What is an MES?
MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) have long been a mainstay of industrial production infrastructure. These systems capture equipment data and orchestrate the various production units in real time. They play a crucial role in plant efficiency, promoting the sharing of best practices, reducing cycle times, optimizing product quality and preventing bottlenecks.
The ambiguities and challenges of the traditional ESM
MES, in their current form, can be complex amalgams of various systems, ranging from robots and machines to databases, dashboards and more. This heterogeneous nature often makes their management and integration arduous and costly for companies.
The human challenge
One of the major criticisms of traditional MES is its tendency to neglect the human factor. By focusing on predefined models and systems, it can fail to reflect the reality on the ground, or take account of the human variable. This can lead to frustration among manufacturers who aspire to greater flexibility in an ever-changing production world.
The Purdue model and its shortcomings
Many MES are based on the "Purdue" model, which, although historically effective, is increasingly perceived as outdated. With today's challenges of data standardization, machine-to-machine connectivity and the rise of digital twins, it's becoming necessary to rethink this foundation.
Towards a revival of MES
The move towards simplified architecture
To remain relevant, MES must evolve towards a simpler and, ultimately, more flexible structure. Rather than adding new solutions to an already complex system, which often only increases confusion, it is essential to rethink the basic architecture of MES.
Why choose SaaS platforms?
The future of MES may lie in SaaS platforms. These platforms, which combine local storage (edge) with the computing power of the cloud, are user-centric. They offer configuration tools tailored to the diverse needs of manufacturers, facilitating decision-making and improving operational efficiency.
The industry of the future requires more agile and responsive manufacturing execution systems. Changing production needs and increasingly complex operations require solutions that are more flexible and scalable than traditional MES. Companies are thus encouraged to embrace this change to ensure their competitiveness in the future.