As global competition continues to intensify, manufacturers are seeking new ways to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. Forward-thinking players are counting on shop-floor automation to drive operational efficiency and raise product quality. They know that the future of their enterprise lies in a future-ready factory.
Isn’t a good ERP solution good enough for managing manufacturing operations? Not really! Most traditional ERP systems have remained focused on official functions like accounting, human resources, customer service, basic plant scheduling, and supply chain operations. The demands of the production function are more
specific and technical in nature. The requirement in this case is a solution that helps improve real-time
workflow visibility and process efficiency within the factory floor.
Manufacturing Execution System – Built for the Factory Floor
A manufacturing execution system (MES) is an information system that interconnects, monitors, and
controls disparate manufacturing systems, and data flows in the production environment. It works across multiple areas of manufacturing operations including resource scheduling, product tracking, quality control, production analysis, maintenance management, and order execution. The solution gathers real-time data from the entire production lifecycle. The insights gleaned from this data is used for streamlining factory operations.
The primary goal of an MES is to ensure effective execution of the manufacturing operations and improve production output. A layer in between the ERP and other process control systems, an MES system is an essential add-on and not another version of an existing system. It functions seamlessly with ERP, supply chain management, PLM, and other core enterprise systems. Truth be told that there are some areas where the
ERP and MES systems overlap. However, this issue can be addressed easily since the implementation is done only after defining the roles and goals beforehand.
What to Look for Before Choosing an MES Solution
When it comes to choosing an MES solution, a few factors need to be considered before proceeding –
cost, interoperability, ease of deployment, language support, scalability, customization, and support.
The search for a one-size-fits-all solution may not be fruitful, since the modules depend on the industry
and scope of operations. Nevertheless, recent advancements have helped technology providers roll out
plug-and-play solutions that require minimal customization.
A good integrated manufacturing execution system provider should offer everything from concept to delivery. The ideal service suite consists of MES consulting, solution design & implementation, upgrade & roll out, integration, and maintenance.
The Benefits of Deploying an MES
Enterprises that deploy an MES solution can expect a clutch of benefits including cost optimization, increased throughput, improved operational control, reduced wastage, enhanced quality, and streamlined factory operations. A traditional ERP system might have some functionalities of an MES, but the extension can turn out to be more expensive in the long haul. That is because of the complexity of customization and the lack of flexibility. When it comes to niche requirements, like electronic batch records, weigh & dispense, and equipment management, an MES is head and shoulders above many other systems.
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