Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are computerized systems used in manufacturing to track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished goods. MES provides information that helps manufacturing decision makers understand how current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve production output.MES works in real time to enable the control of multiple elements of the production process (e.g. inputs, personnel, machines and support services).
MES may operate across multiple function areas, for example: management of product definitions across the product life-cycle, resource scheduling, order execution and dispatch, production analysis and downtime management for overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), product quality, or materials track and trace. MES creates the "as-built" record, capturing the data, processes and outcomes of the manufacturing process. This can be especially important in regulated industries, such as food and beverage or pharmaceutical, where documentation and proof of processes, events and actions may be required.
The idea of MES might be seen as an intermediate step between, on the one hand, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) or process control system on the other; although historically, exact boundaries have fluctuated. Industry groups such as MESA International—Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association were created in the early 1990s in order to address the complexity, and advise on execution, of MES Systems.
"Manufacturing Execution Systems [help] create flawless manufacturing processes and provide real-time feedback of requirement changes",and provide information at a single source. Other benefits from successful MES implementation might include:
A wide variety of systems arose using collected data for a dedicated purpose. Further development of these systems during the 1990s introduced overlap in functionality. Then the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) introduced some structure by defining 11 functions that set the scope of MES. In 2000, the ANSI/ISA-95 standard merged this model with the Purdue Reference Model (PRM).
A functional hierarchy was defined in which MES were situated at Level 3 between ERP at Level 4 and process control at Levels 0, 1, 2. With the publication of the third part of the standard in 2005, activities in Level 3 were divided over four main operations: production, quality, logistics and maintenance.
Between 2005 and 2013, additional or revised parts of the ANSI/ISA-95 standard defined the architecture of an MES into more detail, covering how to internally distribute functionality and what information to exchange internally as well as externally.[ citation needed ]
Over the years, international standards and models have refined the scope of such systems in terms of activities[ citation needed ]. These typically include:.
MES integrates with ISA-95 (previous Purdue Reference Model, “95”) with multiple relationships.
The collection of systems acting on the ISA-95 Level 3 can be called manufacturing operations management systems (MOMS). Apart from an MES, there are typically laboratory information management system (LIMS), warehouse management system (WMS) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). From the MES point of view possible information flows are:
Examples of systems acting on ISA-95 Level 4 are product lifecycle management (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management (HRM), process development execution system (PDES). From the MES point of view possible information flows are:
In many cases, middleware enterprise application integration (EAI) systems are being used to exchange transaction messages between MES and Level 4 systems. A common data definition, B2MML, has been defined within the ISA-95 standard to link MES systems to these Level 4 systems.
Systems acting on ISA-95 Level 2 are supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), programmable logic controllers (PLC), distributed control systems (DCS) and batch automation systems (BAS). Information flows between MES and these process control systems are roughly similar:
Most MES systems include connectivity as part of their product offering. Direct communication of plant floor equipment data is established by connecting to the PLC. Often, plant floor data is first collected and diagnosed for real-time control in a DCS or SCADA system. In this case, the MES systems connect to these Level 2 systems for exchanging plant floor data.
Until recently, the industry standard for plant floor connectivity has been OLE for Process Control (OPC), but it is now moving to OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA); meaning that OPC-UA compatible systems will not necessarily run only on Microsoft Windows environment, but will also be able to run on GNU/Linux or other embedded systems, decreasing the cost of SCADA systems, and rendering them more open with robust security.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of main business processes, often in real time and mediated by software and technology.
Solarsoft Business Systems is a privately held software company based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, with UK headquarters in Bracknell. The company supplies modern business management systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and IT services to manufacturers, distributors and wholesale businesses across North America, Europe and Asia.
Manufacturingresource planning is defined as a method for the effective planning of all resources of a manufacturing company. Ideally, it addresses operational planning in units, financial planning, and has a simulation capability to answer "what-if" questions and extension of closed-loop MRP.
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application designed to support and optimize warehouse functionality and distribution center management. These systems facilitate management in their daily planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling the utilization of available resources, to move and store materials into, within, and out of a warehouse, while supporting staff in the performance of material movement and storage in and around a warehouse.
Enterprise software, also known as enterprise application software (EAS), is computer software used to satisfy the needs of an organization rather than individual users. Such organizations include businesses, schools, interest-based user groups, clubs, charities, and governments. Enterprise software is an integral part of a (computer-based) information system; a collection of such software is called an enterprise system. These systems handle a chunk of operations in an organization with the aim of enhancing the business and management reporting tasks. The systems must process the information at a relatively high speed and can be deployed across a variety of networks.
Manufacturing process management (MPM) is a collection of technologies and methods used to define how products are to be manufactured. MPM differs from ERP/MRP which is used to plan the ordering of materials and other resources, set manufacturing schedules, and compile cost data.
A manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM), also referred to as the manufacturing BOM, contains all the parts and assemblies required to build a complete and shippable product.
ANSI/ISA-95, or ISA-95 as it is more commonly referred, is an international standard from the International Society of Automation for developing an automated interface between enterprise and control systems. This standard has been developed for global manufacturers. It was developed to be applied in all industries, and in all sorts of processes, like batch processes, continuous and repetitive processes.
Apache OFBiz is an open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It provides a suite of enterprise applications that integrate and automate many of the business processes of an enterprise.
An operations execution system is a suite of manufacturing systems designed to execute operations tasks, such as production, maintenance or inventory tracking. Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are a subset of an operations execution system, as they are typically concerned with executing tasks within just the production line. Other systems which might be included within an OES might include warehouse management system (WMS), supply chain management systems (SCM) or computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
A warehouse control system (WCS) is a software application that directs the real-time activities within warehouses and distribution centers (DC). As the “traffic cop” for the warehouse/distribution center, the WCS is responsible for keeping everything running smoothly, maximizing the efficiency of the material handling subsystems and often, the activities of the warehouse associates themselves. It provides a uniform interface to a broad range of material handling equipment such as AS/RS, carousels, conveyor systems, sorters, palletizers, etc. The primary functions of a WCS include:
Process development execution systems (PDES) are software systems used to guide the development of high-tech manufacturing technologies like semiconductor manufacturing, MEMS manufacturing, photovoltaics manufacturing, biomedical devices or nanoparticle manufacturing. Software systems of this kind have similarities to product lifecycle management (PLM) systems. They guide the development of new or improved technologies from its conception, through development and into manufacturing. Furthermore they borrow on concepts of manufacturing execution systems (MES) systems but tailor them for R&D rather than for production. PDES integrate people, data, information, knowledge and business processes.
Manufacturing operations management (MOM) is a collection of systems for managing end-to-end manufacturing processes with a view to optimizing efficiency.
An enterprise appliance transaction module (EATM) is a device, typically used in the manufacturing automation marketplace, for the transfer of plant floor equipment and product status to manufacturing execution systems (MES), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the like.
Plant floor communications refers to the control and data communications typically found in automation environments, on a manufacturing plant floor or process plant. The difference between manufacturing and process is typically the types of control involved, discrete control or continuous control. Many plants offer a hybrid of both discrete and continuous control. The underlying commonality between them all is that the automation systems are often an integration of multi-vendor products to form one system. Each vendor product typically offers communication capability for programming, maintaining and collecting data from their products. A properly orchestrated plant floor environment will likely include a variety of communications, some for machine to machine (M2M) communications – to facilitate efficient primary control over the process and some for Machine to Enterprise (M2E) communications – to facilitate connectivity with Business Systems that provide overall reporting, scheduling and inventory management functions.
Enterprise control is the ability to combine control, intelligence and process management to enable business optimization that is inclusive of business and production operations. It combines the strength of both business processes and production operations processes. It is the deliberate act of synchronizing business strategy with operational execution in real-time to enable closed loop business control across an enterprise.
PackML is an industry technical standard for the control of packaging machines, as an aspect of industrial automation.
Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association International is a worldwide not-for-profit community of manufacturing companies, information technology hardware and software suppliers, system integrators, consulting service providers, analysts, editors, academics, and students. MESA’s goal is to help member companies improve business results and production operations through application and implementation of information technology and best management practices.
Purdue Enterprise Reference Architecture (PERA) is a 1990s reference model for enterprise architecture, developed by Theodore J. Williams and members of the Industry-Purdue University Consortium for Computer Integrated Manufacturing.
Warehouse execution systems (WES) are computerized systems used in warehouses and distribution centers to manage and orchestrate the physical flow of products from receiving through shipping. Warehouses are storage facilities for raw materials and parts used in manufacturing operations; distribution centers (DCs) are facilities that store and distribute finished goods to retail locations, consumers, and other end customers.