SparkMES™
by Flexware

Your fast track to MES, Track & Trace, OEE and more

SparkMES™: A Scalable, Ignition-Ready Framework

We know the story. You need to enhance manufacturing production but lack the necessary insights to focus your efforts. Enter SparkMES™ by Flexware Innovation—a solution tailored to meet your needs swiftly and cost-effectively.

Developed on the Ignition platform by Inductive Automation, SparkMES™ inherits the flexibility and low cost of ownership enjoyed by half of today’s Fortune 100 companies. This Ignition-ready framework equips you with a scalable, modular structure designed for both immediate requirements and future advancements.

With ten comprehensive packages, SparkMES™ provides the insights necessary for effective focus, ensuring rapid results and long-term cost-effectiveness. Its modern interface, crafted with the end user in mind, enhances usability. Contact us to learn more about how SparkMES™ can propel your manufacturing operations forward.

Would you like a demo?

We’ll discuss and demonstrate…

  • What you need to accomplish
  • The functionality included in SparkMES™
  • If SparkMES™ is the quick-start for you
KPI Dashboards

MODERN MES

Robust platform with rapid application development, and modernized user interface.

Legacy Automation Upgrades

CONFIGURABLE

Power to customize internally, including adding lines or equipment.

Cloud-based ERP MES

SCALABLE

Greater agility for change, no longer tied to a developer.

Digital Transformation

SOLUTION OWNERSHIP

The end user has the ability to own, manage, and support application.

CASE STUDY: Accelerating Customizable MES Solutions

In late 2019, Flexware Innovation collaborated with a Swedish-based worldwide leader in automotive technology. With SparkMES™, the customer greatly improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Features

  • Built with the Ignition platform
  • Hundreds of Perspective and Vision templates
  • Integrated Role-based Security
  • Perspective Front-end
  • Stored Procedures & Queries
  • Modular MSSQL Backend
  • Modular Script Packages
  • Operator Manuals
  • Systems Configurations Specifications
  • Responsive Design

Why Manufacturers Choose SparkMES™

Gain insight, visibility, and understanding into cell, line, and plant production data to understand quality issues, machine downtime, and more

Make data accessible to the right people at the right time, from the shop floor to the top floor

Locate raw materials, finished goods, and materials used in production

Respond rapidly and accurately to recalls and audits with effective traceability, track/trace, genealogy

Increase profitability through line efficiency

Gain access to a robust, modern manufacturing system when IT and Operations budgets might be limited

The Packages

OEE

The SparkMES™ OEE Package streamlines overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and downtime tracking for manufacturers, promoting cost reduction and operational efficiency. It provides real-time visibility into crucial metrics through intuitive dashboards with Pareto analysis, enabling swift responses to production issues.

Supporting automatic or manual downtime data collection, the package integrates with enterprise systems, enables mobile access, and is fully customizable. With features like executive dashboards, manufacturing scheduling, and work order management, it provides a comprehensive solution to enhance productivity and profitability without constraints on users or data.

Features:
  • Part Count Precision: Tracks good and scrap part counts for precise production monitoring.
  • Downtime Analysis: View detailed Paretos of downtime codes for root cause prioritization.
  • Custom Dashboards: Tailor OEE dashboards for a personalized and insightful user experience.
  • Holistic Analysis: Historical and real-time OEE trending for a holistic performance overview.
  • Quick Integration: Easily integrate new lines and machines to meet changing business needs.

TRACK & TRACE

Manufacturers employ tracking and tracing methodologies to capture crucial details regarding the origin and production processes of their products. The SparkMES™ Track & Trace package streamlines this endeavor, empowering manufacturers to adeptly address growing economic and regulatory complexities.

This paperless and fully integrated solution facilitates comprehensive product monitoring — from the raw materials to finished products, consumables and byproducts. It offers access to genealogy data, unified operator interfaces (including SCADA, HMI, other MES, and more), serialization of items and sub-assemblies, and contextualizes all relevant information.

Features:
  • Web-Based Control: Streamline production with a user-friendly web interface.
  • Genealogy Reporting: Trace product origins and assembly history effortlessly.
  • Real-Time Insights: Monitor production status for swift decision-making.
  • Work Order Management: Simplify work order creation and tracking.

SCHEDULING

SparkMES™ Scheduling allows real-time visualization of production schedules, including actual and targeted production, machine status, and production delays. The tool displays breaks and routine workday events, offering a complete view of production activities.

Scheduled production entries can be effortlessly sourced from a higher-level ERP system or manually inputted. Scheduled entries can be adjusted automatically or manually, ensuring adaptability to production progress, breaks, and other influential factors.

Features:
  • Facility-Specific Scheduling: Tailor production schedules to facility needs, optimizing resource utilization.
  • View Production Progress: Monitor production progress in real-time for immediate operational insights.
  • Dynamic Scheduling: Adapt production schedules to account for planned downtimes (i.e. breaks, weekends, and preventive maintenance activities).

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

SparkMES™ Inventory Management, a package within the SparkMES™ platform, provides real-time visibility and streamlines processes like material receiving and movement.

With automated reconciliation and robust reporting, it ensures precision, reduces waste, and empowers manufacturers with efficient control over their production environments. The package extends its reach, managing parts in both Raw Material Inventory (RMI) and Finished Goods Inventory (FGI), providing a comprehensive solution for manufacturing efficiency and precision.

Features:
  • Inventory Reception: Quickly integrate incoming inventory, ensuring a smooth transition into production processes.
  • Warehouse Management: Provides basic warehouse management capabilities such as inventory tracking and label management.
  • Inventory Scrapping: Effectively manage scrapped inventory with a structured process for accuracy and traceability.
  • Lot Management: Easily split lots for flexible inventory segmentation, ensuring precise control and tailored production.

ERP INTEGRATION

SparkMES™ ERP Integration links the ERP layer and the plant floor for smooth communication and data exchange. This package ensures that essential information, such as production schedules, work orders, bill of materials (BOMs), and process plans, flows effortlessly between the operational and ERP systems.

By bridging operational intricacies with ERP insights, ERP Integration eliminates data silos, ensuring a continuous and efficient information flow. The integration establishes a direct, error-reducing synchronization channel, streamlining operations and fostering a responsive manufacturing environment.

Features:
  • Versatile ERP Compatibility: Seamlessly integrate SparkMES™ with various ERP systems through a flexible API interface.
  • Error Handling: Identifies, logs, and alerts the appropriate personnel on any discrepancies during the data exchange.
  • Transaction Logging: Tracks and monitors data exchanges, identifies issues, ensuring reliable integration performance.
  • Data Mapping: Effortlessly map and transform data structures, allowing translation between MES and ERP formats.

QUALITY

SparkMES™ Quality serves as a solution to ensure the excellence of the manufacturing process. Configurable quality gates allow for detecting and responding to issues on the line.

Non-conformance tracking offers a detailed view of deviations, promoting swift resolution and continuous improvement. Utilizing a Kanban-style system, SparkMES™ Quality streamlines failure analysis, providing a structured real-time approach to recognize, address, and learn from failures.

Additionally, it includes an incoming quality check to ensure received inventory adheres to predefined standards.

 Features:
  • End-of-Line Testing: Easily integrate testing with track and trace for adherence to stringent quality standards.
  • Nonconformance Tracking: Efficiently manage non-conformances, facilitating prompt identification and resolution.
  • Kanban Failure Analysis: Implement a systematic approach to identify and rectify issues in the production process.
  • Configurable Quality Gates: Tailor gates to specific needs and schedule them for adaptable and timely quality control.

KITTING

SparkMES™ Kitting improves kit assembly processes through its BOM-driven approach, reducing consumption times and minimizing delays caused by missing inventory. It provides clear assembly instructions and supports configurable methods tailored to diverse production scenarios.

This package ensures real-time inventory visibility, preventing delays by offering instant insights into kit availability. SparkMES™ Kitting facilitates precise assembly, adaptable methods, and real-time inventory insights, enhancing overall kit assembly efficiency.

Features:
  • Detailed Assembly Instructions: Access clear instructions for accurate and efficient kit assembly.
  • Configurable Methods: Tailor the kit construction process to specific manufacturing needs.
  • Real-Time Inventory Visibility: Real-time tracking into kit availability, reducing delays.
  • Dynamic Process Controls: Optimize production schedules based on kit availability.

SHIPPING

SparkMES™ Shipping allows users to create and manage shipping orders with ease. It simplifies the scanning of products destined for shipment and allows for the creation of pallet construction, providing a clear history of shipped parts for enhanced transparency in the supply chain.

This package seamlessly integrates with Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) via an API interface.

Additionally, the SparkMES™ Shipping package operates as a user-friendly front-end for an ERP system, easily customizable to meet manufacturers’ specific needs.

Features:
  • Effortless Order Fulfillment: Quickly ship parts to customers with an intuitive order fulfillment system.
  • Detailed Shipment History: Gain insights into shipment history for informed decision-making and enhanced traceability.
  • Configurable Customer Details: Easily manage customer information to ensure seamless alignment with unique shipping requirements.
  • Intelligent Pallet Optimization: Control pallet construction and box positioning to optimize space and reduce shipping costs.

HELP DESK

The SparkMES™ Help Desk, integrated into the SparkMES™ platform, serves as a centralized online hub for up-to-date training resources. Designed for operation managers, engineers, and shop floor operators, it ensures prompt access to answers without having to leave the application.

This package ensures fast issue resolution with features like bug tracking, forums, and more. Users can contribute to system improvement, engage in collaborative discussions, get visual guidance, and stay updated with the latest releases—all in one place.

Features:
  • Training Resources: Access tutorial videos and documentation for quick team onboarding.
  • Interactive Forum: Collaborate, troubleshoot, and share best practices with other colleagues.
  • Bug Tracking: Swiftly identify and resolve issues with an efficient bug tracking system.
  • Feature Requests: Shape SparkMES™ to meet your needs by requesting new features.
  • Release Notes: Stay informed about the latest updates through detailed release notes.

CONFIGURATION

SparkMES™ Configuration is the essential foundation for the entire SparkMES™ platform, imperative for seamless integration and optimal functionality across all packages.

The Configuration module is a user-friendly web- based UI that allows manufacturers to make real-time modifications to SparkMES™ attributes. This simplifies and unifies critical elements like products, parts, bill of materials (BOM), routes, and more.

Features:
  • Real-Time Updates to Workflow: Configure and fine-tune settings for precise control over products, parts, BOM, routes, and beyond.
  • Facility Mapping: Establish a unified namespace for the facility through plant modeling.
  • User Management: Manage user roles, ensuring precise control over access within the production environment.

Customer Case Studies

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CABLE, CONNECTIVITY, AND NETWORKING PRODUCT MANUFACTURING

Accelerating Production Efficiency with SparkMES™

With an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of just 57%, one of Belden’s oldest plants faced challenges as demand for Belden’s products spiked and lead times expanded. By implementing Flexware’s SparkMES™ solution Belden achieved an 84% internal rate of return and an annual performance increase of $500,000 for the plant. Although the initiative’s sponsors had tasked the team with delivering a 5% OEE improvement, the actual improvement came in at 18%, over 3.5 times the initial target. Learn more about the Belden SparkMES solution.

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spark-mes-custom

DISCRETE

Custom MES Revolution: Flexware’s SparkMES™ Drives Automotive Efficiency

In late 2019, Flexware Innovation collaborated with a Swedish-based worldwide leader in automotive technology to solve major pain points from an outdated Manufacturing Execution System (MES) within one of its subsidiaries, who delivers brake assembly solutions via 9 manufacturing sites. With SparkMES™, a scalable and fully customizable MES solution developed by Flexware and powered by Ignition, learn how this customer greatly improved overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Would you like to see SparkMES™ in action?

We love to show just how easy SparkMES™ is to implement, use, and maintain and do this all within the context of the challenges you’re facing and the goals you’ve set. Request an informative conversation and demonstration.

Flexware Innovation: Ignition Premier Integrators

For the past 25 years, Flexware has been an active systems integrator in the manufacturing IT industry with specialties including HMI/SCADA, OEE, Business Intelligence, and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). Our passion is helping our customers avoid costly architectural mistakes and design, architect, and build solutions that stand the test of time. When it comes to manufacturing IT and engineering, we don’t just get it done – we get it done right.

It’s with this same passion that Flexware Innovation pursued Inductive Automation’s Ignition platform, becoming a premier level integrator. We have successfully implemented Ignition for over forty manufacturers in the food and beverage industry, life sciences, automotive, metals & steel, and consumer products.

We are honored to be recognized as a Gold-Certified Premier integrator, the Top Integrator of the Year in 2020, and received the Firebrand Award, but equally as excited to offer this new technology, licensing, and overall SCADA approach to our customers. Our dedicated team of gold-certified Ignition integrators have experience in developing and deploying Ignition into manufacturing factories nationwide.

Let’s Connect

Contact Flexware Innovation to discuss if SparkMES™ might be your QuickStart MES.