Exploring the Benefits of a Manufacturing Execution System

axis-1683671_960_72033A manufacturing execution system (MES) can best be described as a process or methodology for tracking the transformation of raw materials to finished products. Manufacturing companies of all shapes and sizes must proactively monitor the way in which they use raw materials. When raw materials become lost, damaged or otherwise not used, it increases the total cost of production. While there are dozens of steps that manufacturing companies can take to promote a more efficient use of raw materials, one of the most effective involves the use of an MES.

TechTarget further explains by saying that an MES is “a control system for managing and monitoring work-in-process on a factory floor. An MES keeps track of all manufacturing information in real time, receiving up-to-the-minute data from robots, machine monitors and employees.”  Basically, an MES uses computers and/or robots to collect data, and that data is shared with human operators. These operators can then see specific information on workflow activities and usage of raw materials. If a particular process is inefficient or ineffective, the operators can make the necessary changes to adjust it.

The ultimate goal of an MES is to improve productivity and reduce waste through real-time reporting. It’s highly effective at fulfilling this goal when properly implemented.

Of course, there are several benefits associated with MES. According to the study “Manufacturing Execution Systems: Optimal Design, Planning, and Deployment,” companies that use an MES  benefit from real-time feedback. As the system collects data on raw materials and how those materials are being used, companies can identify problematic areas. This, however, is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding its benefits.

Other benefits of using an MES include the following:

  • Improved productivity
  • Reduced waste
  • Increased uptime
  • Ability to integrate MES with other workflow activities
  • More efficient use of raw materials
  • and more…

There’s no rule requiring manufacturing companies to use an MES. On the contrary, many companies continue to build products without such systems. As you can see from the information above, however, an MES is a meaningful tool that can benefit manufacturers in multiple ways. It allows companies to collect data in real time; it improves productivity; it reduces waste; it increases uptime; it can be integrated with other workflow activities; and it supports efficient use of raw materials. Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of MES and the benefits it offers.

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