Control, MES Partner for C-Manufacturing Solutions

KEY WORDS Software Manufacturing execution systems (MES) Enterprise resource planning (ERP) It used to be so easy. Of course, it didn't look like it at the time. All a control engineer had to do was automate a piece of machinery, maybe a production line, or a process. Now, there are more pressures.

05/01/2001


KEY WORDS

  • Software

  • Manufacturing execution systems (MES)

  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)



Microsoft.Net for Manufacturing is a platform for tying all enterprise applications together using
technologies like COM, OPC, and Visual basic, enbling 'shop floor to top floor' communications.

It used to be so easy. Of course, it didn't look like it at the time. All a control engineer had to do was automate a piece of machinery, maybe a production line, or a process.

Now, there are more pressures. Not only must machines and processes be automated, time available for manufacture must continually improve. Pressures from the globalization of competition force companies to tightly integrate production not only within one plant, but also often with suppliers, customers, and sister plants.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) was a software-based application that grew up in the realm of planners to help schedule optimum production runs, manage inventory, handle regulatory databases and information, and other manufacturing planning chores. Data were often entered manually and often not quickly enough to provide insight for fast, critical decisions. These systems were functions of IT, meant for a single plant, and often of little consequence to a control engineer.

Well, the times, they are a changin' with a startling number of technology and business practice advancements converging over the past few years, placing control engineers smack in the middle of assuring corporate competitiveness by working with, and sometimes implementing, MES systems.

Technology convergence

As PC hardware grew ever more powerful, software applications followed suit. Networking, led by development of fieldbuses and followed by implementation of Ethernet as a field-level network, has become accepted in manufacturing. Cheaper memory, faster processors, better communications have all led to vast databases of real-time, valuable information-the very information corporate managers desperately need.

Andy Chatha, president of ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, Mass.), labels these changes the coming of an E-World. He states this is a time of partnerships or virtual corporations. Real-time collaboration leads to virtual collaboration with partners. Manufacturing involves more 'make-to-order' instead of 'make-to-stock.' Intellectual assets become a key value. This evolution becomes 'collaborative manufacturing, or C-manufacturing.'

Others recognize this collaboration trend. Steven Vogel, president of iTaC Software (Pittsburgh, Pa.), says, 'Collaborative manufacturing is the ability to effectively and efficiently manufacture products in an extended or virtual enterprise that is characterized by rapid change.'

Mr. Vogel notes four aspects integral to this definition: the result is efficiency; the enterprise is extended; environment of rapid change; and dynamic manufacturing partners.

MES still critical

Want a reason to implement MES? Dick Cook, president and ceo of Mapics Inc. (Alpharetta, Ga.), cites the classic manufacturing novel, The Goal . The plant manager in the book slowly learns to apply the theory of constraints to improve production and literally save his plant from extinction. Getting necessary information and analyzing it was an excruciating process that almost cost that plant manager his marriage. Enter automated data gathering and analysis packages to save the day. That's just what applications from Mapics and others accomplish.

Historically, MES resided in a layer between automation and enterprise systems. HMI/ SCADA software has been the data-handling application that is most intimately tied to control. Developers of this software have increased power and scope offering ties to enterprise software that would seem to squeeze MES software out of a market. Similarly, enterprise software developers appeared at one time to be pushing its applicability downward to meet the HMI layer.

HMI emphasized direct ties to controller data tables enabling data logging, trending, alarming, and operator interface among other things. Enterprise systems (ERP) has focused on accounting, personnel, and sales support. MES was the layer specific to manufacturing linking with the other two.

Greg Sowles, CamStar (Campbell, Calif.) vice president, acknowledges that a couple of years ago many thought HMI and ERP would squeeze out MES. He sees manufacturers of both types of systems seeming to have backed away from the area.

Mr. Sowles points to the outsourcing trend as a driver for current MES growth. 'One big change is that companies have grown with an increased volume of production. There is now a desire to take a portion of the manufacturing and have someone else do it. This brings up issues of managing quality across multiple locations, product and inventory visibility, and tracking. It used to be that the plant was just a big black hole to the enterprise. Now it's essential.'

MES systems have been typically oriented toward specific vertical solutions, like pharmaceuticals. One reason is that the software is specifically designed to handle the regulatory compliance issues those industries face. Honeywell POMS (Herndon, Va.) has dealt with pharmaceuticals for some time. It has broadened its offering to similar industries like dairy and consumer goods, but it finds that regulatory pressures for such industries as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics require ever more specific solutions.

Kevin Boyd, USDATA (Richardson, Tex.) business development manager, agrees that the role of MES has expanded from an internal tool to one that is used jointly by manufacturers and their supply chain partners to provide easier and more efficient production process management. His view differs from Mr. Sowles' assessment of HMI, though, pointing out that his company's products integrate HMI with MES capabilities, such as production visibility, where-used material traceability, as-built production records, real-time production metrics, dynamic production routing decisions, and connectivity to enterprise systems.

National Instruments (Austin, Tex.) product manager, Eric Starkloff, adds, 'In general, HMI/SCADA systems serve roles distinct from MES. There is some overlap in things like SPC and perhaps WIP (work in process), but in general HMI doesn't do things like serialization or interfacing to parts placement, solder machines, etc.'

Harry Merkin, vp of global marketing for Intellution (Foxborough, Mass.) notes, 'Spurred-on by the demands of FDA regulation 21 CFR Part 11, HMI/SCADA products provide a vehicle for capturing both automated and human-intervention tasks, storing this information and providing a means by which this information can be viewed and utilized. This eliminates the paperwork and delay that is traditionally associated with batch functions and facilitates a speedier time-to-market. An innovative batch application also serves to reduce variance and ensure a more consistent product.'

Likewise, GE Fanuc Automation (Charlottesville, Va.) has expanded its HMI product to enable real-time collaboration among manufacturing and suppliers.

Control engineer essential

What processes to automate and how and which products to use are among critical decisions a control engineer makes in a successful MES implementation. Can the controller handle data and communications as well as execute ladder logic or function block programs? Is there a robust data network? How well do the control engineer and IT people work together? Is the control engineer part of the design, selection, and implementation team?



Rockwell Automation's RSSql includes a Transaction Manager that provides a
connector for manufacturing information to reach corporate users.

Andrei Moldoveanu, Nematron (Ann Arbor, Mich.) director of marketing, relates, 'The PC can be used both for control and as a server station for all process-related MES functionality, thus leveraging the common database, as well as all the communication tools the operating system offers. The immediate benefit is creation of a single infrastructure for control and IT.'

'Control engineers should realize that there are tremendous productivity advances available by using information management tools that are available,' says Bart Winters, product marketing at Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions (Phoenix, Ariz.). 'Real-time access to key performance indicators from manufacturing processes are critical to meeting business objectives. The key indicators that should drive manufacturing are cost, quality, and schedule.

'The biggest thing control engineers can do to take advantage of MES technologies is to think outside the walls of the manufacturing domain. Having an awareness of business drivers and responding to them is an essential element in defining, implementing, and operating MES solutions that are synchronized with the supply chain.'

Don Lazzari, director, Rockwell Software RSBizWare marketing, Rockwell Automation (West Allis, Wis.), states, 'MES should make a manufacturer more efficient at consistent, fast, predictable delivery. Control systems play a crucial role because the automation layer is rich with untapped data about the true state of what is happening with orders, machine uptimes/downtimes, etc. Control engineers are important players since they determine where automation (and subsequent data collection sources) will be applied and what form they will take.

The biggest impact felt by control engineers will be becoming part of the larger information flow. They used to function within the easily discernable boundaries of automating equipment and processes. The impact of the Internet on manufacturing will break down these boundaries and make the control engineer a key contributor in the successful flow of information.'

Use an IDEA

Pat Kennedy, OSI Software (San Leandro, Calif.) president, has an IDEA. The acronym stands for Infrastructure, Data collection, Engineering, and Analysis. Taking them in reverse order, look for OLAP (On Line Analytical Processing) analysis tools fed by real-time data to enable interaction with the information. Strategic design of the analysis will determine what engineering calculations are required. Once the required applications are designed, data collection needs are larger than plugging in the instrumentation system. Although most people look at infrastructure first and feel overwhelmed by the cost, look at it last and see what the investment will gain.

This is a new world of manufacturing and control engineers are increasingly finding themselves smack in the middle of the new pressures... and opportunities. How are your computer skills?

For more suppliers, go to www.controleng.com/ buyersguide; for more info, use the following circle numbers or go online at www.controleng.com/freeinfo:

A

RC Advisory Group. www.arcweb.com 200 CamStar www.camstar.com201 e-Manufacturing Networks . www.e-mfg.net 202

GE Fanuc Automation. www.gefanuc.com 203

Honeywell. www.honeywell.com 204 Intellution. www.intellution.com 205 iTaC. www.itacsoftware.com 206

MAPICS. www.mapics.com 207

MESA International. www.mesa.org 208 Microsoft. www.microsoft.com 209 National Instruments. www.ni.com 210

Nematron. www.nematron.com 211

OSI. www.osi.com 212Rockwell Automatio. www.rockwellautomation.com 213

USDATA. www.usdata.com 214



C-manufacturing

Andy Chatha's 7 Steps to

C-manufacturing excellence (ARC Advisory Group) are:

Make customer service top priority;

Leverage Internet for collaboration;

Implement collaborative design and engineering;

Optimize supply chain with real-time intelligence;

Automate business and production processes;

Empower people with performance metrics.

C-manufacturing

Andy Chatha's 7 Steps to

C-manufacturing excellence (ARC Advisory Group) are:

Make customer service top priority;

Leverage Internet for collaboration;

Implement collaborative design and engineering;

Optimize supply chain with real-time intelligence;

Automate business and production processes;

Empower people with performance metrics.

C-manufacturing

Andy Chatha's 7 Steps to

C-manufacturing excellence (ARC Advisory Group) are:

Make customer service top priority;

Leverage Internet for collaboration;

Implement collaborative design and engineering;

Optimize supply chain with real-time intelligence;

Automate business and production processes;

Empower people with performance metrics.

C-manufacturing

Andy Chatha's 7 Steps to

C-manufacturing excellence (ARC Advisory Group) are:

Make customer service top priority;

Leverage Internet for collaboration;

Implement collaborative design and engineering;

Optimize supply chain with real-time intelligence;

Automate business and production processes;

Empower people with performance metrics.

C-manufacturing

Andy Chatha's 7 Steps to

C-manufacturing excellence (ARC Advisory Group) are:

Make customer service top priority;

Leverage Internet for collaboration;

Implement collaborative design and engineering;

Optimize supply chain with real-time intelligence;

Automate business and production processes;

Empower people with performance metrics.

C-manufacturing

Andy Chatha's 7 Steps to

C-manufacturing excellence (ARC Advisory Group) are:

Make customer service top priority;

Leverage Internet for collaboration;

Implement collaborative design and engineering;

Optimize supply chain with real-time intelligence;

Automate business and production processes;

Empower people with performance metrics.

C-manufacturing

Andy Chatha's 7 Steps to

C-manufacturing excellence (ARC Advisory Group) are:

Make customer service top priority;

Leverage Internet for collaboration;

Implement collaborative design and engineering;

Optimize supply chain with real-time intelligence;

Automate business and production processes;

Empower people with performance metrics.

Microsoft.Net for Manufacturing

Ron Sielinski, Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.) technical evangelist for manufacturing, says, 'There's still an MES. What is changed has the role that an execution system plays within the enterprise. More and more, it is a critical component of a larger information architecture. Today's executions systems can't exist as isolated entities. They have to share data.'

Adds Peter Wengert, Microsoft industry manager for manufacturing, 'Microsoft has worked with open standards like OPC and provided the platform, tools, and programming methodology to get rid of gaps in software applications. So, a PLC can share information with an HMI, MES, SCADA system, CAD, and all the way up to an ERP system.'

Enter Microsoft.Net

The new platform is Microsoft.Net (pronounced 'dot-net'). Microsoft unveiled Windows DNA about three years ago as a methodology for integrating applications. With Windows DNA, Windows is the platform, and applications expose COM-based interfaces. In contrast, Microsoft.Net is a methodology for integrating enterprises. With Microsoft.Net, the Internet is the platform and applications expose XML-based interfaces.

XML is a data description format that has given rise to the reality of a programmable web. It provides a standardized language to exchange data for automated consumption.

Whereas COM allows different programming languages to interoperate, the .Net Framework allows different languages to be integrated. It defines and provides a type system common to all supported languages. Visual Studio.Net will simplify development with a simple drag-and-drop rapid-application development paradigm. Moreover, any platform that understands XML can receive and process the services.

The OPC Foundation, having recognized the value of XML in industrial applications, has defined a set of 13 schemas that can be used in conjunction with the Microsoft .NET platform for manufacturing process control:

Read (Request, Reply).

Write (Request, Reply).

Subscription (Request, Reply, Callback).

SubscriptionRefresh (Request, Reply).

SubscriptionCancel (Request, Reply).

Browse (Request, Reply).

Other .Net technologies include SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration).

SOAP defines a standard messaging protocol, uses XML to wrap and encode message data, and results in an extensible set of delivery and payload formats.

UPnP is an architecture for peer-to-peer networking of intelligent appliances, wireless devices, and computers of varying form factors. UPnP defines a set of common services that devices can use to join a network and describe themselves and their capabilities, enabling other devices and people to use them without complicated set up or configuration.

UDDI is a platform-independent, open framework for discovering businesses and integrating services over the Internet. Based on SOAP, UDDI is being driven by platform and software providers and e-business leaders, including Microsoft, IBM, and Ariba. The UDDI standard implements World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards, including XML, HTTP, and DNS.

The Microsoft.Net platform shifts an organization's focus from individual web sites and devices connected to the Internet to constellations of computers, devices, and services that work together reliably and securely to offer broader, more convenient solutions.

Justify that MES investment

A business always seems to have more needs for capital expenditures than money available. Each new request for capital funding competes with all the others. Justifying a manufacturing execution system is no different. As the manufacturing team arrives at a decision to implement an MES system, it must develop a strong business case linking benefits to corporate goals to obtain funding approval.

MESA International, the trade association of MES vendors, has developed a methodology for helping manufacturing teams draw up a solid business case. Additional information and supporting documentation can be found at www.mesa.org.

The 10 steps developed by MESA begin with a manufacturing assessment. How does manufacturing need to change to better support supply chain operations and e-business strategy? The goal of this stage is to gather insights to identify business issues and opportunities for improvements in manufacturing operations.

After information has been gathered, it must be analyzed. MESA has developed two diagnostic tools to assist in this process. The Manufacturing Diagnostic assesses all aspects of manufacturing while Manufacturing Profitability Index provides a methodology for developing a before and after comparison of productivity.

At the third step, the team develops a fairly detailed description of issues and opportunities to provide clear understanding of problems to be fixed by an MES implementation. The opportunities may then be prioritized based on the needs of the business, business and manufacturing strategy, and other factors.

Potential opportunities are linked to corporate benefits at the next step. These benefits will also be sequenced according to business and manufacturing strategy. A possible list might include such things as improved return on assets, lower inventory levels and carrying costs, improved customer service or e-commerce capabilities.

Opportunities next must be linked to operational benefits that may be more site- or department-specific. The fifth step is to gather support for the project by organizations that would ideally own the project and drive it to completion. Reduced lead times, lower inventory levels, or reduced cycle time would be found on this list.

Develop a 'sell package'

During the sixth step a corporate 'sell package' is developed as an opportunity/benefit presentation. Here, results of the assessments, recommended solutions and actions, and benefits of proceeding are presented to top corporate management.

The plant 'sell package' is developed to get the support and 'buy-in' from manufacturing management. This package will focus on operations, actual metrics and Key Performance Indicators based on operational benefits detailed in previous steps.

While performing the assessments, the team should have been identifying potential pilot opportunities. The pilot project, the eighth step, must have a very rapid timeline, clear success metrics, and a definitive go/no go baseline for proceeding with full rollouts.

The pilot summary is prepared during the ninth step. It should be a detailed report of project successes and areas for additional focus. All areas of risk should be documented and addressed through detailed action plans.

Finally, an implementation strategy must be devised defining the level of commonality of the design and its use as a template across multiple plants of lines. The project team must be staffed with experienced personnel who know the broad array of issues that will need to be addressed as each site/line implementation proceeds.

Justify that MES investment

A business always seems to have more needs for capital expenditures than money available. Each new request for capital funding competes with all the others. Justifying a manufacturing execution system is no different. As the manufacturing team arrives at a decision to implement an MES system, it must develop a strong business case linking benefits to corporate goals to obtain funding approval.

MESA International, the trade association of MES vendors, has developed a methodology for helping manufacturing teams draw up a solid business case. Additional information and supporting documentation can be found at www.mesa.org.

The 10 steps developed by MESA begin with a manufacturing assessment. How does manufacturing need to change to better support supply chain operations and e-business strategy? The goal of this stage is to gather insights to identify business issues and opportunities for improvements in manufacturing operations.

After information has been gathered, it must be analyzed. MESA has developed two diagnostic tools to assist in this process. The Manufacturing Diagnostic assesses all aspects of manufacturing while Manufacturing Profitability Index provides a methodology for developing a before and after comparison of productivity.

At the third step, the team develops a fairly detailed description of issues and opportunities to provide clear understanding of problems to be fixed by an MES implementation. The opportunities may then be prioritized based on the needs of the business, business and manufacturing strategy, and other factors.

Potential opportunities are linked to corporate benefits at the next step. These benefits will also be sequenced according to business and manufacturing strategy. A possible list might include such things as improved return on assets, lower inventory levels and carrying costs, improved customer service or e-commerce capabilities.

Opportunities next must be linked to operational benefits that may be more site- or department-specific. The fifth step is to gather support for the project by organizations that would ideally own the project and drive it to completion. Reduced lead times, lower inventory levels, or reduced cycle time would be found on this list.

Develop a 'sell package'

During the sixth step a corporate 'sell package' is developed as an opportunity/benefit presentation. Here, results of the assessments, recommended solutions and actions, and benefits of proceeding are presented to top corporate management.

The plant 'sell package' is developed to get the support and 'buy-in' from manufacturing management. This package will focus on operations, actual metrics and Key Performance Indicators based on operational benefits detailed in previous steps.

While performing the assessments, the team should have been identifying potential pilot opportunities. The pilot project, the eighth step, must have a very rapid timeline, clear success metrics, and a definitive go/no go baseline for proceeding with full rollouts.

The pilot summary is prepared during the ninth step. It should be a detailed report of project successes and areas for additional focus. All areas of risk should be documented and addressed through detailed action plans.

Finally, an implementation strategy must be devised defining the level of commonality of the design and its use as a template across multiple plants of lines. The project team must be staffed with experienced personnel who know the broad array of issues that will need to be addressed as each site/line implementation proceeds.

Justify that MES investment

A business always seems to have more needs for capital expenditures than money available. Each new request for capital funding competes with all the others. Justifying a manufacturing execution system is no different. As the manufacturing team arrives at a decision to implement an MES system, it must develop a strong business case linking benefits to corporate goals to obtain funding approval.

MESA International, the trade association of MES vendors, has developed a methodology for helping manufacturing teams draw up a solid business case. Additional information and supporting documentation can be found at www.mesa.org.

The 10 steps developed by MESA begin with a manufacturing assessment. How does manufacturing need to change to better support supply chain operations and e-business strategy? The goal of this stage is to gather insights to identify business issues and opportunities for improvements in manufacturing operations.

After information has been gathered, it must be analyzed. MESA has developed two diagnostic tools to assist in this process. The Manufacturing Diagnostic assesses all aspects of manufacturing while Manufacturing Profitability Index provides a methodology for developing a before and after comparison of productivity.

At the third step, the team develops a fairly detailed description of issues and opportunities to provide clear understanding of problems to be fixed by an MES implementation. The opportunities may then be prioritized based on the needs of the business, business and manufacturing strategy, and other factors.

Potential opportunities are linked to corporate benefits at the next step. These benefits will also be sequenced according to business and manufacturing strategy. A possible list might include such things as improved return on assets, lower inventory levels and carrying costs, improved customer service or e-commerce capabilities.

Opportunities next must be linked to operational benefits that may be more site- or department-specific. The fifth step is to gather support for the project by organizations that would ideally own the project and drive it to completion. Reduced lead times, lower inventory levels, or reduced cycle time would be found on this list.

Develop a 'sell package'

During the sixth step a corporate 'sell package' is developed as an opportunity/benefit presentation. Here, results of the assessments, recommended solutions and actions, and benefits of proceeding are presented to top corporate management.

The plant 'sell package' is developed to get the support and 'buy-in' from manufacturing management. This package will focus on operations, actual metrics and Key Performance Indicators based on operational benefits detailed in previous steps.

While performing the assessments, the team should have been identifying potential pilot opportunities. The pilot project, the eighth step, must have a very rapid timeline, clear success metrics, and a definitive go/no go baseline for proceeding with full rollouts.

The pilot summary is prepared during the ninth step. It should be a detailed report of project successes and areas for additional focus. All areas of risk should be documented and addressed through detailed action plans.

Finally, an implementation strategy must be devised defining the level of commonality of the design and its use as a template across multiple plants of lines. The project team must be staffed with experienced personnel who know the broad array of issues that will need to be addressed as each site/line implementation proceeds.

Justify that MES investment

A business always seems to have more needs for capital expenditures than money available. Each new request for capital funding competes with all the others. Justifying a manufacturing execution system is no different. As the manufacturing team arrives at a decision to implement an MES system, it must develop a strong business case linking benefits to corporate goals to obtain funding approval.

MESA International, the trade association of MES vendors, has developed a methodology for helping manufacturing teams draw up a solid business case. Additional information and supporting documentation can be found at www.mesa.org.

The 10 steps developed by MESA begin with a manufacturing assessment. How does manufacturing need to change to better support supply chain operations and e-business strategy? The goal of this stage is to gather insights to identify business issues and opportunities for improvements in manufacturing operations.

After information has been gathered, it must be analyzed. MESA has developed two diagnostic tools to assist in this process. The Manufacturing Diagnostic assesses all aspects of manufacturing while Manufacturing Profitability Index provides a methodology for developing a before and after comparison of productivity.

At the third step, the team develops a fairly detailed description of issues and opportunities to provide clear understanding of problems to be fixed by an MES implementation. The opportunities may then be prioritized based on the needs of the business, business and manufacturing strategy, and other factors.

Potential opportunities are linked to corporate benefits at the next step. These benefits will also be sequenced according to business and manufacturing strategy. A possible list might include such things as improved return on assets, lower inventory levels and carrying costs, improved customer service or e-commerce capabilities.

Opportunities next must be linked to operational benefits that may be more site- or department-specific. The fifth step is to gather support for the project by organizations that would ideally own the project and drive it to completion. Reduced lead times, lower inventory levels, or reduced cycle time would be found on this list.

Develop a 'sell package'

During the sixth step a corporate 'sell package' is developed as an opportunity/benefit presentation. Here, results of the assessments, recommended solutions and actions, and benefits of proceeding are presented to top corporate management.

The plant 'sell package' is developed to get the support and 'buy-in' from manufacturing management. This package will focus on operations, actual metrics and Key Performance Indicators based on operational benefits detailed in previous steps.

While performing the assessments, the team should have been identifying potential pilot opportunities. The pilot project, the eighth step, must have a very rapid timeline, clear success metrics, and a definitive go/no go baseline for proceeding with full rollouts.

The pilot summary is prepared during the ninth step. It should be a detailed report of project successes and areas for additional focus. All areas of risk should be documented and addressed through detailed action plans.

Finally, an implementation strategy must be devised defining the level of commonality of the design and its use as a template across multiple plants of lines. The project team must be staffed with experienced personnel who know the broad array of issues that will need to be addressed as each site/line implementation proceeds.

Justify that MES investment

A business always seems to have more needs for capital expenditures than money available. Each new request for capital funding competes with all the others. Justifying a manufacturing execution system is no different. As the manufacturing team arrives at a decision to implement an MES system, it must develop a strong business case linking benefits to corporate goals to obtain funding approval.

MESA International, the trade association of MES vendors, has developed a methodology for helping manufacturing teams draw up a solid business case. Additional information and supporting documentation can be found at www.mesa.org.

The 10 steps developed by MESA begin with a manufacturing assessment. How does manufacturing need to change to better support supply chain operations and e-business strategy? The goal of this stage is to gather insights to identify business issues and opportunities for improvements in manufacturing operations.

After information has been gathered, it must be analyzed. MESA has developed two diagnostic tools to assist in this process. The Manufacturing Diagnostic assesses all aspects of manufacturing while Manufacturing Profitability Index provides a methodology for developing a before and after comparison of productivity.

At the third step, the team develops a fairly detailed description of issues and opportunities to provide clear understanding of problems to be fixed by an MES implementation. The opportunities may then be prioritized based on the needs of the business, business and manufacturing strategy, and other factors.

Potential opportunities are linked to corporate benefits at the next step. These benefits will also be sequenced according to business and manufacturing strategy. A possible list might include such things as improved return on assets, lower inventory levels and carrying costs, improved customer service or e-commerce capabilities.

Opportunities next must be linked to operational benefits that may be more site- or department-specific. The fifth step is to gather support for the project by organizations that would ideally own the project and drive it to completion. Reduced lead times, lower inventory levels, or reduced cycle time would be found on this list.

Develop a 'sell package'

During the sixth step a corporate 'sell package' is developed as an opportunity/benefit presentation. Here, results of the assessments, recommended solutions and actions, and benefits of proceeding are presented to top corporate management.

The plant 'sell package' is developed to get the support and 'buy-in' from manufacturing management. This package will focus on operations, actual metrics and Key Performance Indicators based on operational benefits detailed in previous steps.

While performing the assessments, the team should have been identifying potential pilot opportunities. The pilot project, the eighth step, must have a very rapid timeline, clear success metrics, and a definitive go/no go baseline for proceeding with full rollouts.

The pilot summary is prepared during the ninth step. It should be a detailed report of project successes and areas for additional focus. All areas of risk should be documented and addressed through detailed action plans.

Finally, an implementation strategy must be devised defining the level of commonality of the design and its use as a template across multiple plants of lines. The project team must be staffed with experienced personnel who know the broad array of issues that will need to be addressed as each site/line implementation proceeds.

Justify that MES investment

A business always seems to have more needs for capital expenditures than money available. Each new request for capital funding competes with all the others. Justifying a manufacturing execution system is no different. As the manufacturing team arrives at a decision to implement an MES system, it must develop a strong business case linking benefits to corporate goals to obtain funding approval.

MESA International, the trade association of MES vendors, has developed a methodology for helping manufacturing teams draw up a solid business case. Additional information and supporting documentation can be found at www.mesa.org.

The 10 steps developed by MESA begin with a manufacturing assessment. How does manufacturing need to change to better support supply chain operations and e-business strategy? The goal of this stage is to gather insights to identify business issues and opportunities for improvements in manufacturing operations.

After information has been gathered, it must be analyzed. MESA has developed two diagnostic tools to assist in this process. The Manufacturing Diagnostic assesses all aspects of manufacturing while Manufacturing Profitability Index provides a methodology for developing a before and after comparison of productivity.

At the third step, the team develops a fairly detailed description of issues and opportunities to provide clear understanding of problems to be fixed by an MES implementation. The opportunities may then be prioritized based on the needs of the business, business and manufacturing strategy, and other factors.

Potential opportunities are linked to corporate benefits at the next step. These benefits will also be sequenced according to business and manufacturing strategy. A possible list might include such things as improved return on assets, lower inventory levels and carrying costs, improved customer service or e-commerce capabilities.

Opportunities next must be linked to operational benefits that may be more site- or department-specific. The fifth step is to gather support for the project by organizations that would ideally own the project and drive it to completion. Reduced lead times, lower inventory levels, or reduced cycle time would be found on this list.

Develop a 'sell package'

During the sixth step a corporate 'sell package' is developed as an opportunity/benefit presentation. Here, results of the assessments, recommended solutions and actions, and benefits of proceeding are presented to top corporate management.

The plant 'sell package' is developed to get the support and 'buy-in' from manufacturing management. This package will focus on operations, actual metrics and Key Performance Indicators based on operational benefits detailed in previous steps.

While performing the assessments, the team should have been identifying potential pilot opportunities. The pilot project, the eighth step, must have a very rapid timeline, clear success metrics, and a definitive go/no go baseline for proceeding with full rollouts.

The pilot summary is prepared during the ninth step. It should be a detailed report of project successes and areas for additional focus. All areas of risk should be documented and addressed through detailed action plans.

Finally, an implementation strategy must be devised defining the level of commonality of the design and its use as a template across multiple plants of lines. The project team must be staffed with experienced personnel who know the broad array of issues that will need to be addressed as each site/line implementation proceeds.

Justify that MES investment

A business always seems to have more needs for capital expenditures than money available. Each new request for capital funding competes with all the others. Justifying a manufacturing execution system is no different. As the manufacturing team arrives at a decision to implement an MES system, it must develop a strong business case linking benefits to corporate goals to obtain funding approval.

MESA International, the trade association of MES vendors, has developed a methodology for helping manufacturing teams draw up a solid business case. Additional information and supporting documentation can be found at www.mesa.org.

The 10 steps developed by MESA begin with a manufacturing assessment. How does manufacturing need to change to better support supply chain operations and e-business strategy? The goal of this stage is to gather insights to identify business issues and opportunities for improvements in manufacturing operations.

After information has been gathered, it must be analyzed. MESA has developed two diagnostic tools to assist in this process. The Manufacturing Diagnostic assesses all aspects of manufacturing while Manufacturing Profitability Index provides a methodology for developing a before and after comparison of productivity.

At the third step, the team develops a fairly detailed description of issues and opportunities to provide clear understanding of problems to be fixed by an MES implementation. The opportunities may then be prioritized based on the needs of the business, business and manufacturing strategy, and other factors.

Potential opportunities are linked to corporate benefits at the next step. These benefits will also be sequenced according to business and manufacturing strategy. A possible list might include such things as improved return on assets, lower inventory levels and carrying costs, improved customer service or e-commerce capabilities.

Opportunities next must be linked to operational benefits that may be more site- or department-specific. The fifth step is to gather support for the project by organizations that would ideally own the project and drive it to completion. Reduced lead times, lower inventory levels, or reduced cycle time would be found on this list.

Develop a 'sell package'

During the sixth step a corporate 'sell package' is developed as an opportunity/benefit presentation. Here, results of the assessments, recommended solutions and actions, and benefits of proceeding are presented to top corporate management.

The plant 'sell package' is developed to get the support and 'buy-in' from manufacturing management. This package will focus on operations, actual metrics and Key Performance Indicators based on operational benefits detailed in previous steps.

While performing the assessments, the team should have been identifying potential pilot opportunities. The pilot project, the eighth step, must have a very rapid timeline, clear success metrics, and a definitive go/no go baseline for proceeding with full rollouts.

The pilot summary is prepared during the ninth step. It should be a detailed report of project successes and areas for additional focus. All areas of risk should be documented and addressed through detailed action plans.

Finally, an implementation strategy must be devised defining the level of commonality of the design and its use as a template across multiple plants of lines. The project team must be staffed with experienced personnel who know the broad array of issues that will need to be addressed as each site/line implementation proceeds.

Build an MES business case

Perform manufacturing assessments

Apply diagnostics and tools

Identify manufacturing pain and potential improvement

Link opportunities to corporate benefits

Link opportunities to operational benefits

Prepare executive package of benefits

Prepare plant package of benefits

Begin pilot and assess results

Report on results

Prepare rapid rollout process

Source: Control Engineering with

input from MESA International



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.