Quality Management: Harness MES Software for Manufacturing Success

Jan 12, 2024 4:15:00 PM / by PlantStar Team

MES quality management

Manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions are revolutionizing the industry. They play a pivotal role in elevating quality within manufacturing operations. MES software empowers suppliers by delivering real-time data. With it, they gain visibility and immediately identify deviations from predefined standards or quality management benchmarks. They gain control over their supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution processes, mitigate challenges, create lean manufacturing processes, implement continuous improvement, and maximize quality production.

Manufacturing is a complex process, one that historically was broken down into discrete pieces. One benefit was that companies developed in-house areas of specialization. However, providing all departments with the information needed to do their jobs better was a significant challenge. The lack of visibility made it difficult to improve product quality. Problems emerged and lingered, sometimes for days, resulting in defective products. Now, MES solutions break down those barriers. With it, current data flows to personnel on the front lines, empowering them to improve processes by making real-time, data-driven decisions.

Identify Equipment Problems 

Creating high quality products is a complex challenge because discrete manufacturing plants have many components. MES systems play a vital role in improving quality control by collecting data from and about the production process. During a manufacturing run, plant equipment operates at varying levels of operational efficiency, which impacts product quality. The smoother the device performance, the better the finished product.

Manufacturers now have access to a great deal of device performance information. For instance, Syscon's PlantStar tracks items like cycle time, shot size, injection pressure, hold pressure, hold time, cushion, and position, as well as production process data, including machine and tool cycles, good and bad part counts, up time and down time, and reject, assist, and downtime events. 

Devices typically break down slowly over time. The performance information enables suppliers to examine trends. They see the warning signs and take steps to address them before the device’s performance negatively impacts output. When companies catch problems early in the manufacturing cycle, quality improves because fewer defects occur during the production runs.

Empower Data-Driven Decision Making 

With the advent of technologies like the cloud and the internet of things, suppliers now collect more performance information. However, data by itself is of no value. Only when companies correlate information can they use it to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

The data volumes are too large for human beings to manage. Artificial intelligence enables manufacturers to harness the power of data and make informed decisions. Advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms process and analyze vast volumes of information. They correlate data, recognize trends, and extract valuable insights, empowering decision makers to optimize manufacturing processes and increase efficiency. Quality control teams can see trends in areas like defective parts and then drill down into that information to pinpoint the source of the problem, such as a controller running hot. By leveraging AI technology, they reduce errors, lower defects, and improve yields.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

Real-time data collection from sensors and connected devices allows continuous monitoring and verification of product quality at every stage of the production process. As a result, manufacturers can be more proactive. If a dip occurs in the quality of materials, the company traces the root cause and swiftly takes corrective action. They can inform their customers about the impact of the issue. In the event quality issues create delays or recalls, they can work with clients to minimize the impact of the snafu. The supplier then earns a reputation for being forthright and proactive, which clients appreciate.

Ensure Compliance

Standards have emerged to ensure manufacturing processes are safe for customers as well as employees. Consequently, suppliers must submit a number of reports that outline how they comply with such regulations. An MES strengthens quality control and traceability in manufacturing processes. It creates detailed data records of components, materials, and production processes. These reports then become the foundation for compliance reporting.

Next-Generation Quality Management 

MES enables manufacturers to tap into a wealth of real-time data from connected devices, sensors, and equipment, tracking what steps the company took during the manufacturing process so they can identify what needs to be done to improve quality. These solutions collect information, identify equipment problems, support data driven decision making, and enhance quality. To learn more about how an MES can support your manufacturing operation, subscribe to the Syscon PlantStar blog.