Manufacturing Execution Systems

empowering operations

Manufacturing Execution System, or MES, is an information system that drives the execution of manufacturing operations. The main goal of such systems is to achieve and to maintain high performance in a highly competitive and rapidly changing manufacturing environment.

To meet this goal MES performs a set of tasks in the shop floor that are integrated with other systems across the organization and supply chain:

Monitoring and enforcing the correct execution of the production process

Monitoring and controlling the material used in the production process

Gathering information about the production process

Providing the tools for the analysis of the data to optimize efficiency

Delivering and managing work-instructions

Providing the tools to solve problems and optimize procedures

MES plays a critical role in Industry 4.0, as it accommodates the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled production marketplace. However, not all MES are currently designed to accommodate the integration, decentralization, and new technologies of Industry 4.0. »» Read more in this white paper

Key benefits of MES

Achievable in short time: increased efficiency and reduced costs
  • Reduction of manufacturing cycle time
  • Reduction of order lead time
  • Reduction of direct labor costs
  • Reduction of data entry time
  • Reduction or elimination of paperwork
  • Reduction of work in process (WIP) inventory
  • Increase in machine utilization
Achievable in long time: overall improvement in processes
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improvement of regulatory compliance
  • Increased agility and time to market
  • Improvement of supply chain visibility

MES vs ERP: where to draw a line?

Both of these systems are critical to manufacturing processes. In the past years the link between an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) has been well established and integration of these two became easier and more valuable than ever. The confusion still lies in deciding which processes should be supervised by MES vs ERP.

An MES becomes the ideal choice for a complex production process with multiple variations and massive number of transactions. An ERP is generally designed to support a homogeneous process with business operating information.

Under the definition applied by the leading standard ANSI/ISA-95, MES can be seen as the translation layer between business planning & logistics and operation & process control.

Functional hierarchy of manufacturing systems (ANSI/ISA 95 standard):


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