Manufacturing execution systems possess immense potential. However, organizations are responsible for unlocking the power that lies within these mission-critical backend solutions. How? Through the development, validation and verification of MES recipes.
These manually programmed formulas dictate how MES-propelled manufacturing equipment functions on the shop floor. Producers must formulate and periodically fine-tune these recipes to achieve maximum productivity and generate optimal return on investment. Companies in the manufacturing space leverage a variety of strategies to get the most out of their MES solutions and ultimately realize the aforementioned outcomes. Here are four of the most widely used methodologies:
Explore MES best practices
As stated above, MES technology is simply another tool available to production teams. These groups must learn how to effectively use the technology to see results. Numerous industry experts offer best practice advice that can be used with pretty much any MES solution on the market. Most of this guidance centers on two key MES functions: production planning and scheduling.
For instance, production teams should always work with the customer viewpoint in mind when planning with MES software, according to TechTarget. This ensures deadlines, delivery dates and custom orders are handled with care. Approaching MES-based planning from a financial point of view is also ideal, as this minimizes production costs. When it comes to scheduling via MES, experts advise production teams to establish time containers, which allow manufacturers to more effectively oversee their production calendars and calculate machining demands. Of course, sequencing is another critical aspect here, as shop floor leaders must schedule products for fabrication in a way that facilitates efficiency and keeps production costs low.
These MES usage best practices allow businesses to the lay the groundwork for effective recipe creation and execution. With these technically sound operational practices in place, production teams can ensure the formulas they create will produce ideal results.
New product validation is critical to MES recipe development and maintenance. Manufacturers are constantly introducing new products into their workflows. The production team must evaluate each entry and determine whether the existing recipes must be amended to accommodate the new product. Recipe management and validation is anything but easy in today's complex manufacturing environment. In most cases, manufacturers validate potential MES recipes from the bottom up, according to Control Global. This normally unfolds onsite. In the event that a recipe must be changed, operations teams can easily log into the MES and input the alterations. Some systems even facilitate automated recipe management workflows, which further accelerate the process.
Manufacturing organizations looking to get the most out of their MES solutions should develop detailed recipe management frameworks so they can make the required operational adjustments to roll out new products and ultimately keep pace with the marketplace.
Address vendor interaction
Vendors play an essential role in MES implementation and management. Following system development and deployment, software providers are largely responsible for assisting users as they perform their respective MES duties. In some cases, this support might take the shape of annual conferences where system experts disseminate the latest best practices. Other times, vendors may work directly with businesses to offer periodic training resources to empower employees with actionable strategies for navigating MES software. Of course, this implementer-provider relationship has an immense impact on recipe management activities. End users that understand how to best use the technology before them can help create and execute highly-effective MES recipes, bolstering productivity and increasing the bottom line.
Businesses in the manufacturing space should keep this in mind as they look to optimize MES performance and generate ideal return on investment via recipe management.
Manufacturers taking advantage of modern MES systems must address the issue of change management from the outset in order to maintain effective production processes centered on strong recipes. End user training is an essential component of actionable MES change management policy, according to Cognizant. Employees who can deftly work with MES technology and can access the resources needed to adjust to any system or workflow updates are more likely to churn out and maintain optimal production recipes than those who are not as up to date on the latest best practices.
In addition to system-specific concerns, businesses should address the wider issue of change as it relates to modern manufacturing and recipe maintenance. As the market grows and transforms, so too will production demands. Shop floor teams must understand this developing reality and know how to best use available MES tools to generate literal recipes for success in this modern commercial environment.
With these strategies, manufacturing firms can get the most out of their MES solutions and ultimately triumph, no matter the economic conditions.
Don't miss the chance to collaborate with peers and zero in on validation and verification of MES at CBI's MES conference this August!