Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Analysis Capabilities

Posted by Annette Grotz on April 4, 2019

Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Analysis Capabilities

Post seven 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. This post summarizes the section on analysis.

As Lord Kelvin said, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”

Manufacturers are continually trying to expose and correct inefficiencies and improve margins. To do this, they need to be able to measure their current conditions.

Collecting data from the manufacturing floor is key to making informed decisions on how to make even the slightest of improvements. Management needs good performance metrics to gauge operational performance, and systems are needed to accurately capture these performance metrics. A manufacturing execution system (MES) can provide historical, expected and near real-time data of manufacturing costs and results.

The data behind day-in and day-out manufacturing operations should be collected in a consistent and reliable manner. A MES not only collects this data, it also allocates the information into performance metrics at the departmental and enterprise levels, and as key performance indicators (KPIs). Part of this data collection can be applied to process control and regulatory compliance measurements; a good MES avoids redundant data collection. Finally, the MES should allow you to conduct a performance analysis daily or weekly and provide the report online, on demand.

Here are a few questions from “What is MES in Complex Discrete Manufacturing,” your manufacturing performance analysis may answer:

  • Do we have the resources to deliver what is due?
  • What constraints are holding us back?
  • Are we overrunning planned costs?
  • Where should we invest for improvement?
  • How much do we invest in quality?
  • How much are errors and rework costing us?
  • What percent of poor quality is due to supplier versus internal?
  • How quickly do we respond to unplanned issues?
  • Are process improvements effective? Are we really improving?
  • Can I demonstrate compliance? Am I ready for regulatory audits?


What is MES in Complex Discrete Manufacturing


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MES Analysis of Schedule and Capacity Performance

It is challenging to measure the true capacity potential of a manufacturing facility. Quality, inventory, labor, maintenance and other factors tend to thwart a good measurement. Metrics and the ability to drill into them can expose where poor performance issues are and what may be causing them.

MES Analysis Capabilities Screenshot

A few examples of schedule and capacity metrics you may want to measure:

  • Throughput Rate = Units produced per calendar day
  • Personnel Productivity = Units produced per labor hour
  • Performance to Standards = (Operating Time / Total Pieces) / (Ideal Standard Time per Piece)
  • Labor Performance = Standard Labor Hours / Actual Labor Hours
  • Late Days to Schedule Date
  • Cycle Time Efficiency = Value Added Cycle Time / Total Cycle Time

Having visibility into shop floor issues and production personnel are part of lean manufacturing principles. Consider adding dashboard reports specific to each work center for a quick glimpse of the daily production rate compared to goal.

MES Analysis of Cost and Quality Performance

Metrics sourced from manufacturing data can support the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) improvement cycle, as used by Six Sigma practitioners in their pursuit to determine the “variability for reductions in a manufacturing process.” Kaizen events and the Toyota problem-solving methodology are also supported by analyzing manufacturing data.

The data collected during manufacturing and defect reporting can be used by MES to create performance analysis reports. The potential causes of poor performance can be identified by associating different product lines with components, resources or processes. This type of analysis is also served well by Pareto charts.

To fully understand the cost of quality, you want to measure the cost of proactive measures and the costs of poor quality consequences.

You may want to look at the following metrics from “What is MES in Complex Discrete Manufacturing,” to measure cost and quality:

  • Yield = Good Pieces / Total Pieces
  • Labor Loss Rate to Poor Quality = 1 - (Rework Labor Hours / Total Labor Hours)
  • Component Defect Rate
  • Customer Rejects / Return Material Authorizations
  • Number of Safety Incidents per Year
  • Number of Significant Findings in Audits per Year.

MES is able to collect and allocate all types of manufacturing data, enabling you to make informed decisions that can affect a number of KPIs from capacity to quality.

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.

Be sure to catch up on previous installments in this series:

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