7 Key Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)

One of the important steps towards increasing productivity and reducing production costs is the implementation of the Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

With it, manufacturing companies achieve numerous important benefits, such as real-time transparency of production processes, efficient production planning, reduction of downtimes, traceability of production resources and events, greater flexibility of production to adapt to changing requirements, fewer (human) errors, compliance with regulations and standards, greater product quality and safety, paperless manufacturing and others.

However, in practice, we notice that the implemented systems often do not bring the expected results.

Therefore, we present seven key criteria that are recommended to consider when choosing a Manufacturing Execution System.

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What we have to consider when selecting MES?

Established solution. The basis for efficient production management is an established and modular MES with clearly defined core functionalities (e.g., traceability), which are regularly improved and updated, that can be upgraded with additional (custom) modules.

Reliable business partner. For successful MES introduction and adoption, with possible extensions and upgrades in the longer run, a reliable business partner is required that has a clear business, technological and content vision. With them, the usability of the system in the long run is ensured (“future-proof”).

Expert knowledge and experience. The implementation of the MES system requires interdisciplinary knowledge in the fields of automation and manufacturing IT, as well as extensive experience with production processes. The exploitation of good industrial practices ensures efficient and successful implementation of the system.

Flexibility and gradual implementation. Each production has its own specifics and goals to which we must adapt the MES and not the other way around, because of the potentially limited capacity of the system. This also means that different functionalities can have different priorities. That is why the possibility of gradual introduction of modules is important, both from functional and line/plant standpoints.

Universal connectivity. MES is a link between the production layer and higher-level information systems, so seamless connectivity to business (ERP), warehouse (WMS) and analytical (BI) systems, as well as to process control and automation systems, and other applications is of utmost importance.

User-friendliness. Well-structured, understandable, and intuitive user interfaces play a pivotal role in successful MES adoption. The ability to use local language can also have a significant impact, hence multilanguage support is a welcome functionality.

Advanced functionalities and AI. Cutting-edge MES also provides advanced algorithms for the processing of “big data” in production. The algorithms convert the data into useful information (KPIs) and offer additional insights for further improvement of production processes. Moreover, a cutting-edge MES supports long-term competitiveness of manufacturing by constantly adding new, innovative content and technological functionalities to the system.

For more information on improving your manufacturing processes with Manufacturing Execution System (MES), please contact Vanja Tomažič by e-mail vanja.tomazic@metronik.si.