A manufacturing execution system (MES) is used to monitor, track and control complex operations and data flows on the floor of a factory. MES helps manufacturers in improving their production process, reduce downtime, and bring efficiency to overall operations for making profitability.
So, let's learn about what a manufacturing execution system is, how it is beneficial for manufacturers, its integration with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and the new trends and technologies driving it.
What Is Manufacturing Execution System?
The manufacturing execution system is a utility that optimizes the manufacturing process by performing operations like tracking, monitoring, documenting, and controlling goods manufacturing. Besides, MES connects different sites, plants, vendors, and suppliers of a business to make operation simple and quickly accessible at a place
A manufacturing execution system creates a functional layer between enterprise resource planning and process control systems. It provides optimized data to decision-makers to make their business more efficient and optimize. Apart from all these features, MES helps businesses quickly find and solve the issues occurring in production
Moreover, an MES integrated with ERP can bring more efficiency and reliability to the production process. The new trends and technologies that are adopted in the system are making it more compatible with future needs
The functions of a manufacturing execution system consist of quality management, real-time monitoring of production and equipment, and data collection. Regulated industries such as aeronautics and aerospace, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, defense, food, and beverages use MES because, as per standard rules, they must adhere to rules and regulations to ensure traceability and compliance.
Overall, if we see, there are several types of manufacturing execution systems, and a few common among them are enterprise MES, operation MES, plant floor MES, quality MES, and maintenance MES.
Benefits of a Manufacturing Execution System
MES provides various benefits to businesses, such as increased efficiency and speed, improved quality control, and analysis of production data in real time. Here are some noteworthy manufacturing execution system benefits to consider.
1. Improved Efficiency
MES manufacturing execution system provides the most updated data by monitoring and controlling the manufacturing process, which helps you quickly identify the issues and address them without any delays. Besides, it reduces downtime and increases production efficiency by well optimizing the process.
Inventory Management2. Improved
Manufacturing execution systems help businesses keep their inventory functions smooth and manageable by providing them with real-time visibility into inventory levels and consumption. Moreover, it reduces inventory carrying costs by decreasing the need for excess inventory.
3. Increased Uptime
Another benefit of the MES is that it increases uptime as it creates realistic production by scheduling equipment resources and materials. It combines scheduling and maintenance to increase product flow through proper asset utilization.
4. Increased Productivity
With data accuracy and analysis, the manufacturing execution system allows for better monitoring and optimization of production lines. Also, it identifies inefficiency and bottlenecks and reduces downtime.
5. Enhanced Quality
MES enables the collection and analysis of updated data on product quality and ensures that products meet the required specification and compliances. It can also detect and alert operators for deviations or unexpected incidents in production.
6. Improved Decision-making:
MES provides real-time and historical data when it comes to production performance, enabling managers to take data-driven decisions for efficient production processes.
Core MES Functionality
According to the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association or MESA-11 model, the manufacturing execution system module requires 11 core functionalities.
1. Production Management
MES manages production, including scheduling, routing, and tracking of goods as they move through the production line. It provides real-time visibility into production progress, enabling better production management and optimization.
2. Labor Management
The MES manages your team details for production efficiency and alerts you if any skills require to be upgraded. It ensures you always have the right and skillful people on your team.
3. Performance Analysis
A manufacturing execution system collects data to calculate key performance indexes, such as scraps, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), process capability, and rework. This tells you how your production process works and the changes you can bring to improve it.
4. Maintenance Management
It reduces downtime and issues in production by providing a less complicated and customized plan that ensures efficient maintenance management.
The manufacturing execution system provides customizable reports and dashboards, enabling real-time visibility into production performance, quality inventory, and resource utilization. It helps managers make informed decisions and optimize operations.
6. Resource Management
Another core functionality of the MES is that it manages resources by providing tools for planning and scheduling, enabling better management and optimization.
7. Quality Management
There are dedicated tools in the MES for managing control and assurance, including collecting and analyzing data on product quality, specifications, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
8. Document Control
The MES provides hassle-free access to documents and files such as notes, drawings, instructions, and many more. This saves you and your employees time as they don’t have to search cabinets and drawers to find written operational guidelines.
Work Order Management9.
Manufacturing execution system modules help businesses in planning and tracking the progress of each production step. This includes appointing tasks to operators, monitoring production progress, and alerting when delays occur.
10. Acquisition and Data Collection
MES tracks and collects important data and recovers it whenever you need it from remote locations.
11. Dispatching Production Units
The manufacturing execution system ensures dispatching data is always accurate, up-to-date, and consistent by managing the bi-directional flow of production units on a live basis.
The Evolution of MES Standards
As the MESA 11 model focuses on the core functionality of the manufacturing execution system, it was realized by the International Society of Automation (ISA) that there is a need for a particular terminology and a consistent model for information to define and integrate activities between enterprise and control system.
Therefore, developed a set of standards known as ISA 95, which defines a framework for integrating manufacturing operations with business systems. It consists of guidelines for design, implementation, and operation systems.
In addition to the Manufacturing Enterprise Solution Association (MESA), other organizations that are involved in developing MES standards are the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The greater need for interoperability between different systems and the rising complexity of modern manufacturing operations drives the Evolution of MES standards. As the manufacturing process is becoming more automated and interconnected, it has become essential to run these operations smoothly. TranZact is a business automation software designed specifically for manufacturing businesses. It is a cloud-based solution that integrates inventory, production, sales, and purchases seamlessly.
Some key trends driving MES standards' evolution are big data analytics, cloud computing, the growing importance of cybersecurity, and the increased use of remote devices and other technologies in manufacturing operations.
MES and ERP Integration
In the present time, the battle isn’t about MES versus ERP. If we use both of them in a proper balance and coordination, it can really bring clarity to the manufacturing process that can’t be done via any other software or technique. To achieve a better result through MES and ERP integration, we first need to understand the difference between the manufacturing execution system and ERP.
The MES monitors and manages manufacturing operations and reports on production line activities. At the same time, ERPs' role is to manage and create schedules for production, shipping, and material use.
Integrating MES and ERP together provides an overall view of procurement, supply chain management, finance, and manufacturing logistics. Combined together, they can bring speed to operations and provide rigorous data for prediction on everything from sales to assets to utilization to manufacturing management.
ERP system provides data to decide what product is to be manufactured. At the same time, the manufacturing execution system uses that data to determine which operations to leverage in order to manufacture those products with less waste and profit.
In a nutshell, when MES and ERP are integrated, it provides a more comprehensive view of the manufacturing process. This integration can help streamline operations, reduce data duplication, and provide real-time visibility in the operations.
MES Trends and New Technologies
Manufacturing execution systems are becoming essential for businesses that help them track and control entire operational processes in real time. Therefore let’s see the latest technologies and new trends that are boosting productivity and MES management as well.
1. Cloud-Based MES
Cloud-based MES solution provides manufacturers more flexibility and scalability in their operations with up-to-date data. It enables them to remotely manage and control the production processes without fear of data loss.
2. Advanced Analytics
The manufacturing execution system is adopting advanced analytical tools such as the power of the cloud and computing intelligence to provide quick insights into the production process. These tools can help identify patterns and anomalies in data, predict equipment failures, and optimize the production process for a profitable business.
3. Integration With ERP
When manufacturing execution systems and ERP are well-integrated, it provides manufacturers with an overview of their operations. It helps businesses with resource allocation optimization, improved production scheduling, and other activities.
Many MES systems are now designed for remote responsiveness allowing team members to access and make decisions on the go using their gadget devices. This improves communication and collaboration among workers, reduces errors, and increases efficiency with transparency.
5. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
IIoT is the integration of physical and digital systems enabling connected devices and sensors to communicate with each other in the manufacturing execution system. This enables real-time monitoring and control of the manufacturing process and can help optimize performance, reduce downtime, and improve quality production.
Scale Business Profitability Using the Best Manufacturing Execution System
Above, we saw what a manufacturing execution system is and how it can streamline the production process by controlling, tracking, and reducing downtime and providing robust data for decision-making. Adopting a flexible MES solution for SME manufacturers, like TranZact, you can integrate core business functions with easy-to-use software and gain higher business control.
You can view important business insights on a centralized platform and incorporate higher accountability across all your teams. This helps your business to tap on newer business opportunities and enables you to focus on strategic business activities.
FAQs on Manufacturing Execution System
1. What is the use of a manufacturing execution system?
A manufacturing execution system is software designed to track, control, and document all operations, enabling accurate transparency and easy accessibility.
2. What is the difference between ERP and MES?
Enterprise resource planning focuses on scheduling production processes, and related activities whereas a manufacturing execution system integrates ERP data to make production more efficient.
3. What type of industries use MES?
MES is used in several industries; some of them are aerospace, medical equipment manufacturers, electronics, semiconductors, and other manufacturing industries.