Industrial automation is the implementation of elements and components: hardware and software, which facilitate the efficiency and optimization of production. More specifically, it could be defined as a control system.
Due to rapid technological advances, there is a need to implement elements such as: computers, programmable logic controllers, robots and information technology in production processes, thus inducing the current Industry 4.0.
Industrial production is in a period of transition, in which computerized control and mechanization increase the precision, quality and performance of processes.
What is MES?
MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is a software that manages manufacturing orders and stock, by controlling and monitoring the processes of production plants.
MES is the predecessor of MRP (Materials Requirement Planning) and MRPII software. These managed the flow of materials and were characterized by their lack of flexibility.
MES goes further. It is designed to gain versatility and to organize, control and monitor processes in an easy and accessible way. This system works in cohesion with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems; a set of integrated applications, which aim to manage purely administrative and business processes.
It could be said that ERP systems define what is to be produced, while MES specifies how it is to be produced through decision making.
The convergence between MES and ERP systems focuses on the complementarity of the functions of one system with the other. They operate simultaneously and communicate with each other. The differential aspect between the two is that the MES system collects more detailed information from the production lines: machinery, products, materials, traceability, quality, etc.
In short, the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is software designed to achieve operational excellence, as well as maximum efficiency and optimization of resources. All this through the control, automation and planning of the production processes of a factory.
MES systems arise from the need to implement information technology as a method to achieve digital transformation in manufacturing plants. Its purpose is based on the improvement of OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) rates.
Thanks to the real-time collection and centralization of data, MES systems provide insight into performance and thus correct inefficiencies.
The specific objectives of the integration of an MES system in production plants are based on:
- Production control
- Incident management
- Performance improvement (OEE)
- Real-time process Monitoring
- Preventive and predictive maintenance
- Cost reduction: energy, resources, materials, among others, of the production processes.
Functions of MES systems
As mentioned above, MES systems aim to improve the performance parameters of a factory’s production plant. It works as an intermediary between the planning systems, the ERP, and the control processes managed by the SCADAs or PLCs. And to achieve its main objective, it fulfills certain functions detailed below:
- Execution of established orders based on required production priorities and times.
- Monitoring of ongoing activities to know the real-time status of each of the processes and more accurately estimate delivery and dispatch dates. In addition, the collection and evaluation of data is very useful for managers, since it facilitates decision making in the face of possible adversities and/or production alerts.
- Gathering of relevant information on processes, materials and performance, both of the machinery and of the operators of the manufacturing plants. Thanks to the management of documentation it is possible to know the performance indexes of each of the processes and improve or eliminate inefficient ones.
- Quality control: Through monitoring it is possible to perform audits and know the quality of materials and parts, as well as the parameters of the equipment. In addition, it detects defective products or invalid raw materials, which facilitates the exhaustive control of the resources used for production.
- Real-time monitoring of processes and production. MES facilitates access to the data collected for monitoring and obtaining a constant and updated global vision.
- Insight into human resources. It is possible to know the performance of the operators, as well as their functions in the production lines.
Benefits of the MES system
The implementation of MES systems in the production plant is a competitive business improvement because of its multiple advantages:
- Cost reduction
- Increased visibility
- Improved quality and increased productivity
- Increased productivity
- Reduction and optimization of resources
Join the digital transformation with Nexus Integra
The Nexus Integra integrated operations platform, features IoT and Big Data solutions that will make your MES system a highly useful and efficient tool for your production plant. Centralize all operations through the complete automation of your factory with Nexus Integra.
Contact us and we will help and advise you on how to connect your MES to our integrated operations platform and obtain the greatest efficiency.