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Finding the Right Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for Your Production Operations

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

bridge-close the gap between business and manufacturing

Bluestreak Reading Time: 5 minutes Finding the Right Manufacturing Execution System (MES) When considering the purchase and implementation of a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for your operations, it is crucial to assess various factors concerning both technical and business requirements, especially considering the context of your organization. Finding the right Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for your production operation is not a simple task, as it involves multiple considerations related to technical specifications and business needs.

The core purpose of the MES is equally complex and goes beyond its technical integration. It is essential to focus on what the MES is intended to achieve within your manufacturing operations, and how it will impact behavior within this specific context. Ask yourself how the MES will drive manufacturing operations and enhance productivity, capital effectiveness, quality, yield, and efficiency. Consider its potential to reduce rework, waste, and overall costs. MES Makes the Difference MES systems provide detailed, granular data on the manufacturing process, including real-time information on machine performance, material usage, labor efficiencies, and quality control metrics. This level of data granularity enables managers to monitor and control operations in real-time, optimizing production processes and ensuring high levels of product quality. Another remarkable advantage of MES lies in its ability to streamline manufacturing processes by providing process steps, work instructions, warnings, sign-off forms, guides, and other essential functions. This comprehensive approach offers manufacturers an instant learning curve and effectively addresses labor shortages. Additionally, MES acts as an intelligent and reliable workforce by analyzing the performance of existing workers based on the quality of their work, resulting in the retention of employees who consistently deliver the best outcomes. Although MES software can be used to operate as self-contained systems, particularly among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector, they are many times being integrated with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) software suites, to name a few. By integrating MES with ERP/MRP software, production control managers can be proactive about ensuring the delivery of quality products in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Implementing MES projects entails dealing with a considerable degree of inherent complexity, mainly due to the multitude of variables and deliverables involved. With thousands of transactions occurring simultaneously and a diverse group of stakeholders with varying priorities, managing these projects can be challenging. Moreover, the task of establishing a cohesive baseline across manufacturing plants poses an additional hurdle, especially when these facilities are geographically separated and encompass various other complexities. The Essence of a Successful MES Implementation can be Distilled into These Five Key "Secrets":

  1. Embrace Your Business Drivers Using your business drivers and objectives as guiding principles will steer your implementation project in the right direction. Consensus and visibility around key business drivers will aid in sound decisions when configuring and selecting your MES. Leveraging these drivers also simplifies garnering support for the process across your organization.

  2. Gauge Digital Maturity and Preparedness Laying a robust groundwork for your MES implementation will undoubtedly save you time and challenges down the line. Skipping this step may uncover gaps and unreadiness during the project, which can be harder to rectify mid-process. A thorough maturity and readiness assessment ensures proper technology choices, process establishment, and stakeholder involvement.

  3. Embrace Standardization Base your MES architecture on an industry-standard reference framework. Utilize libraries for Master Production Control Record (MCPR) implementation. Employ standardized reference processes for manufacturing, quality, and logistics. There's a compelling rationale to capitalize on industry standards with their templates and comprehensive guidelines.

  4. Implement a Structured Methodology Select a fitting approach and adhere to it consistently, whether it's a conventional waterfall or agile project management methodology. The implementation team must adhere to the chosen project management and implementation methodology without deviation. This is a valuable lesson derived from numerous MES implementation projects, ensuring completion within a shorter timeframe.

  5. Tap into Collective Wisdom Engage experienced advisors even before embarking on your MES implementation journey. Their expertise will help you sidestep pitfalls and errors that others encountered during their own MES implementations. This approach enables you to learn from their experiences and navigate the process more effectively. Ultimately, the MES should make manufacturing more agile, responsive, and adaptable to the dynamic demands of the industry. If the MES can accomplish these objectives, it will prove to be a successful solution for your organization. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the considerations go beyond what can be covered in a brief article like this. Always stay focused on your business needs, thoroughly examine the requirements, and ensure that the selected MES will have a positive and transformative impact on your organization. MES Market Growth Recent statistics highlight that the expansion of the MES market is primarily driven by the growing demand for mass production and the widespread adoption of industrial automation in various processes. This trend is fueled by the need for a connected supply chain capable of catering to the increasing population, all achieved at low deployment costs. Moreover, factors like enhanced uptime, optimized production facilities, and the integration of advanced technological systems further contribute to the growth of the MES market. The market's upward trajectory is also propelled by the ongoing digital transformation, particularly among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector. The rapid adoption of MES solutions by SMEs has led to significant market growth, as these systems play a vital role in ensuring business continuity through increased automation and efficient mass production to meet rising demands.

Ready to take your manufacturing operations to the next level? A strong understanding of the information flowing from your technology and your people can help you deploy a high-performing production environment of the future and ultimately give you a competitive edge.

Contact us today to learn how our MES and built-in Quality Management System (QMS) solution can help you optimize production processes, improve operational efficiency, and enhance product quality. Don’t wait – reach out to us now to schedule a consultation and see how we can help you achieve your business goals. For a complimentary consultation to investigate whether Bluestreak™ is right for you, contact us now.

About Bluestreak™:

Bluestreak™ is a powerful Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and a fully integrated Quality Management System (QMS), designed for the manufacturing environment and service-based manufacturing companies ( metal-treating/powder-coating, plating, heat-treating, forging, and metal-finishing), businesses that receive customers’ parts, perform a process (service) on them, and send those parts back to the customer). Companies need MES software tailored to specific functionality and workflow needs such as industry-specific specifications management, intuitive scheduling control for both staff and machinery maintenance, and the ability to manage work orders and track real-time data. If different work centers on the production floor aren’t “speaking” to each other via the MES, the data loses value and becomes disjointed or lost in disparate silos.

Bluestreak | Bright AM™ is an MES + QMS software solution specifically designed to manage and optimize the unique requirements of Additive Manufacturing’s production of parts and powder inventory usage.

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