The Power and Increasing Scope of MES
To paraphrase the futurist Isaac Asimov, change is the dominant factor in today’s manufacturing environment. No sensible decision can be made without considering both present and future scenarios. To thrive, manufacturers in today’s accelerating global markets must master the management of change. In fact, connecting the manufacturing execution system (MES) to ERP is proving a powerful tactic to ensure that decision makers receive the information they need quickly, accurately, and on demand. This strategy helps provide the intelligence needed to understand and manage change.
From scrap and downtime analysis to automatic part qualification and rejection, a best-in-class MES automatically will collect data from production machinery to provide an accurate picture of what’s going on in the plant and where improvements can be made. It enables a view of the “whole story” as it unfolds in a manufacturing environment.
One key issue this visibility helps to address is downtime. Finding and eliminating anything that inhibits performance, such as a break in production, will help businesses improve capacity and OEE. Ultimately, understanding the financial impact of downtime and loss categories helps operations management establish improvement priorities in context with the overall performance of the company.
In many manufacturing organizations, the most frequent cause of inaccurate or incomplete data is a reliance on manual collection, which is not only prone to errors and gaps but is also time-consuming. This shortfall is further compounded by an informational disconnect between top floor and shop floor personnel. MES can help resolve this problem.
By connecting MES to ERP, companies can deliver enterprise-level production metrics and performance via scheduled reports to key decision makers in the business. If that data is collected and transmitted in real time, then stakeholders can react faster to operational situations to fulfill orders and maintain customer satisfaction.
While historically MES has been considered a tool for the shop floor workforce, modern MES is redefining its role by increasing responsiveness across the enterprise. A top MES will automatically deliver operational data to the people who need it as it happens, eliminating the inaccuracies associated with manual data collection and improving worker productivity as they spend less time recording information. Moreover, analytical tools help turn that data into actionable strategies to increase OEE and capacity, reduce scrap, and improve product quality, providing a manufacturer with competitive advantage.
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Posted by Epicor Manufacturing Insights Team