Using an MES to Deliver Real-Time Data for Decision-Making
Manufacturing managers and executives are always looking for the latest data to measure productivity and efficiency, minimize scrap and rework, and benchmark performance against goals and industry standards.
Six Sigma punch line, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure”, certainly applies to this case. Without systems in place to capture and quantify manufacturing data, you can’t even get started on the road to improving operations. Even if systems are in place, not capturing data in real-time or not being able to capture it directly from the source, i.e. machines, will cause gaps in the data and an outdated picture of what is happening on the shop floor.
The best way to give organizational leaders, managers, supervisors and operators the real-time data they crave and help them make more informed decisions is to implement a manufacturing execution system, or MES.
Capturing & Delivering Data with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
An MES is software that captures and delivers information about every aspect of manufacturing processes and operations. It gives everybody involved, organizational leaders, managers, supervisors and operators total visibility into everything from scheduling, productivity, and efficiency to inventory, traceability, quality, and preventive maintenance.
An MES can be used as a standalone solution or integrated with any ERP system.
IMCO Software, has brought one of the leading European MES solutions to the U.S. by introducing IMCO CIMAG – MES Production. IMCO Software has expanded the functionality of IMCO CIMAG – MES Production by adding an Energy Management System. The resulting software has been rebranded as IMCO CIMAG – MES.
Combined with mobile computing, barcoding, RFID, and printing hardware from Zebra Technologies, IMCO CIMAG – MES allows us to help manufacturers build a complete system to track, trace, and gain visibility into every aspect of their operations.
Data capture typically begins at the receiving stage, where 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 IMCO CIMAG – MES to identify and track everything that moves through the plant—from the moment materials or products arrive until they become finished goods and inventory.
It also provides the basis for IMCO CIMAG – MES to track all related processes and measure and monitor everything from inventory accuracy, scheduling and capacity to quality, maintenance, and production-to-plan attainment.
Capturing & Reporting Data from the Shop Floor
On the shop floor, IMCO CIMAG – MES tracks, measures, and reports all production activity by capturing data from Zebra rugged computers installed at each workstation.
Each operation’s duration and the operator’s identity are tracked in IMCO CIMAG – MES, as well as production quantity and raw material usage which is captured directly from sensors installed in the production machines. Maintenance and quality issues are captured as well, and they are shared and communicated in real time.
As production is completed, Zebra labels and tags are applied to finished goods, boxes, and containers. Products are then scanned as they move into storage locations.
Delivering Data Intuitively and Visually
All IMCO CIMAG – MES data is delivered in real time, in the form of fully customizable and convenient dashboards and reports. Different views can be configured for any workstation or area of operations.
All business-critical data is depicted in simple and easy-to-read charts, graphs, and numerical views. This gives managers, executives, and even shop floor supervisors and operators a real-time view of any area of the entire manufacturing operation–right down to individual machines.
The information gives all stakeholders the real-time insights they need to make timely and informed decisions, which ultimately is better for the operation and everyone involved.
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