why use a Manufacturing Execution System?
"I already use an ERP system. Why do I need an MES?"
Virtually all discrete manufacturing companies in every
industrial sector manage their business process information
within an integrated ERP system or a patchwork of multiple
IT systems, including spreadsheets.
The typical areas addressed within these systems are:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Human Resources
- Quality Management
- Production Planning
Manufacturing companies today face intense economic and
competitive pressures -- margins are getting slimmer, customer
delivery-time expectations are becoming ever more challenging,
and products are becoming more complex while product life cycles
are getting shorter.
In many firms, however, detailed and traceable data
about key cost drivers in their manufacturing environment is unavailable.
Moreover, many production target values that are usually maintained in
the ERP system or in spreadsheets are based only on assumptions or past experiences.
Without MES the questions
are always the same:
- How accurate and reliable is the actual data
feedback from the shop floor (up-times, down-times, yield,
scrap, reasons for scrap, utilization, efficiency, effectiveness,
- What is the time lag between the actual occurence of shop
floor data and its recognition in the ERP-system at the management level?
- What is the actual cost of time and effort required to capture all the data manually,
process it, and ultimately provide it to the the upper management level (ERP-system)?
- What causes delivery time problems, when we are not running at full capacity?
- Why doesn´t our profit margin reflect our production output?
The reason: At the shop floor level, there are only
limited IT systems, often technically oriented towards
machine-control(s) and automation. In some cases, there
are no integrated IT systems at all. This creates the need for
additional administrative staff and time spent on unnecessary communications,
interfacing, telephone enquiries, added paperwork, time delays,
and a great deal of walking around and searching. This gap between
the management level (ERP systems, APS systems, spreadsheets,
etc.) and the shop floor environment creates huge inefficiencies
and additional costs in your company´s overall internal performance.
This gap can be closed! The solution is the Manufacturing Execution System, HYDRA!
A standardized and
modular MES between the shop floor and the ERP level.
The MES HYDRA provides detailed traceable data
that ERP systems generally cannot provide. HYDRA is based
on mature and modular standard software functionality that
has proven itself in a broad range of industrial manufacturing
The MES HYDRA provides flexible and reliable data
interfaces with the upper management system (such as
ERP) and the lower shop floor area (operator terminals
and/or machine connectivity).
Shop Floor Connectivity
(Operators): HYDRA excels in
its acceptance by the operators on the shop floor.
Its terminal screens are designed to be operated with
very little effort. A worker´s experience-level,
educational and cultural backgrounds are no longer factors.
Shop Floor Connectivity
(Machines): Virtually any machine
can easily be connected with standardized solutions
- from ultramodern works-center or robots, to antiquated
manual machines using outdated control technology.
What can we do with it? What
benefit does HYDRA bring to us?
PROCESS TRANSPARENCY! The
traditional cost accounting model at the management level
measures production performance in terms of unit-cost or per-piece-cost.
These unit costs contain more than 90% of general overhead costs
(material costs not considered!). Further improvements in unit-costs
are therefore difficult to achieve regardless of measures taken:
new technology in a specific process, reduction in wages, etc.
Often, this phenomenon is referred to as "Unit Cost Trap"
or the "Per-Piece-Cost Trap".
The process potential along the complete internal
value-adding supply chain is extremely huge but, to date,
by many manufacturing firms.
The MES HYDRA now enables you to easily and reliably explore your process potential:
- Where and what are your most common reasons for scrap?
- Where and what are your most common reasons fpr machine downtimes?
- Where do your most common material idle times occur (WIP that is not moving)?
- Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? ... The list could
go on with inter-related questions about machines, tools,
workplaces, groups, cost centers, production orders, project
orders, material (WIP), material batches, processes,
QA-issues, staff/personnel, qualifications, etc.
The following graphic shows some typical questions on real
life examples that are answered with HYDRA - just
a mouseclick away!
AUTOMOTIVE VENDORS, FOOD
& BEVERAGE PRODUCERS, PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES:
Comply with all your production documentation and material
traceability requirements (Automotive: ISO/TS 16949; Food
& Beverages / Pharmaceuticals: FDA requirements)
ROLL & COIL MANUFACTURERS:
Trace your rolls and coils, including additional material
batches such as those in:
(1) Base paper rolls in printing & packaging
(2) Master coils in metal slitting or carpet rolls, etc.
SUMMARY: HYDRA becomes
a strategic tool that you rely on to ensure and enhance
your production excellence. It makes your operational areas
of PRODUCTION, PERSONNEL and QUALITY extremely transparent
and uncovers the most prevalent systematic process disturbances
in your environment. By eliminating these unwanted negative
process influences, and permanently monitoring the results,
the complete process will be improved to the maximum possible,
which then translates into improved utilization, effectiveness,
efficiency ... and in reduced production costs and eventually
in higher turnover and, finally, into higher profits!