldn’t it be more efficient to have an IoT-driven system in place to automate that process?

MES can help you track nonconformances and defects in your products as they move along the line, tracing the most minute detail from when and where the defect occurred, to what the cause of the defect was. With this information, you can make a more informed decision concerning the efficiency of all the entities in your production line. The same counts for staff and other business assets. Do you know exactly how your assets are being used? Do you know at any given point in the work day what the real-time condition of a specific asset is? Is there a place on the production line where technician A would perform more efficiently than technician B? MES integration gives you better oversight, control and real-time information on the inadequacies and strengths of your manufacturing ecosystem.

MES Features

MES is a short acronym for an incredibly wide and diverse range of systems that can streamline your cloud manufacturing platforms. Without a list of definitive features and meanings to highlight when discussing how manufacturing solutions can increase the productivity and efficiency of your manufacturing ecosystem, this article would be a novel. To that end, here are a few key features of MES that your business would benefit from:

Production Planning

Proper planning is essential to efficiency in any industry, even more so where manufacturing is concerned. From the planning and preparation hub of your business to your production floor, MES makes other systems like productivity and priority scheduling, digital progression dashboards, and equipment operation calendar easier to synchronise and monitor.

Production Management

MES are integral to efficient management of the production as well. Numerous aspects of production management can be automated with the right frameworks in place. A functional MES would result in automated counting processes, production order distributions, and processing of production reports to various mobile terminals such as PDAs, smartphones and personal computing solutions.

Quality Management

MES gives you greater oversight and control over the quality of your end-product. You’ll also be able to configure inspection criteria and standards for specific scenarios and processes, and even automate the quality control operation for faster, standardised inspections.

Warehouse Management

Update your stock inventory entries faster and more efficiently by integrating your warehouse management systems with MES. This can lead to faster generation of barcodes and raw material classification, more efficient storage and organisation protocols, and real-time data concerning all of your stock across your warehouse locations.

Equipment Management

Most equipment has a clearly defined usage lifecycle. MES can help you keep track of where in this lifecycle every piece of equipment is. This means fewer surprise critical failures, fewer delays, and ultimately much more efficient management of your equipment.

How MES Can Benefit Your Business

The right MES has the power to transform a manufacturing business into a modern, integrated, efficient manufacturing ecosystem. The features of MES describe what you can do, the benefits, however, paint a fully-realised picture of the positive impact manufacturing solutions can have on your business:

More Efficient Scheduling

Anything to do with scheduling can be automated with the right 21st century tools. Integrating MES with an IoT approach to manufacturing leads to innovations like automated receipt, production, delivery and task scheduling, ultimately culminating in a decrease in waiting time between processes, stations, and locations.

Cost Reduction

It’s no secret that efficiency builds a more economically stable operation. Production systems like Toyota’s ‘Just in Time’ over Ford’s former ‘Just in Case’ approach to storage and stockage, led to a decrease in production costs, and spearheaded the efficiency movement in production as we know it. These are all early examples of MES. Modern MES is even more adept at saving time and money across the board.

A Paperless Approach

Digitisation is what sets the factories and manufacturing operations of the past apart from those of the future. Digitisation means that all your records, orders, notes, and correspondence are stored digitally and always available by way of cloud-storage companion utilities. MES and digitisation work hand-in-hand to deliver even more comprehensive data gathering, evaluation and storage solutions.

The Difficulties of MES Implementation

MES is an incredibly powerful tool to integrate into your manufacturing ecosystem. MES provides improved efficiency when implemented and integrated correctly, providing you with the results you want. MES works best when implemented and integrated with other smart tools such as ERP and IoT.

These make up the three-pronged foundation that peak production and manufacturing efficiency rests upon. You need ERP software to manage the day-to-day of your business. MES integration couples with this to further streamline the day-to-day and increase the efficiency of the manufacturing supply chain. IoT comes in the form of smart buildings and small time, energy and capital-saving initiatives, but when brought together with MES and ERP, results in the ultimate efficient, future-forward manufacturing solution.

HAND – Your Partner in MES Integration

When it comes to your business’s efficiency, why partner with anyone but the best? With more than 20 years of experience in providing IT and ERP-related frameworks and systems, trust HAND Global Solutions to be your manufacturing execution system vendor. Operating in 7 countries, with more than 6000 clients globally, HAND has been critical in the implementation of over 20 000 systems to date in 89 countries.

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