What is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)?

You can never be too knowledgeable about what’s happening in your factory. Yet in modern factories, the value stream is more obfuscated than ever. Growing complexities in equipment, processes, and the technologies used to bring them together can leave some manufacturers in the dark about how, exactly, their production lines turn raw materials into finished products. That’s where a manufacturing execution system (MES) comes in.

MES in today’s factories

Modern producers need to make their processes as efficient as possible while maintaining high-quality output. An MES connects all the digital information within a factory to provide a real-time look at what’s happening from a production standpoint. It’s a software solution built to provide greater visibility and control over all operations across the factory floor.

An MES is truly a purveyor of actionable manufacturing data. It’s deployed to assist in everything from value stream optimization and workflow planning to materials management, equipment maintenance, and beyond. Ultimately, MES helps optimize production and processes so producers can remain competitive in a global marketplace.

Production is an increasingly complex concept

Today’s manufacturers must contend with a complex value stream — one that accounts for a growing number of interconnected, complicated processes. While digitizing the modern factory brings these many processes together to improve efficiency, it also presents a challenge for those charged with overseeing the value stream clearly.

More than ever, manufacturing professionals — from operators on the floor to engineers charged with maintenance — need to make quick, informed decisions. Increasingly complex processes and governance controls make it difficult to drill down to any one specific segment of production. An MES allows them to tug on specific strings to see not only what they do, but also where they’re connected.

Keep pace with evolving industry standards

An MES is a critical tool in a digitizing factory. It’s a capstone technology providing invaluable benefits for manufacturers in any industry. A robust MES helps producers elevate the value stream by spotlighting non-value-add activities and providing insights on how to lower the cost of production — all while improving product quality. Deployed with purpose, an MES gives producers complete control over their manufacturing processes.

Today, the importance of MES is growing largely because it’s a core component of a complete Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystem. The benefits an MES offers — real-time visibility and control across the value stream — are attainable only through the coordination of information. The more sensors, beacons, and other digital technologies a manufacturer relies on, the more important an MES becomes in tying them together.

Alongside other powerful Industry 4.0 technologies, MES are playing a major role in defining the factory of the future. It’s in the best interest of any manufacturer — regardless of what you produce or how you produce it — to use one.

An MES is most effective when the equipment it governs works flawlessly. If your equipment is due for service, you can always count on the professionals at Global Electronic Services. Contact us for all your industrial electronic, servo motor, AC and DC motor, hydraulic, and pneumatic needs — and don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook!
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