Manufacturing Execution Systems March 2008 Product Research

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process automation systems.
By Control Engineering Staff April 2, 2008

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding process automation systems. Executive Summary • Among those who specify, recommend, or buy MES technologies, 76% do so for process manufacturing requirements, while 24% do this for discrete manufacturing.

• Almost 70% of respondents already have a MES solution in place with another 31% planning to purchase. Of those with systems in place, almost half have a hybrid solution implemented (e.g. a combination of home grown and off the shelf systems).

• The vast majority of respondents mention the greatest reason for purchasing or implementing an MES system was to improve productivity / throughput gains. Another 71% sought to reduce costs and improvements in quality. For most, IT played a moderate to heavy role in the selection and/or implementation of the MES solution at their organizations.

• Over two-thirds of respondents are either already integrating or planning to integrate their MES and ERP systems. Of those, SAP is mentioned by over half as the ERP system they are using / planning to use. Almost three-fourths of respondents felt / feel the ease of integrating MES & ERP was not an easy process. Only one percent (1%) felt this process was very easy.

• Over half of respondents are using manual data entry to get data to their MES applications and other systems. About half are using custom code. 56% of respondents are using plantfloor HMI or dashboard to deliver their MES information. 53% are using an Internet-based web browser.

• The majority of respondents are currently or planning to leverage their MES data for overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and other key performance indicators (KPI’s).

• Slightly over half of respondents mention that they are accessing MES information on a realtime basis to make adjustments on the plant floor.

• Less than one-third of respondents have measured a demonstrable return on investment (ROI) on their MES investment. However, over half have demonstrated an improvement in efficiency, quality or throughput.

• When asked which manufacturers / providers of MES they have purchased from in the last 12 months, 46% of respondents mentioned Rockwell Automation. 27% purchased from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms with another 25% mentioning Wonderware. 55% of respondents say their investment in MES will increase in the next 12 – 24 months. Only 6% predict a decrease. • 70% of Control Engineering subscribers responding do not receive Control. 70% do not receive InTech.

Manufacturing Execution Systems 2008