Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) solutions deliver a number of long and short-term manufacturing benefits, as well as strategic benefits such as improved yields, lowing operating costs, and increased compliance.
As a systems integrator and expert in the MES domain, Flexware Innovation helps its clients answer evaluate their options and make this important decision. Deciding on the correct MES system for your organization is not always a black or white answer. While cost and risk of upgrading or replacing the mission-critical plant information system are large, the cost and risk of doing nothing are high as well.
Step 1: Identify your current manufacturing process.
Considering the number of MES products available in the market, it is of utmost importance to identify the type of manufacturing process you have. Most MES solutions are designed for a specific type of process or industry.
Step 2: Select best MES product based on your needs.
Once you identify the process, then it’ll be easier to filter the best MES product for your solution.
If you are planning to implement MES on large scale globally, it is necessary to consider the following features in a product:
- Can the MES product demonstrate its scalability when production lots and manufacturing devices are increased?
- Can it handle changes to the of automation levels, complexity, flow changes, and/or volume growth?
- Multi-Lingual / Time Zone Support
- Language changes on the screen based on the Time Zone/Location
- How easy is it to configure new languages for all the screens?
- Is there a way to update the software all at once?
- Do the customized screens support multi-lingual features?
- Deployment Feature
- How easy can a solution or feature be deployed across all manufacturing plants?
- Does it allow deployment of huge master data?
- Can the MES software allow version controlling and provide a roll-back feature?
- Does the MES software support any ERP integration? How easy is it to make changes in the existing ones?
- Does it support machine integration? What are the limitations?
- Is the product flexible enough to easily integrate with existing or 3rd party applications?
- Can you build common templates, so any system can integrate seamlessly?
- Since MES will be integrated across all the plants possibly with different specific business needs, how easy is it to customize?
- Can customizations be controlled based on needs?
- Infrastructure and Hardware Requirements
- Some products are light in weight and do not require a lot of resources, but they lack in flexibility.
- Some products provide a lot of features which could take a lot of resources and time to implement.
- It is advisable to consider the features needed for the implementation and then proceed with the product selection.
- Will the MES software perform properly with current infrastructure requirements?
- Product Interface
- Can the product interface be customized based on the company requirements?
- Does the MES solution have any pre-defined templates?
- License Cost
- How much does the product license cost? Is it based on each facility or on any other terms?
- Product Upgrades
- How often are hotfixes released? Can this be performed without hampering the production?
- Does the solution have a rollback feature for upgrades?
- Product Limitations
- What can the product NOT support?
- Product Support
- Is there product support for fixing bugs? If yes, what is the resolution time for fixing bugs?
- What solutions are available to deal with bugs causing production downtime?
- How are enhancements to the MES software handled?