What Isn’t an MES?

What isn't an MES? A recent manufacturing execution system (MES) model (one of eight) encompasses eleven broad functions, some not typically applied to MES software.There's something within the models to help everyone understand MES. Proponents suggest using a suitable model, selecting some MES software, and start realizing the benefits—an average 45% reduction in manufacturing cycl...

By Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering February 1, 1998
KEY WORDS
  • Software for control

  • Manufacturing execution systems

  • Enterprise resource planning

What isn’t an MES? A recent manufacturing execution system (MES) model (one of eight) encompasses eleven broad functions, some not typically applied to MES software.

There’s something within the models to help everyone understand MES. Proponents suggest using a suitable model, selecting some MES software, and start realizing the benefits—an average 45% reduction in manufacturing cycle times, according to MESA International (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

“The models provide a framework for each manufacturing company to take its needs and plug into logical categories to help understand MES benefits,” says Julie Fraser, the Industry Directions (Cummaquid, Mass.) consultant who worked with 27 MESA International participants to write the report, “MES Explained: A High Level Vision.

The 11 areas under the MESA International MES Functional Model are:

  • Data acquisition,

  • Dispatching production units,

  • Document control,

  • Labor management,

  • Maintenance management,

  • Operations/detailed scheduling,

  • Performance analysis,

  • Process management,

  • Product tracking and genealogy,

  • Quality management, and

  • Resource allocation and status.

In this model, MES links to controls, product/process engineering, enterprise resources planning, sales and service management, and supply chain management.

Eric Marks, Schneider Automation/Square D (North Andover, Mass.) strategic marketing manager MES, and MESA International’s vice chairman, says, “the models help position MES for an executive audience, to help them understand how shop-floor improvements add to the bottom line.”

Michael Brennolt, MESA International chairman, and director of marketing programs at EMS (Milwaukee, Wis.), agrees. “The models certainly have been useful in educational efforts, providing people a lot better under- standing of MES and its selected functions.” He expressed hope that modeling efforts would lead to industry standard ways for understanding and transferring information through MES.

For more about MES, see also CE , Oct. ’97, pp. 54-64.

For more information on MESA International, visit www.controleng.com/info .