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MES Manufacturing Execution System: The Digital Advance for Your Production

Production is at the heart of every manufacturing company. As you know from experience, what happens on the shopfloor has far-reaching effects on all areas – from resource and personnel planning to quality assurance.

The key to efficiently increasing your productivity thus already lies in your production data. If you know how to collect the information correctly, it has the potential to provide you with a reliable and fact-based foundation for all company-relevant decisions. But the reality looks different in many factories: 

  • Data is recorded manually  this is time-consuming and error-prone 

  • Reports are often delayed and internal to the department  

  • Important productivity potential is lost and decisions are made blindly or based on gut feeling 

This is where an MES Manufacturing Execution System comes in and enables you to ensure the long-term competitiveness of your company through automated data acquisition and reporting.   

In this article, we explain the benefits of a Manufacturing Execution System in detail, how it is used and what functions it contains.  

Digitalization of Production: What is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)? 

If you want to systematically bring together and report on the data in your production, an MES can help you  the Manufacturing Execution System can therefore be translated as a “production management system” or “production control system”.  

However, these terms are actually too short-sighted, as the potential of a manufacturing execution system extends far beyond the pure management or control of your production. The digital solution supports you on various levels: 

  • Central digitization of all production-related data, from resource planning to packaging 
  • Automated data recording instead of manual processing for fast, efficient and correct recording  
  • Visualization of the results in informative and comprehensible reports that you can use across departments 

In this way, a Manufacturing Execution System can, for example, alert you to certain machine conditions or malfunctions that are affecting your productivity. You can then use the data to find out how you can optimize the processes. An MES is therefore an important step towards the digitalization of your company. 

Advantages of an MES: Use & Benefit from a Manufacturing Execution System

An MES Manufacturing Execution System has one decisive advantage for you in particular: it is your “single point of truth”. This means that you only use valid information from one source instead of confusing data from different sources. This results in further advantages for your factory, from which your productivity and competitiveness benefit directly: 

  • Potentials & optimization: A systematic report of production data gives you new insights into potentials and optimizes processes to increase your operational excellence 
  • Resources & efficiency: Reliable data allows you to draw conclusions about the optimal use of your material and human resources in order to produce more efficiently and save costs 
  • Transparency & real-time: Only if you record your production data centrally and continuously will you have real transparency about interactions and be able to react to disruptions or similar in real-time 
  • Quality & customer satisfaction: Transparent data acquisition using a manufacturing execution system allows you to control quality in real-time, resulting in fewer rejects and increased customer satisfaction 
  • Legal & regulatory requirements: If you have to fulfill legal or regulatory requirements in your industry, such as traceability, a production data collection system will also support you

In day-to-day production, the Manufacturing Execution System helps you to make decisions based on transparent data. Fast and paperless data acquisition and communication via a Manufacturing Execution System is not only less error-prone than the manual alternative, all data and reports are automatically available to the various departments in your company. 

Real-Time Data Acquisition: How Do Manufacturing Execution System Solutions Work? 

The core function of an MES Manufacturing Execution System is to link the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and the store floor (production) in your factory. MES solutions, such as the MES FASTEC PRO 4, form the technical basis for this. Various hardware and software components must be coordinated to ensure smooth functioning and seamless integration into your company: 

  1. Connection to your machines via individual interface solutions, e.g. via light barriers, digital signals or a direct binding to the machine control system
  2. Connection to your existing software solutions, such as all common ERP systems via special or standard interfaces
  3. Recording of your production data and report in intuitively recordable and individually configurable reports

The most efficient way to implement an MES manufacturing system in your factory depends on your individual requirements. Therefore, at the beginning of a collaboration, we first carry out an analysis of the initial situation of your production, on the basis of which we then develop a concept for the implementation. 

Of course, we are also available to you as a long-term partner for the gradual introduction of the MES FASTEC PRO 4, the training of your employees and after the rollout. 

Manufacturing Execution System Software: Modules and Functions for Your Factory 

When choosing an MES software provider, we recommend that you make sure that you can flexibly adapt the MES Manufacturing Execution System to your needs.  

We have therefore developed the MES FASTEC PRO 4 as an industry-independent and modular solution so that you can also use it as production data or Machine Data Acquisition software, for example. We would like to give you a brief overview of the various options below: 

Manufacturing Execution System Modules: Flexibly Configurable to Your Needs

The basis of our software is the FASTEC PRO 4 Basic Module. It is intuitive to use and offers you, for example, user and master data management, logging of all manual activities, an export function and individually configurable screens and reports. In addition, you can flexibly configure your MES Manufacturing Execution System from the following modules:  

  • Machine Data Acquisition 
  • Production Data Acquisition 
  • Quality Assurance 
  • Detailed Scheduling / Control Center 
  • Traceability 
  • Maintenance

Manufacturing Execution System Functions: Useful Additional Functions for Your Company 

In addition to selecting the various modules, you can also add numerous useful Additional Functions to the FASTEC PRO 4 MES Manufacturing Execution System software as required. In addition to Preplanning, real-time Process Data Acquisition and the Monitoring of key production figures and Alerts, these also include:  

  • Autonomous Maintenance (TPM) 
  • Interface to common BI tools 
  • Transfer DNC & Configuration Data 
  • Document Display on the Production Terminal 
  • Production-related Energy Monitoring 
  • Paperless & seamless Personnel Time Recording 
  • Production Logistics for material provision 
  • Reading Process Messages from the Machine Control System 

You can also monitor and use the Manufacturing Execution System via a Mobile Client at any time while on the move using mobile devices. 

ERP Manufacturing Execution System: Can Also Be Used in Combination with SAP

As there are many different ERP systems, it is a challenge for every MES Manufacturing Execution System to cover the different interfaces. The MES FASTEC PRO 4 offers solutions for all common systems – including, of course, SAP, for which we have developed high-performance function modules. 

More Efficient Production with MES: Manufacturing Execution System for Industry 4.0 

In-depth industry knowledge and experience remain the cornerstones of your company’s success. However, innovative solutions such as an MES manufacturing system also offer you the opportunity to further develop your manufacturing company digitally and make it fit for the future.  

With a Manufacturing Execution System, you can digitally network your store floor with all departments in your company. The result: you can make decisions at all levels based on reliable production data. Thanks to the transparency gained, you can then optimize production processes, exploit previously untapped potential and save resources and costs in the long term. 

A Manufacturing Execution System such as the MES FASTEC PRO 4 has a modular structure so that you can integrate it flexibly.

Still not Sure to Which Extent an MES Can Be Used in Your Factory? 

We also offer you the option of first analyzing the OEE value and calculating the return-on-investment potential based on the results. Watch our product video to see for yourself how the easyOEE productivity measuring device can help you.  

Author: Anne Gebhard

Design and Content Manager
Since 2019 experience in content creation for digitization projects in factories, close cooperation with sales and customers.

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