Maximizing the Value of Your MES Systems

Manufacturing execution systems (MES systems) are one of several solutions that have helped morph manufacturing environments into technological wonders in the 21st century. As a result, this means that production managers have a complex workflow they must manage in order to meet both internal and external demands. With the right manufacturing execution system (MES systems) in place, not only can the production manager gain better control over streamlined production approaches, he can also create a paperless environment.

The paperless office was actually coined years ago when progressive minds believed that technology would replace document-based processes. While this change has been slow within the office environment, the production floor has proved to be the ideal location to drive this initiative. With MES systems in place, electronic engineering change notices are all handled online so that changes made are delivered to all parties involved.

MES systems deliver documents to production and assembly divisions of the company without the use of hard copy documents. This process not only eliminates waste, it also provides for better control and tracking through the MES systems. It also ensures that all information is up-to-date in real-time and outdated processes or regulations won’t accidentally wind up in the production mix.

Acting as an information hub for 11 decision-based functions linking to a variety of other essential databases, MES systems help to bridge the gap that exists between the production floor and a range of other divisions in the company, including process engineering, accounting, developing, quality, production control, purchasing and more. By functioning as a central point for the collection and distribution of data for all enterprise systems, the implemented MES systems can help to guide plant activities.

No matter what products are being manufactured, MES systems help to provide decision makers with the information they need to rapidly respond to changing conditions – whether they are driven internally or a result of a changing market. One of the key benefits for the organization is that MES systems provide mission-critical information surrounding the activities within production that can be accessed throughout the enterprise to drive effective communications and decision-making activities.

Data collection is another important process within the production division of a company and most likely, data is collected by different devices, into different systems and managed by different people. Much of this process is handled manually, which can be time consuming and prone to error. By relying on a MES systems collection process, all systems can be replaced with one that relies on electronic data collection from the production floor that is then transferred into the single database that is accessed by management, front office or back office systems for their purposes.

There are truly a number of different benefits that MES systems can provide to the enterprise, with the primary advantage found in quality control. The ability to ensure quality from product design all the way through to customer delivery provides a competitive advantage that can sustain a company no matter the conditions of the local or global economy. The right MES systems can provide document control, tool and gage management, cost control, a tie-in to manufacturing; real-time monitoring; and the ability to track non-conformance. With the ability to make quality a priority in all of these areas, any issues encountered today do not become problems tomorrow.