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Where Does MES Fit Into Your World?

Brian Briggs, Technical Solutions Architect | November 21, 2023
General Blog

Have you considered utilizing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) in your production processes? By implementing MES into your factory, you can ensure high product quality, maximize your production output, and facilitate recall tracking. Digitizing your production schedules can help you eliminate paper records and enable quick reactions to changes. It’s essential for capturing production data accurately. So where does MES fit into your world?

What are the key pieces of information that you use to optimize your production process? What variable do you monitor throughout the day to judge your plant’s health? If your answer is “none” then you do not need an MES (well, you do, but for purposes of this article, go with me here). Suppose you identified at least one key metric that helps you measure your progress and guide the direction of your production, maintenance, and improvement efforts. In that case, you will benefit from implementing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES), regardless of the chosen metric.

Whether your focus is on making a product correctly the first time, adhering to quality standards, ensuring you are maximizing your production potential, or being able to quickly and accurately track what was consumed and where it went in the event of a recall, one of the most vital tools you can have at your disposal is an MES.

The value of real-time data

How many of us have seen or experienced a process where the daily production schedule is produced on a piece of paper and reviewed at the morning meeting? Within an hour, an update to that production schedule has been printed and hopefully distributed to everyone in the plant who needs to know about the update. Rinse and repeat many, many times throughout the day. 

Now, what if your production schedule were digitized? What if a change to the production schedule, an urgent work order for a product that needs to ship that day, comes through? Imagine if, instead of scrambling to address this need, everyone impacted by the change receives an email, text message, or a notification on a workstation that a change is pending. How quickly can you and your people react in that scenario?

How often have you seen a coffee-stained clipboard with a ragged bunch of papers clipped to it? An operator wanders over and starts updating the sheet. Once done, the operator returns to work, and the data on that clipboard sits there until the end of a shift or day, when it is picked up and hopefully entered into the system.  

What would your day look like if all that paper were to disappear? Instead, sample results, inline testing data, downtime events, or any of the countless data points valuable enough to have a person record the values available for reporting and analysis within seconds?

Now, what part of accurately capturing critical data from the production process to facilitate tracking and improving your overall performance, quality, and efficiency does not feel right to you?

Does it fit with your manufacturing process?

As someone passionate about Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and its benefits to the manufacturing industry, I understand that my clients have unparalleled expertise in their plants, processes, and people. Accurate data collected promptly, with the right tools and knowledge to make use of that data, can significantly improve manufacturing processes worldwide.

Partnering with a skilled MES service provider, such as InSource Solutions, can combine their expertise with your domain knowledge to identify and address the KPIs that will improve your situation the most. By working with a partner who takes a comprehensive approach to understanding your processes and people, you can significantly benefit your factory and effectively implement an MES.

Need help understanding where MES fits into your world?