Want to implement a successful MES across your global enterprise?

The pressures on manufacturing today are high. Companies need the agility to respond to changing customer demands, to deliver with increasingly high efficiency, and bring new products to market quickly. Implementing a strategic digitalization program using an enterprise-wide MES solution based on Industry 4.0 manufacturing philosophies offers a way to drive efficiency, reduce waste, increase quality and give the breathing space needed to foster innovation and agility across all processes and operations. However, although the benefits of such a system are huge, the path to implementation may appear daunting.

A multi-site MES needs to be designed from the ground up to deliver the needs of modern manufacturing companies. It needs to handle the enormous volumes of data and distributed intelligence from smart products, machines and materials and bring everything together into a single source of truth. Done correctly, this goldmine of information will enhance decision making, provide continuous process improvements, and give total clarity and visibility across all manufacturing sites. But how do you get there?

A multi-site MES roll-out affects multiple stakeholders and processes. Although it is a complex system, this series of blogs will take you step by step through the challenges and opportunities it offers. It will explain the options available to you and how to create a pathway to implementation that fits with your business and wider strategic goals. It will provide you with the information and tools you need to start your journey to Industry 4.0 – explaining the mindset and approach that will ensure your success.

Where to start?

We want to share our experience and expertise with you and help you get where you need to be to make your business strong, competitive and resilient for the future. We have ‘been there and done that’ and understand the challenges of manufacturing complex products to the highest quality standards.

As with any major project, the starting point is understanding the benefits and building a business case, and this is the first topic for the series. A multi-site MES has big technical and IT constituents, but at least as important are the project management and change management components. The series comprises 7 different sections, that will guide you on your journey:

1. Benefits and how to build a business case
2. Multi-Site project stages
3. Advantages of an MES template and a standardized approach to roll-out
4. Center of excellence / governance
5. Challenges of multi-site implementation projects and how to overcome them
6. Implementation strategy and change management
7. MES architecture for easy multi-site deployments
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2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for MES

What is a future-ready multi-site MES and why do you need it?

Although manufacturing sites produce and rely on huge amounts of data, this is often held in disparate systems or silos. As plants have evolved or been acquired, there are often different legacy systems that have grown and been modified over the years. This makes maintenance and adapting the systems to new demands burdensome. Bringing together data from all sites delivers a new level of visibility and enables better strategic decision making and the adoption of best practices.

Alongside the need to balance quality and cost, manufacturers need to inject speed, agility and innovation into their production. Traditional MES with limited functionality and separate systems to handle work-in-progress (WIP), track and trace, equipment integration, maintenance, scheduling, reporting and analytics, simply cannot provide the real-time visibility needed for modern production needs. By applying Industry 4.0 concepts to production, plants benefit from comprehensive horizontal and vertical integration of information flows with contextualized data that provides the insight needed to improve agility, processes, quality and yield. By using a single, future-ready MES with fully integrated features and modules to handle the broad aspects of manufacturing and combining the MES with automation layers, a single flow of IT and operations technology (OT) information provides complete visibility across all manufacturing sites.

A future-ready MES needs to be based on decentralized logic to support the distributed intelligence across sites and to enable dynamic production models that optimize the use of equipment and materials. Machines, products and materials communicate with each other to determine the most efficient route through the manufacturing processes. It needs to facilitate data flow, provide the flexibility to manage high-mix, complex production and integrate experiments and new product introductions. It also needs to offer the scalability and flexibility to grow and adapt to changing business demands.

Let us guide you

The real question is not if a modern manufacturing enterprise needs to implement a future-ready multi-site MES, more whether it can survive in the future without one. Stay tuned to this series of blogs to understand how to make your business ready for the future and let us show you how to make your project a true success.

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