How It Works: The IMCO CIMAG – MES Manufacturing Execution System
Over the past 30 years, European manufacturers have made huge gains in profitability, productivity, and efficiency. One of the keys has been the use of manufacturing execution systems (MES).
An MES is software that helps share and deliver information to enable total visibility into every aspect of manufacturing processes and operations.
MES solutions help manufacturers achieve a number of business-critical objectives:
- Maximize productivity and efficiency by scheduling and controlling production orders
- Ensure traceability of all materials, processes and finished goods
- Save money by sharing real-time quality control data and reducing rework and scrap
- Reduce or eliminate downtime by identifying maintenance issues in real time
To understand how an MES provides these benefits, let’s take a look at how one works.
How an MES Works: IMCO CIMAG – MES
At IMCO Software, we’ve brought one of the leading European MES solutions to the US by introducing CIMAG – MES Production. IMCO Software has expanded the functionality of CIMAG – MES Production by adding an Energy Management System. The resulting software has been rebranded as IMCO CIMAG -MES .
With IMCO CIMAG – MES and mobile computing, barcoding, RFID, and printing technologies from Zebra Technologies, we help manufacturers build a complete system to track, trace, and gain visibility into every aspect of production.
At the receiving stage, Zebra barcode labels or RFID tags are printed and applied to all materials, components, and products being received. Labels or tags are also printed for the containers and pallets where products are placed, as well as the warehouse locations where they’re stored. In addition, workers are equipped with ID badges to track everyone who handles goods or is involved in each process.
This allows CIMAG software to identify and track everything that moves through the plant—from the moment materials or products arrive until they become finished goods and inventory.
For example, when an operator picks up a pallet or container, the operator uses a Zebra mobile computer to scan both his or her employee ID tag and the pallet or container’s label. If RFID are used, forklifts with mounted Zebra RFID readers can read pallet or location labels automatically.
Zebra’s mobile computers then provide instructions for where to transport, stage, or store incoming products for production.
Benefits on the Plant Floor
On the shop floor, IMCO CIMAG – MES helps control all production activities using Zebra rugged computers installed at each workstation.
Operators and supervisors automatically receive production schedules and instructions from the MES, IMCO CIMAG – MES alerts of deviations in the operations’ sequence or BOM. Each operation’s duration and the operator’s identity are also tracked in the MES.
In addition, quantity produced and raw material usage is registered directly from production machines, using sensors connected to IMCO CIMAG – MES. Maintenance issues are also shared and communicated in real time.
As production is completed, Zebra labels and tags are applied to finished goods, boxes, and containers. Products can then be scanned as they move into storage locations, and fixed RFID readers can even be used to track their movement automatically as they move inside the plant.
Bottom-Line Benefits for Manufacturing Operations
With the visibility, traceability, accuracy, and control that CIMAG – MES Production provides, our manufacturing clients have seen a number of crucial benefits:
- 99% inventory accuracy
- 90% production-to-plan attainment
- Improved visibility with information & reporting at the workstation
- Reduction in waste and costly production errors
- Better compliance with raw materials and finished goods traceability
- Improved productivity with timely maintenance, downtime tracking, and RCA
- Improved training through operator tracking and corrective actions
If benefits like these would be a boost to your business, we’d love to help. Our experts can help you decide if MES is right for you and determine the best choice for your business.