When done wrongly, it is one of the most expensive, confusing, distracting, valueless wastes of time that manufacturing is ever required to do, but when done properly, it can be the one thing that saves the life of a manufacturing business, which can happen in several different ways. Traceability, in this new age of digital manufacturing, has never been so inexpensive, and with the recently increasing ingress of counterfeit materials, never more important.
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been available on the market for quite some time now and for buyers at any stage of research, there are literally hundreds of MES options to consider. As the term “MES” tends to cover a very broad range of capabilities, it’s unlikely to find any two solutions that will offer the exact scope of functionality. This is especially true within just the last few years, given the rapid progress of digital technologies related to “Smart Factory” or “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIOT) initiatives. It’s therefore crucial for you to understand the basic principles behind MES so that it can be put to work for your organization’s requirements, instead of the other way around.
In this three-part blog series, we’ll break down the fundamentals concepts of MES so that regardless of where you’re at with your research, you’ll be equipped with some new tips and principles to incorporate into your knowledge base.
As the next wave of flexible, more efficient, and more affordable factory automation options hits the market, the use of Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) robots for lean manufacturing on the shop floor is becoming more common. Business leaders looking to stay on top are investing heavily in next generation technologies, combining the use of robots with their Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) & Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) to reduce costs, increase throughput, improve worker safety, and enable complete traceability.
In this blog post, we cover highlights from a recent webinar with Aegis Software and Vecna Robotics: Breaking Down Islands for Lean Manufacturing. Read on to find out how leading manufacturers are creating a truly adaptive and totally visible factory with AGV, MES and WMS together with lean manufacturing principles.
Today’s shop floor is a highly-complex, continually-shifting environment. A recent study by Aberdeen Group polled today’s best-in-class manufacturers and found that the top reported pressures of modern manufacturing include:
• Differentiation while still improving quality (39%)
• The flexibly to respond to business demands (36%)
• Compliance with current and future industry regulations (27%)
While an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can solve challenges in areas such as capacity planning, inventory management, and business financials, today’s manufacturing environment requires much more than an ERP system alone — more flexibility, more data, and more connectivity.
Every aerospace manufacturing organization needs a quality system. The differentiator is how readily one can react to a non-conformance and how frequently report their quality metrics. In absence of MES, reporting is purely historical and is often available too late to take action on its findings. MES enables non-conformances to be addressed in the present and minimize their potential impact.
Manufacturers like you face critical demands to maintain regulatory compliance while also driving value for your customers. Moving from a manual tracking system to an automated MES provides complete quality control plus the flexibility for you to respond to changes in real time.
But what if your operation isn’t quite ready for an entire enterprise-wide MES system?
One manufacturer who faced this exact challenge is K2 Energy, a leading supplier of lithium-ion battery modules.
For automotive manufacturers, large-scale product recalls can be devastating for business. Manufacturing Execution Software (MES) systems provide defect data in real time, ensuring flawed product doesn’t leave the factory. We recently completed a customer case study with Lear Automotive Electronics and Electrical Products in Shanghai, China, and in this blog post, we'll look the measurable benefits the company has realized as a result.
Most recently viewing methods have become a critical factor when data is being utilized by an organization. Mobility is the norm in modern business and the team’s ability to stay connected to the data via mobile analytics has become key. The use of smartphones and tablets has skyrocketed, with the addition of people utilizing their own devices in a work environment. This means any system absolutely must be visible through smartphone and tablet based applications.
Right data, right place, right time - why data needs to be timely, complete, precise and appropriate
The basic requirement of a successful data driven or ‘transparent’ factory are the ability to collect data and to store data centrally. But that data is largely useless if it does not enable improvement, corrective action and the pursuit of manufacturing excellence. This can only be done if the data is properly mined and appropriately displayed to the right people at the right time. The right data, at the right time, delivered to the right person in a manner that they can act upon, is the best formula to achieving real operational excellence.
Taking a big data approach is a change of mindset. In real terms it is all about viewing big data as the means to drive manufacturing excellence through an entire workflow, where traceability becomes a valuable byproduct rather than a cost. This yields many benefits, and here are four of the key ones: