11 Functions of MES (Based on MESA Figure):

Oct 2, 2020 2:59:00 PM / by David Crowley

job summary on monitor

1. Operations/detailed scheduling: Finite capacity scheduling (FCS) allows for accurate prediction of delivery taking into account all of the constraints of the plant including materials, machinery, labor and tooling.

(Greeff & Ghoshal, 2004, p. 245)

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Benefits of Finite Capacity Planning

  • Real time information on lead time and throughput as opposed to theoretical data.
  • Actual data and what-if scenario modelling allows the organization to identify, understand, and plan to optimize (e.g., lot sizes, product grouping, and resource bottlenecks).
  • Optimized process change-overs and product sequencing.
  • Planned preventative maintenance resulting in increased production efficiency.
  • A reduction and leveling of inventory.
  • Reduced waste due to better use of ingredients with expiry dates.
  • Labor load leveling and identification of required skilled resources.
  • Accurate capable-to-promise data including realistic delivery date quotes.
  • The production of feasible Production Schedules which will help to improve customer satisfaction.


Source: (Lumenia, 2016)


  1. Resource allocation and status: guiding what people, machines, tools, and materials should do, and tracking what they are currently doing or just have done. It provides a detailed history of resources and ensures that equipment is properly set up for processing, and provides status in real time. The management of these resources includes reservation and dispatching to meet operation-scheduling objectives.


  1. Dispatching Production Units: involves the management of the flow (routing), of materials to resources, in order to produce product. It directs workflow of production units in the form of jobs, orders, batches, lots and work orders according to production plans and detailed schedules. Dispatch information is presented in the sequence in which the work needs to be done and changes in real time as events occur on the factory floor. It has the ability to alter prescribed schedules and/or production plans on the factory floor. Additions and alterations may include material preparation and handling, and process operations such as rework, recover and salvage.


Dispatch also has the ability to control the amount of WIP at any point with buffer management. Dispatching always ensures that the best resources is automatically assigned to the right job by matching skill sets, territories, customer requirements and resource costs, ultimately decreasing costs up to 25%. It maintains all customer records in one place, including complete history of all work performed, customer communications, and notes. It can quickly and easily add new customers and work to be performed in order to track and profitably service that customer. All customer and work-related information could be imported from external databases if it already exists.


  1. Document control: Managing and distributing information on products, processes, designs or orders, as well as gathering certification statements of work and conditions. It includes the control and integrity of environmental, health and safety regulations, and ISO information like corrective action procedures.


  1. Product tracking and genealogy: monitoring the progress of units, batches or lots of output to create a full history of product. Product tracking allows traceability of the components and usage of the end products. Provides the visibility of work all the time and its disposition. Status number, current production conditions, and any alarms, rework, and other exceptions related to products.


  1. Performance analysis: Comparing measured results in the plant to goals and metrics set by the corporation, customers or regulators. It provides up-to-the-minute reporting of actual manufacturing operations results as well as comparison to past history and expected result. Performance results include measurements such as resource utilization, resource availability, and product unit cycle time, conformance to schedule and performance against standards.


  1. Labor management: tracking and directing the use of operations personnel during a shift based on qualifications, work patterns and business needs. It provides an up-to-the-minute time frame. It interacts with resource allocation to determine optimal assignment. It tracks time and attendance reporting, as well as indirect activities such as material preparation or tool room work as a basis for activity-based-costing.


  1. Maintenance management: Planning and executing appropriate activities to keep equipment and other capital assets in the plant performing to overall goal. It maintains a history of past events or problems to help in diagnosing problems. It tracks and directs the activities to maintain the equipment and tools to ensure the availability for manufacturing and gives alarm to immediate problems.


  1. Process management: directing the flow of work in the plant based on planned and actual production activities. Process management monitors production and corrects automatically or provides decision support to operators for correcting and improving in-process activities. These activities are inter-operational and focused mainly on machines.


It tracks the process from one operation to the next and may include alarm management to inform the factory personnel. Process management provides interfaces between intelligent equipment and MES through data collection/acquisition. Take a good look at how process monitoring can be implemented at your plant HERE.


  1. Quality management: recording, tracking and analyzing product and process characteristics against engineering ideals. It provides real-time analysis of measurements collected from manufacturing to ensure/assure correct product quality control and identifies problem. It recommends action to correct the problem, correlating the symptom, actions and results to determine the cause. Quality management include SPC/SQC tracking, management of off-line inspection operations and analysis of laboratory information management systems (LIMS).


  1. Data collection/acquisition: monitoring gathering and organizing data about the process, materials and operations from people, machines or control. The data are collected from the factory floor manually or automatically from equipment in an up-to-the-minute time frame. It provides an interface link to obtain the intra-operational production and parametric data which populate the forms and records related to production unit.


Source: (Greeff & Ghoshal, 2004)