Managing Resources with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)

Posted by Annette Grotz on December 20, 2018

How a Manufacturing Execution System Manages Resources

Post four in a dedicated series reviewing sections from the eBook “What is MES in Complex Discrete Manufacturing,” written by Conrad Leiva, vice president of Product Marketing and Alliances at iBASEt.

As part of the definition for process routing, the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) lists the resource requirements for each manufacturing project. These requirements are then passed to the enterprise resource planning system (ERP) or the scheduling system.

The process routings are pulled from the process plan structures at the level of detail the system needs for production capacity planning and material and labor cost tracking. This extraction is typically done at the work center or operation levels, while the step-level details remain in the MES.


What is MES in Complex Discrete Manufacturing


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MES: Manufacturing Resource Verification

MES verifies the certification and capability of each resource. This verification is critical and applies to both personnel (skills, credentials, training) and machines (tooling calibration most important, and possibly repair and maintenance records).

Manufacturers with government contracts, such as those in aerospace industry and other similarly regulated industries, usually have contract requirements pertaining to the qualifications, training and certifications of the employees and subcontractors working on their projects. These contractual requirements will influence the resource planning and scheduling by the project managers. This information flows down to the MES, which can help to maintain employee records and verify that the right people with the right credentials are assigned to the job.

Human resources, project managers and the MES need access to employee certification records. The MES or the ERP system can act as a central repository. Because the expiration dates of certification records also need to be tracked, communication between the MES and ERP systems helps ensure only those with valid certifications are performing the work.

An employee’s experience on different types of jobs can also be recorded by the MES. Depending on the type of certification, the MES may also be able to re-certify employees based on their job experience, saving them from having to attend re-certification classes.

MES can track and manage gauges and tools. Having it in the MES helps as it records usage information for each tool.

“Calibration can be triggered based on actual usage frequency instead of (or in addition to) the traditional date-driven rules. MES traces measurements to the tools used, and can enforce that tools be in good calibration status before data measurements are accepted.”

For the complete list of tooling and gauge calibration management features, please see section 2.2 in the eBook What is MES in Complex Discrete Manufacturing.

This extensive tracking can help pinpoint recalls, should a malfunction in a measurement device be discovered. Additionally, the resource record keeping capabilities can help meet audit needs.

MES: Manufacturing Machine Assignment

The MES takes tracking further when assigning resources to jobs. For instance, it is important to assign machines to jobs. In the event there is an issue with a machine, it will be important to identify which product units may have been affected. The MES makes easy work of this as the information was captured within the system. An additional benefit of assigning machines to jobs it that it makes it easy for the operations managers to know which machines are available. This all comes together when maintenance and repairs are scheduled and some rescheduling needs to be arranged.

Next Steps

Learn why manufacturers are looking to integrate their manufacturing operations systems with their financial management system and other core business systems, to improve process efficiency and cost containment across their entire enterprise. See how Costpoint Manufacturing Solutions can help.


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