How to Get the Most Out of Your Manufacturing Execution System

Feb 23, 2023 5:00:00 PM / by PlantStar Team


Continuous improvement is a familiar concept in the manufacturing industry. Suppliers are in a constant quest to reach peak efficiency, with 100% of their equipment working as rapidly and effectively as possible. The more information they have about how the production run is faring, the better they will be able to optimize the process. The manufacturing execution system (MES) plays a key role in providing this visibility.

MES software has the power to break down data silos and link diverse systems such as business planning software, shop floor control systems, and supply chain solutions. Properly implemented, it gives managers real-time visibility into the critical data they need to keep production running optimally. Below are some tips on taking full advantage of your MES’s capabilities.

Connect all your systems.

The first step to leveraging plant information is linking your various systems. Manufacturing companies are concerned with three major components in their supply chains:

  • Inbound logistics, focusing on material sourcing and manufacturing preparation
  • The facilities, equipment, labor, and processes that produce goods
  • Outbound logistics, or moving finished goods from the plant floor to customers

When looking for an MES, identify one that has strong integration features that will allow you to easily tie these systems together. A vendor like SYSCON can build bridges to other enterprise systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP or MRP) and product lifecycle management, simplifying deployments and improving supply chain management and quality control.  SYSCON also can talk to many secondary equipment like printers, robots, dryers, etc. 

Implement cutting-edge troubleshooting solutions.

Fixing manufacturing run snafus has never been straightforward. Factories have many devices at different stages of their lifecycles, and problems often arise intermittently. Defective materials create additional obstacles. In the past, the only way to determine what was happening was to stop the workflow, run each part of the process, and hope the defect becomes apparent. MES solutions free manufacturers from this time-consuming, hit-or-miss process by providing real-time insight into specific components. By implementing new solutions like predictive analytics, you can flip the troubleshooting script. Predicting likely problems lets you proactively address them before they slow down operations.

Use AI features to optimize manufacturing processes.

Manufacturing plants often contain various departments that function separately. As a result, processes can arise in a hodgepodge manner and exist more because they are well understood rather than efficient. Using an MES as a central clearing point enables suppliers to enhance data consistency, reducing the friction that arises whenever information moves from place to place and positioning manufacturers to streamline operations. Modern cloud solutions provide artificial intelligence features that can be programmed to replace routine manual processes with automated interactions, saving time and letting employees focus on what they do best.

Simplify and automate your compliance process.

Manufacturers must create many different reports that ensure their processes and products meet industry and government standards. The need to satisfy workplace and environmental requirements and customers demand for ISO QS-9000 certification and compliance often forces them to spend significant time on data collection, record-keeping, and report generation. An MES simplifies the work and provides the potential to automate any repetitive steps.

Use diverse data to improve performance.

An MES lets you correlate real-time machine data to glean cause and effect among all the plant’s various components. For instance, you can analyze historical performance data and see how a machine performs over time and examine machine performance in the context of other sensor data such as temperature, humidity, vibration, and time of day. If you find that a machine regularly slows near noon, you might dig further and discover it’s due to rising heat. This gives you the opportunity to adjust the air conditioning and fan to quickly mitigate the problem.

Making the most of your MES means running your plant as efficiently and productively as possible. Use the integrated information your MES provides to optimize production, enhance troubleshooting, improve machine performance, and simplify compliance reporting. SYSCON Planstar is a trusted provider of MES solutions. We can help you understand how to use your MES to best meet your plant’s specific needs and challenges. For more information on MES, check out our FAQ or subscribe to our blog.

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