MES Systems: What are They and Why You Need One in a Manufacturing Plant?

Looking for a way to manage production more efficiently? Does the number of paper documents in your company make your daily work more difficult? Do you need a solution that will simultaneously help keep your reports organized and allow you to easily analyze data to optimize processes? An MES-class system is an effective answer to these problems.

More and more manufacturing companies in Poland are taking the first steps toward digitizing their processes, but most still use fully analog production management with paper documents such as orders, reports, and inspection plans. Unfortunately, such actions can cause problems for larger companies. Lost forms or errors in hand-filed documents are just two of the possibilities. Therefore, it is a good idea to adopt a specialized, digital “paperless” solution to simplify management, enable faster data flow, and reduce the risk of mistakes.

A perfect example of such a solution is an MES (manufacturing execution system) system, which makes it possible to combine ERP (enterprise resource planning) software with current information about work at the production facility. In other words, data and reports that have so far been in a paper format are becoming available digitally. This allows the operator of a machine to display a production order and report the progress in its completion or about quality control, at any time.

An MES system, however, can do much more.

Automating data entry

An MES system enriched with IoT functionality can also be used to automate data entry, which directly reduces the time wasted and the risk of human error. How does it work? All you have to do is connect a selected piece of equipment (such as scales) or a larger machine to the system of available communication protocols. In this way, data on the quantity manufactured or the production downtime are immediately sent to the system and automatically linked to the corresponding batch of material.

Identification of issues for improvement

Ongoing data collection should serve a specific purpose. In an effort to optimize plant operations and maximize production potential, it is a good idea to carry out specific data analyses. This allows efficient identification of issues for improvement. An MES system records production downtime and sends an immediate notification, so you know right away if a malfunction requires your intervention.

An MES system also counts indicators such as OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), which provide information on the percentage of utilization of the capacity of manufacturing stations. This makes it possible to identify areas that need attention and improvement. The calculations are based on ISO 22400.

Why choose MES?

When deciding to implement an MES system in a manufacturing plant, it is a good idea to treat digitization of data as the basis. However, the convenience of record storage is not the only functional advantage of this system. Additional benefits come from integrating the system with available machines and equipment. This brings a holistic approach to data acquisition, transmission, and use, which helps maximize not only production efficiency, but also system capabilities. What should also be mentioned is that, in the long run, an MES system can be used as a database for business intelligence systems that perform much more complex analyses.

If you would like to learn more about our IoT ecosystem solutions, including our MES system, please visit or write to us using the dedicated form.

Katarzyna Strzebońska, Comarch IoT

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