Today, we will revisit the benefits the new and modern MES brings to the entire value chain and understand how challenges of the not so distant future can be met through the successful implementation of an MES ready for I 4.0.
First and probably the foremost driver for I 4.0 is the requirement of mass customized products. In reality not all products manufactured today will reduce to a production lot size of one, at least not in the very near future, but having an MES capable of accommodating the requirements placed by being able to mass manufacture goods, even with slight differences in specifications, should be a highly sought-after requirement.
Only an MES which allows for existence of a dynamic marketplace, where transactions happen based on communication between CPS and CPPS, can truly provide the capability of customizing each product, while still drawing benefits derived from economies of scale production.
Industry 4.0 Implies Lean Manufacturing
Industry 4.0 delves heavily on lean management philosophy and lean management in turn dictates reduction of costs, while improving the quality of the products at all times. An MES which is truly I 4.0 enabled, will allow implementation of lean management through its functionality, by allowing process owners to reduce cost and redundant efforts.
How? By providing rich actionable information, through various technological marvels, like the AR, VR, robotics, IIoT, mobile, 3-D printing and cloud. The key here is not just allowing for capture of the massive data generated, that alone will not result in any cost saving. Instead the MES must use the data generated, providing clear, concise and contextual information right from process owners to supply chain partners.
Another fundamental feature of lean management is to supply or alter supply based on demand. This is where the MES becomes pivotal in I 4.0, as it enables the creation of a decentralized marketplace, both on the shop-floor and then across the supply chain. Since the entire operation is configured to demand and its fluctuations, accurate responses can be made depending on shifts and changes on the demand patterns.
Manufacturing through the MES adapts almost instantaneously to changes, thereby allowing extremely lean supply chains to exist and even thrive. Since the CPS and CPPS of the main manufacturer work in a dynamic environment, once a change is triggered anywhere in the integrated value chain, it is possible for the MES to orchestrate these changes on the shop-floor, while passing information to supply chain partners so that they may adjust accordingly as well.
Quality is another extremely important issue when it comes to Industry 4.0. As manufacturing moves more and more towards personalization, the diversity of specs which need to followed by a manufacturing plant will increase drastically. Unless the MES is equipped with a dynamic execution engine, the application will not be able to facilitate proper quality management.
‘Time is money’
‘Time is money’. In fact in an Industry 4.0 scenario ‘Speed is money’. Not just executing a task, but executing it in an optimum time period is important. As products evolve and demand diversifies, changes encountered anywhere in the customer base, need to be met through collaboration of the entire supply chain and their respective R&D units. An I 4.0 enabled MES would allow its value chain to access and subsequently assess new information across the board and allow implementation of new ideas through complete integration.
All this information being generated from all across the enterprise and the value chain, is nothing but mere noise, unless it is analyzed and provided in relevant context to the receiver of the information. The new era of manufacturing will see the amount of data being generated from the shop-floor and across the supply chain rise exponentially.
MES: the focal point of the Industry 4.0 implementation
Without the right MES connecting the individual players of the value chain and without real-time actionable information, even if a plant or supply chain has all the requisite I 4.0 components, it will never be able to leverage true benefits from the implementation of said components.
It is the MES which allows individual technologies and services to collaborate and create the I 4.0 ecosystem.
Critical Manufacturing empowers high performance operations for some of the most advanced manufacturers worldwide with innovative software technology and advanced services. Its new generation Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is an Industry 4.0 centerpiece, incorporating all necessary integration, mobile, connectivity and logical decentralization features. This deep, unified system increases performance, control and quality for complex manufacturing operations. The company is part of the Critical Group, a private group of companies founded in 1998 to provide solutions for mission and business critical information systems.
For more information, visit www.criticalmanufacturing.com
Critical Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH
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