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Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) Are the Key to the Smart Manufacturing Future

Consider updating your modern manufacturing execution system (MES) to join the digital, everything-is-connected world.If you’re looking to bring your factory into the future, the first thing you should consider is updating your modern manufacturing execution system (MES) to join the digital, everything-is-connected world. Doing that can reduce costs, increase efficiency, cut defects, improve output, and increase a manufacturer’s bottom line.

The article “Manufacturing execution systems now key in digitized world” underscores how vital these systems are for moving companies toward Manufacturing 4.0, or Smart Manufacturing..

The author notes MES has been around for quite some time, but it was mired in old technology. Historically, plant networks that connect an MES system to equipment and controllers ran on ethernet, which was effective in its time, but limited MES’ connectivity and capabilities. Notably, it was difficult to connect an MES system to the ERP systems that many enterprises use.

But because ethernet technology is similar to internet protocol, it’s not difficult to connect MES systems to enterprise systems like ERP, and to the new generation of IoT devices used on factory floors. The article notes: “The formerly isolated world of plant-floor MES is now readily connectable to ERP and the internet. Manufacturing execution systems are evolving to take advantage of increased visibility and the proliferation of smart, connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices to improve process control, provide early detection of changing conditions, monitor equipment for predictive and preventive maintenance, and more.”

Manufacturing execution systems are designed for scheduling and dispatching, quality management and data collection, and when they are updated to take advantage of the latest technologies like IoT, they’re far more effective than in the past, the article notes. For example, an MES system can now gather and act on data in real time, which offers tremendous benefits. The article points out “If a transaction makes it into the system in a few hours or by the end of the shift, that's good enough for the general ledger, but not nearly good enough for plant-floor data and controls.”

MESA International, the preeminent MES system association, notes that using modern MES systems can help “bring about a revolution in manufacturing business strategy, turning traditional factories from cost centers into profitable innovation centers.”

Why Do Manufacturing Execution Systems Matter?

In addition to ushering your plant into the digital age, manufacturing execution systems can have financial and operational benefits that can transform your plant.

Here are three key benefits:

Digitize the Enterprise

When you adopt an MES system, you say goodbye to traditional paperwork notation, which eliinles likelihood of errors and inconsistencies. This data can then be aggregated, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and other data points that can help you hone your business.

Reduce Waste

With an MES system, you can analyze production lines in real-time, enabling you to see when and wear waste occurs. Armed with this information you can redirect leftover material or recalibrate processes.

Reduce Costs

Overtime, investment in an MES system allows you to cut costs in all verticals of your business. With more visibility into every facet of manufacturing, you can identify areas for process improvement, streamlining the how as you cut costs along the way.

How Can Manufacturing Execution Systems Make Work Easier?

While we’ve explored the business benefits of an MES system, let’s unpack how manufacturing execution systems make your employees’ day-to-day lives easier.

As we continue to impact staffing shortages across all industries, it’s vital that you can differentiate your place of work to potential employees.

Here’s how an MES system enables you to do just that.

Realistic Production Schedules

You can’t ask your employees to complete jobs with unattainable benchmarks. With an MES system, you gain a complete, real-time view of your supply chain, schedules, and project completion to help you build better schedules for your people.

Improved Processes

No one likes to do the same job multiple times. With an MES system, you have a view of any and all duplicities and inconsistencies in workflow. With this, you can optimize processes to make them as painless as possible for your employees.


Read Why Industry 4.0 Will be Powered By Mobile


 

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Other technologies can also help manufacturers enter the digital era. Alpha TransForm (no-code) and Alpha Anywhere (low-code) can work independently or together as a single platform and are ideally suited for digital transformation at manufacturing companies. Alpha TransForm helps business users craft online or offline mobile apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture on the production floor, in warehouses, or at customer sites.. Alpha Anywhere has the unique ability to rapidly create mobile-optimized forms and field apps that can easily access and integrate with any database or web service and can exploit built-in role-based security or robust offline functionality. Learn More

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.

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