The Manufacturing Execution System, MES for short, or production control system, operates in manufacturing management at a process-related level. As a system for production planning or as a so-called ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning), it obtains important information from production and thus ensures production optimization.
It involves the entire value creation process, both the technical and organizational levels. This means that in addition to the business reporting and production planning levels of ERP, production is also included at the manufacturing level.
MES is characterized by direct connection to the systems of process automation and enables management, guidance, control or monitoring of production. This includes classic data collection and processing such as store floor data collection (SFDC), machine data collection (MDC) and personnel data collection, as well as all other processes that have a timely effect on the manufacturing process.
The MES aims mainly at the continuous controlling enforcement of an existing and valid planning and the feedback from the process. As a means of increasing efficiency, it thus also serves Industry 4.0.
Producing companies must become increasingly efficient; that is the task of Industry 4.0. MES as a source of information ensures production optimization, creates transparency and thus enables the discovery of hidden potential. The bottom line is data consistency, more product innovation and a higher level of quality.
Communication in manufacturing, from the ERP to the automation level and between the areas of manufacturing, logistics, personnel and quality, is already being handled by MES applications today, in the form of vertical and horizontal integration. MES solutions thus enable a seamless flow of information between management and the automation level. They form the central basis for end-to-end networked and increasingly self-organizing production, which is the aim of Industry 4.0 concepts.