Manufacturing Execution Systems, also known as MES, is an Industry 4.0 solution that can solve a wide range of problems.
If you’re thinking about implementing an MES, you may have a lot of questions: What types of problems can MES solve for your business? How do you implement this type of system into the workplace? What factors need to be considered when choosing an MES?
In this article, we’ll discuss the purpose and benefits of an MES, as well as best implementation practices.
What Are Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)?
A manufacturing execution system, or MES, is a type of computerized system/software that manufacturing facilities can use to collect real-time information about their processes. Its main purpose is to document the entire production process from start to finish and identify any areas of improvement.
MES Solves Most Manufacturing Problems
In manufacturing, there is a lot of room for waste to occur, including small amounts at a wide range of points on your production line. Because MES helps you track manufacturing data in real-time, it makes it easier for you to keep your process accurate, reduce expenses, improve your overall production time, and ensure that quality levels remain consistent. This feedback makes it easier for you to address any potential issues in your processes so that they don’t become a much larger problem.
Types of Areas That MES Tracks
An MES is never a one-size-fits-all solution. At its heart, there are four key activities it tracks: work order management, work order scheduling, overall equipment effectiveness, and downtime tracking. Sometimes, an MES will work with an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system to perform the first two activities. From there, manufacturers can add on a wide array of capabilities, including, but not limited to:
- Recipe Management
- DQIP/Digital Quality Inspection Plans
- Statistical Process Control
- ISO 9001 Compliance
- Digital Work Instructions
The Top Benefits of Implementing an MES
MES offers both short- and long-term benefits, including:
- Ease of Use: As previously mentioned, MES systems are very flexible. At any point, you could add or remove any capability. This makes it very easy to customize based on your needs.
- Improved Quality: These systems help avoid potential issues caused by human error, which will then drastically improve the quality of the products you’re manufacturing.
- Standardized Processes: Manufacturing execution systems can help you ensure compliance during every stage of production.
- Reduce Waste & Downtime: An MES can help you manage work orders, track activities, and track machine performance. It can also integrate certain lean manufacturing tools. This makes it easier to identify any inefficiencies that result in waste (which could be anything from wasted time to wasted materials).
How to Implement a Manufacturing Execution System
Before you implement an MES, you must take the time to plan.
Start by identifying what your company needs and what part of these needs MES will address. Keep in mind that manufacturing execution systems are fully customizable based on your needs—there are hundreds of capabilities you can add to your system, so you must fully understand your needs.
Next, you must also understand the full scope of the project so that you can calculate a reasonable timeline and budget. Then, must inform all persons who are integral to the integration process.
You’ll also want to produce a risk assessment during every stage of your MES implementation, specifically design, development, and execution.
Lastly, you should partner with a professional manufacturing consulting firm. Working with experts ensures that your project is completed on time and within budget.
Learn More About MES From DSI
Do you still have questions about MES? Contact our experts at DSI. We’ve developed our own unique MES for manufacturing facilities, and are here to help you every step of the way. Our team provides thorough assessments to help you determine the best solution for your facility, devises a practical implementation plan, oversees the implementation of your MES, and provides in-house training for you and your employees.
Want to learn more? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.