What is an MES?
A manufacturing execution system (MES) manages, monitors and synchronizes – in real time – the processes involved in transforming raw materials into finished goods. An MES may operate across multiple function areas, including product lifecycle management (PLM), resource scheduling, order execution and product quality. And an MES creates the as-built record, capturing the data, processes and outcomes of the manufacturing process.
What are the functions of an MES?
A standard MES (based on the MESA International model), offers 10 core functions:
Product Tracking and Genealogy: Group final parts or batches with all their corresponding manufacturing data – from the raw material to the component assembly.
Resource Allocation and Status: Define and track the status of resources and how they are used in the production process.
Performance Analysis: Consolidate data to calculate key performance indicators (KPIs) like rework, scrap, process capability, OEE and more – to provide a view into production output and efficiency.
Process Management: Provide process routing and operational sequencing, including full production traceability.
Data Collection and Acquisition: Track and gather essential data and easily recover data when needed.
Manage the quality of manufacturing processes and units, including quality deviations and exceptions.
Labor Management: Manage people, products and operations, and track any skills or authorizations required.
Dispatching Production Units: Manage the bi-directional flow of production data in real time between the ERP and the workshop to ensure that production data is accurate, consistent and up to date.
Logistics-Focused TMS & WMS: Manage transportation and warehouse functions, and see real-time metrics on costs, capacity, inventory, accuracy and on-time performance.
Controls: PLC & DCS: Receive data streams from shop floor functions and processes, and from machines and devices such as motors, pumps and switches.
How do MES and ERP systems work together?
MES and ERP systems play separate but complementary roles in your manufacturing operations. ERP systems integrate all functions of your enterprise into a single information system. An MES is the layer between your manufacturing shop floor systems and the business, planning, and logistics systems in your ERP solution.
What are the benefits of an MES?
Most manufacturers can benefit from an MES with improved data capture, increased productivity, real-time operational data and an optimized workforce. But, experts say, smaller manufacturers may find their production operations too small to justify the purchase and implementation costs of an MES.
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