Manufacturing industry is witnessing accelerated growth. In this competitive world, manufacturing companies are putting all their effort to satisfy customers in a very efficient way. They are striving for excellence in their day-to-day operations. Many Manufacturing companies envisage flexibility as key to their business. For operations to be flexible it is vital that all the functions within the business talk the same language and interprets challenges in the same way.
Most of the manufacturing companies are driving rapid digital transformation. This has given a very positive direction to manufacturers. In this scenario, Manufacturing Execution System (MES) has become an integrated part by helping companies transform digitally. Manufacturing Execution System serves as a single platform for the entire factory. MES comes with different modules like Production, Quality, Maintenance, etc. The advantage of having different modules is that it gives unique value to the customer, further helping manufacturers to achieve the goal of digital transformation.
This module allows Users to optimize production quality through strategic planning and monitoring and Maintenance Personnel to maintain critical assets based on real-time data. By keeping it modular, deployment of MES can be customized as per requirement and executed easily in phases. Further, it lets the company test the waters with low investment, thereby realizing ROI within months from the deployment of the first phase of the project, while the other modules are still under development. Our experience shows that the customers are more focused towards deploying the Production module. While this might work for few industries, having a healthy equipment is equally important to drive the efficiency in any manufacturing set up. Over 75% of the industries are taking more than 20 months to breakeven (BEP) and one of the reasons for the delay is low prioritization of maintenance module.
We are seeing a shift in the approach of deployment post-Covid pandemic. Now industries are inclined to give equal importance towards maintenance related activities. We are seeing many industries are specifically asking for Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Basically, this shift is because of the long pause of all the equipment’s due to pandemic. After the relaxation of the lockdown, most of the companies are facing challenges in using the assets efficiently. Hence Maintenance in MES has become a driving force for many industries to be flexible and at the same time effective and efficient.
Once the production started post lockdown, many challenges were faced by companies- few of them are equipment health status, estimating the effort in identifying the problem and fixing it. Usually, most of the effort invested by the maintenance team member was on what the problem is and what tool to be used to fix it. Few companies also have an issue on the prioritization of the problem. This challenge is leading to the realization of maintenance module within MES. Value of Maintenance Module is taking heights due to many reasons, listed below are few:
- Clear visibility on the downtime with reason code: Line operators will have a provision to register the downtime with small description along with specific reason code. This helps maintenance personnel understand and get prepared to solve the problem before coming to line. This has helped industries to minimize the response time leading to improved productivity. Maintenance personnel will also be able to put details of the defect steps taken which will help in keeping the record of health of the equipment.
- Real-time visibility of the downtime: Andon System will help the maintenance team to easily identify the station which is under breakdown. Further, the supervisor will also know in real time the time spent to make the station up and running.
- Analysis on the equipment downtime to show trend: MES can give out the data for each equipment, data like Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), Asset utilization for each equipment. This data will help to analyze the severity and will also lead to proactive approach in solving the repeated issues.
- Predictive Maintenance: Moving towards the predictive maintenance has become very important. MES provides predictive maintenance capability, when configured it can monitor machines and trigger alerts so that work is only done when necessary.
- Autonomous Maintenance: A very critical step towards achieving Total Productive maintenance (TPM). It’s an activity which operator does before starting the production in that station/equipment. Operator will go through each checkpoint of the checklist to check if values are within limits. This ensures the equipment availability thereby helping to reduce the downtime within the shifts. MES provides this functionality in more simplified way, which can be traced in real time.
Today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment demands complete, accurate and accessible data from the shop floor at the equipment level. Maintenance module within MES system will provide effective monitoring and synchronization throughout the factory to achieve high productivity and ensure responsiveness to market demand. To know more on the product please fill free to connect with us, we can guide you towards your digital transformation.
Vishal S. Arya
BCG, ITC Infotech
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