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MES in daily operations management

Daily operations management and MES

The daily operations management - from herein daily management, process of a production facility ensures distribution of important information to every employee. Production processes are often very complex, and the ability to react quickly is essential. Decisions must be made quickly based on facts.

The MES system (Manufacturing Execution System) is well suited to support daily management because it deals with issues related to business process management and measured real time process information. The MES system often has relevant KPI figures ready to monitor the progress of production. The observations collected from the operators, combined with electronically collected information, enable monitoring of the efficiency of the measures taken in production and provide a basis for continuous improvement.

MES brings many benefits to the daily management of a production facility. By utilizing available data correctly, it enables cost savings, improved quality, identification of bottlenecks, prediction of maintenance needs, avoidance of unexpected production interruptions, rapid response to alarms, and continuous development of production processes.


The most important thing in daily management

The main task of daily management tools for a factory or facility is to produce a common shared situational awareness. It is presented to each user group in visual form supporting the users’ roles and tasks. A common shared snapshot of the situation enables correct and timely responses to deviations.


Electronic logbook - The cornerstone of daily management tools

Nowadays, it is possible to collect a huge amount of data from different sources. The standardization of automation interfaces has made data collection easier.

However, not all information is in electronic form. The observations of the operators should also be systematically collected. This is not always done or, if the information is collected, it may not be used efficiently. In production facilities that use a shift system, the transmission of information from one shift to another is really important, because the new shift continues where the previous one left off. If all essential information is not available quickly and efficiently, this can in the worst case cause quality problems or production interruptions and consequently, significant costs. Unfortunately, part of the information is still often written down in the "corner of the notebook" or on a post-it note attached to an operator screen or in a bloated Excel sheet, and it is not possible to notice timely, or utilize, search and review such information afterwards.

Diary - the electronic logbook enables information to be recorded electronically in the system. The user enters observations about e.g., the progress of production or the condition of the equipment while classifying them in a predefined way. This provides classified and structured data for the continuous improvement of production and maintenance. Data collection and classification of what happens must be as easy and quick as possible to ensure that it is done correctly even in high-pressure situations

Observation data can be supplemented with other process data, such as production data collected from automation or quality measurements. Diary enables the transmission of information from one shift to another and comprehensive reporting of what happened in the shift - and it is possible to use this information in the longer term. Electronic logbooks and their shift change reports make shift change meetings more efficient.

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Site view - information displays of plants or departments

Site view - information displays provide the production personnel with immediate visual information about the current state of the production. Often it is also important to know what happens next in own and neighbor’s department. OEE values (i.e., Overall Equipment Effectiveness), disruption/outage information and alerts can be bundled together into a single view, allowing for a quick assessment of where the attention of the supervisor or the team is first needed in the production plant.

The site view can be built to be dynamic, for example specific to production line or by bundling the production equipment of a certain department. From the overview screen, users can drill down into details. The alarm criteria are defined with the customer so that when alarms are triggered, the need to react is immediately known. The most important thing is to see and identify the most relevant and important things that enable making the right decisions quickly.

Other useful information, such as general or departmental notices, safety and shutdown information, can also be added to site views.


MES in daily management

Essential information for management is the availability of OEE figures and various key performance indicators (KPI). The values can be calculated e.g., per shift, time interval or per product. MES is a natural platform for performing calculations in a way that supports the development of the customer's production process in the best possible way. Versatile reporting that supports daily management is easy to implement because the input data is available.

The "Golden run" functionality enables the reuse of set values found to be efficient related to production equipment and process control. When a certain product is going to be run the next time, previously identified optimal set-point values can be easily reused. If the yield was better than in previous runs, the new set-points of the new golden run are saved for future use.

Nowadays, it is possible to collect huge amounts of data with a high frequency. The data should be able to be utilized and suitably processed into meaningful information for the users and their tasks or roles. The most important step is when the information is made available to people. The information must be easy to understand and timely. Site views, electronic logbooks, various dashboards and production status information displays are the right tools for this purpose. People will react and be able to make smart decisions when they have facts based on a common shared snapshot.

If you are interested in developing the daily management of your production facility using a MES system and daily operational modules, please contact us!

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