News & Events
1st edition of MES Portugal raised interest of more than 200 participants
April 02, 2015
Last week, on 26th of March, over 200 professionals from Portuguese industry gathered in Tecmaia (Porto district) to discuss the importance of software in the country’s industrial competitiveness. The conclusion was: there is plenty of room for growth in the use of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) as true catalysts of the domestic industry.
The 1st edition of MES Portugal focused on introducing the idea of MES to the wider audience to demonstrate the importance of IT solutions for industrial growth. The major aspect of the presented ideas was the need for alignment between the structure, organization, people and information systems. Portugal needs to increase its industrial competitiveness. Information systems in general, and the Manufacturing Execution System in particular are essential to achieve that goal. But when not employed by a business strategy with well-defined goals, they will always fall short of expectations.
Adoption of MES systems in the industry of Portugal was the main focus of the first talk. Francisco Almada-Lobo, CEO of Critical Manufacturing, presented the reasons for the low implementation of these and other software systems in national industrial environments, when compared with the situation in most industrialized countries.
To complement the topic of implementation of MES in real environments, the two case studies were presented. Gonçalo Afonso, responsible for MES projects in Amcor, explained the multitude of the context of existing systems in the various factories of the group and the difficult matching design. Fernando Fernandes, of Yazaki Information Systems Manager, presented the foundation of the MES system selection process for the plastics injection section of Yazaki Saltano in Ovar.
With more academic approach, Jorge Pinho de Sousa, Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, demonstrated the key role of flexibility in order to accommodate and treat uncertainty, while Filipe Barbosa, partner at Actio Consulting Group, focused on the role of information systems in the context of actual Lean projects.
The finishing presentation, by Augusto Vilarinho, Business Development Manager of Critical Manufacturing has introduced a model of maturity of information systems in the industry, from those using paper to those fully integrated, pointing that the flexibility forms the basis for projects of continuous improvement.
The conference that was the first event entirely dedicated to MES systems in Portugal, ended with a panel discussion, moderated by Francisco Almada-Lobo, during which many interesting issues were discussed, such as the applicability of MES solutions at SMEs, complementary role of ERP and MES systems and the need for data to manage the operations.
With the success of this first edition and positive feedback from the attendees of this year’s event, the second edition is planned for 2016.