Transparency, networking, flexibility: Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a perfect tool for the consequent development and upgrading of Industrie 4.0! It is already apparent that the industrial future is no longer possible without MES.

Often enough it is the small components and details that write history . This may be (from today’s view) simple agricultural tools that enabled people to settle down thousands of years ago or steam engines that pushed the (first) industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th century.

It is a fact that we set and have set with Industrie 4.0, the digitalisation of industrial production, a further milestone in our social and industrial development. Even though Industrie 4.0 is still a vision for many people, the future has already begun in most industrial production plants.

Keep the overview

The technical basis of Industrie 4.0 are intelligent and digitally networked systems that enable self-organized production. Man and machine, plant, logistics and production shall cooperate and communicate with each other at all levels.

The most important thing is data transparency. In other words: If you want to cooperate, you have to communicate. Only in this way production processes can be processed with optimum efficiency.

What in theory does not sound overly exciting may be in practice hard to meet and even chaotic. Only few existing systems are already linked or communicate with each other – not to mention transparency.

Many companies face enormous challenges to make their production more efficient, more flexible and more transparent. Production standards have become much tougher, product variants more divers and delivery cycles much shorter.

MES on stage

Important questions may sound like this: “When exactly will part 471 get into the production chain? And when will it reach operation XY? Can eight or even twelve parts be produced at the same time instead of 4? And does it make sense for this product? Last not least: Where could occur an error that is predictable and can be avoided?”

Raising the curtain for Manufacturing Execution System: With MES you will have transparency for the whole production. MES enables in real time planning, monitoring and performance of the optmimum production process, documents every single step, ensures product quality and monitors the availability of material and ressources. Not more and not less…

The most inportant features:

Detailed planning, personnel management (employment of workers at machines) and efficient use of operating material. The tools:

Software and Hardware, installed PCs and mobile devices.

The “middle path”

Basically one can distinguish between three types of MES:

Simple, generic systems are suitable for a broad range of different sectors and their productions. Basic functions with low flexibility and product-specific features are available, but on a efficient and high-quality basis.

The second type can be used in industrial production gaps. Customer-specific and product-specific adjustments will be necessary.

The third type is the so-called “middle path”. Proven and establisehd IT technologies are used that usually work, together with the internet of things and its standards, more efficient and more funcitonal. Advantages: The operating costs can be financed also by small and medium-sized companies, high efficiency and a great price-performance ratio, standardizd processes, easily configurable.

MES – a central hub for information

The introduction of MES should be performed in several roll-out phases. New requirements can be fulfilled more easily then.

Capacities, delivery times, quality demands and systemic weaknesses have to be considered.

Manufacturing Execution Systems are often referred to as hubs. Production processes, necessary material, operating material and all related employees are linked and an effective transparency is created according to Industrie 4.0.

A transparency for Industrie 4.0 that will be a necessity in future…