So, what is a manufacturing execution system? A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is an information system, that monitors and tracks the process of producing manufactured goods on the factory floor. MES has a goal to ensure the effective execution and improvement in the production output of manufacturing operations. The system can achieve the goal by tracking and gathering real-time and accurate data about the product life cycle.
The MES is the complete system that dominates all the activities which occur on the shop floor. MES begins with all the different orders from customers, the Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system, the master schedule, and other sources of planning. We then build the products in the most effective, low-cost, convenient, and best possible way. A similar example occurs in the construction business, where the MES builds a tower from the existing architectural plans.
Manufacturing Execution Systems connect multiple plants, sites, and live production information of the merchant, while easily integrating with equipment, controllers, and enterprise business applications. In return, we get total visibility, control, and optimization of production and processes across the organization.
A Brief History of Manufacturing Execution Systems
Let’s delve into the brief history of manufacturing execution systems.In the 1970s, manufacturers used software applications to automate their accounts. Over time, these applications went with constant improvements. In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems, which were capable of material planning, control, and production definition, became a trendsetter.
In 1992 AMR Research came up with a manufacturing execution system, which according to them is a “dynamic information system that drives effective execution of manufacturing operations”. Early MES models were on-site applications, designed to represent the current manufacturing process of the organizations.
The evolution of the MES application from a simple data collection application in the late 1980s into the more modern software of today is a notable one.
Achieving Strategic Business Goals Through MES
With rapid innovation comes added agile transformation in manufacturing, which increases variability and puts added pressure on operations in sustaining high-quality levels. Even with clear strategic business initiatives, manufacturers need to make swift, informed decisions in today’s rapidly moving industry.
Let’s have a look at how:
- Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) perform the task of monitoring and synchronizing all the manufacturing activities across globally distributed plants. MES links them in real-time to the company for the best performance.
- MES tracks down the details of the product and order on the plant floor, collects transactions to prepare a report for financial and planning systems, electronically dispatches orders, and gives manufacturing instructions to the staff on the shop floor.
- MES helps in eliminating human error in manufacturing by implementing real-time data checks, monitoring, automatic enforcement of specifications and business rules, and as-manufactured lot, batch, device, or unit traceability. All these activities result in improved productivity and product & process quality.
- Paperless manufacturing with MES reduces scrap and eliminates paperwork errors and unnecessary checks. MES provides the model with the flexibility to change complex processes and implement them immediately.
- MES also provides real-time feedback which helps them quickly identify and resolve issues for continuous product and process improvement and optimizing the manufacturing processes.
The Manufacturing Execution Software model is ideal for a broad diversity of manufacturing industries and processes. Be it mining, apparel manufacturing, garment manufacturing, automobile, or any other industry, the MES is capable of supporting very complex process workflows, automated data collection of high volumes, make-to-order, discrete assembly of parts, batch processing, rolled products, and more. MES with a configurable platform adapts to any business without custom code and has an extensive service-oriented architecture (SOA) that is designed for ease of integration to enterprise applications and shop floor automation.
With Manufacturing Execution Systems playing a key role in the growth of Industry 4.0, more businesses are adopting MES. That being said no-code platforms like Grid have the potential to create a disruption in the manufacturing sector. With added benefits like improved agility, better allocation of resources, and decentralized innovation, no-code platforms are the best way to get started with your MES journey.
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