Manufacturing Execution System (M.E.S)
MES is a shop floor information system that enables you to collect the full range of production data in real time, from raw material acceptance to finished product shipment. This in turn helps you to reduce your costs and enhance your performance.
MES is a shop floor information system. It enables you to collect full production data in real time and set up very precise indicators that will help you optimise your performance.
To explore the range of MES applications go to: MES at a glance
MES provides you with information that enables you to optimise your production operations, from the start of the production run to the shipment of the final product. It enables you to improve your performance by boosting:
- Resource availability
- Equipment efficiency
- Production quality
When your production schedule is matched as closely as possible to the reality on the shop floor, you can:
- Organise production
- Track your OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) in real time
- Smoothen the operator and equipment workload
- Anticipate contingencies on the ground
- Guarantee delivery times
- Reduce data input by operators
- Achieve greater product traceability
MES and ERP do not cover the same requirements. ERP is an enterprise software package involving both accounting and HR, while MES is used on the shop floor to provide a real time overview of production operations.
The MES and ERP systems collect and use their own specific data and also share common data on such parameters as traceability and quality. However, their data modelling granularity differs.
The information collected by MES is far more precise and detailed: while ERP is based on theoretical nomenclatures, MES is connected to shop floor equipment and can track a specific product in real time.
Ultimately, MES and ERP complement each other; data collected by MES can be fed into ERP.
Supervision software, which is designed to control machines (for example by tracking the level of liquid in a vat, the lubrication of an engine or the operation of an actuator), is of interest to the machinery operators and line supervisors; MES is a broader system used by the production management and all relevant company personnel.
Supervision software operates at functional level, while MES offers broader functionalities that manage production systems rather than single machines.
MES must be a company project. Senior management often heads an MES project and all personnel involved in the MES system must take part in it.
To select an MES solution, start by defining the functional coverage of the software package: what modules will you need? Are you required to ensure the traceability of your products? Do you want to include quality control? Once you have done this, you can draft a specification to serve as the basis for defining the solution.
Other criteria that may be important to include:
- Modular structure. If your production shop floor changes, you will no doubt require further functions. With a modular software package, you will not be obliged to buy an entire package at once but can add on modules to meet your needs as they arise.
- Project references. Actemium’s MES expertise goes back 20 years. Actemium has introduced MES solutions in many manufacturing sectors for companies with several sites or only one site.
The price of an MES project is determined primarily by two criteria:
- The price of the licence, which depends on the number of sites and users equipped
- The cost of the various services: functional scope (i.e. the specific modules introduced), specific developments to be implemented, employee training, etc.
The introduction of an MES system can achieve payback very rapidly.
The potential ROI depends on the activity and the sector. It is estimated that tracking OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) in real time can generate productivity gains of up to 15%.
MES must be a company project. It should be overseen by top management and involve all shop floor personnel and all stages of production, from raw material acceptance to production, quality control and product shipment.
To ensure the successful introduction of an MES solution, it is crucial to put together a team that can be fully dedicated to the project for a period of several months.
It is also necessary to focus on change management, i.e. briefings and training for operators ahead of time to boost acceptance, communication of the project’s objectives and advantages, etc.
Actemium, which is ISO 9001 certified, works with Project Quality Plans (PQP). We use an iterative methodology to support you at all stages of your project – specification, analysis, training, integration, testing and validation.
The introduction of an MES solution is a large-scale project that will monopolise a team for several months. The team will need to prepare the project ahead of time, prior to drafting the specification, and will focus on change management, notably by conducting information briefings and training for employees.
Using the methodology based on its 20-year experience, Actemium supports you at all stages of this project. Our specialised MES project managers are well versed in all shop floor jobs. They work alongside you, on the ground, to provide the advice you need to ensure the success of your MES project.
MES provides a common solution covering all your production sites. You will have both a local database for each of your sites and a central database that provides a comprehensive overview of all your sites.
In practice, the system is first set up at a pilot site. Following a testing phase, either Actemium or your Information Systems Department then rolls out the MES solution at the other sites.
Your IS department can develop an MES software package in-house. However, when you call on Actemium, you have the benefit of customised solutions based on Actemium’s more than two decades of experience.
Building on our numerous project references in all manufacturing sectors, our MES experts are well versed in all shop floor operations and can propose solutions that address your specific issues.
In terms of methodology, we first roll out the MES system in a pilot production line or shop. You may then, if you wish, continue the rollout in-house to better take the software package on board. We also offer maintenance contracts that give you the benefit of new software releases and any corrective patches that are issued.