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How to fix incomplete MES projects

Lukas Weber

07/06/2021 07:44 PM

Many organizations are asking themselves how they can or even must take advantage of end-to-end networking in manufacturing.

Admittedly, the future image of the networked factory, which independently distributes orders to the machinery and thus directly controls value creation, has its charm. However,

  • Who makes sure that continuous improvement takes place?
  • Who is capable of recognizing a worn conveyor belt?
  • Who does the failure analysis of produced scrap and finds out that a gripper inserts parts imprecisely?
  • And last but not least: who resets the system in the event of a failure, before repairing?

The manufacturing facilities of the future will therefore not be operable without people, regardless of the increasing degree of automation.

However, most of the current debates about MES solutions or the networking of factories only cover the technical level: automated machines, automated IT systems. The expert knowledge on production floor is often neglected. Yet, it is precisely their expertise that is essential for the improvement process.

If the knowledge of machine operators, maintenance and quality employees is not considered, no production can improve.

That is why, when starting an MES project, I first focus on an effective management and communication system. This supports the daily problem-solving, improvement work and ensures efficient and fast communication. In addition to the knowledge of the experts involved, machine data can provide an advantage in terms of data integrity and user experience. Always with the aim of creating a reliable information base for day-to-day business.
Once this step has been taken, further MES functionalities can be added for better planning, operator assistance and maintenance strategies.

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