MES – Old Hat With New, Digital Relevance

Information in the supply chain should be exchanged and processed as quickly as possible, so that any potential problems can be detected early enough and relevant counter measures can be initiated. Certainly, this is an area in which digitization can be of great assistance, providing the foundation is in place. And this is where MES experiences its reawakening: MES is the foundation for the comprehensive information exchange within the supply chain network and the prerequisite for efficient processing.

The MES uses this information exchange to support its core functionality, to create transparency of production flow (passive character) on the one hand, and to efficiently steer production processes (active character) on the other hand. Within the organization, the MES uses this information to ensure the optimal use of the capacities on hand and thus the efficient production execution. Looking outside the organization, the information may be used to support the integration with suppliers, customers and service providers.

A lot of companies use the MES systems only for the execution in their production, but are barely aware of the gaps and therefore the potential to increase the efficiency in the entire value chain, which can be enabled through the expansion and completion of the MES functions.

Um dieses Potenzial zu erschließen, setzt B&C ihr MES-Reifegradmodell ein: acht Kernfunktionen des MES werden auf vier Dimensionen – Aufträge, Materialien, Ressourcen, Infrastruktur – abgebildet. Insbesondere die Kernfunktionalität „Produktionsdatenerfassung“ zielt auf die Evaluierung aller entlang der Supply Chain entstehenden Einzelinformationen (Maschine, Mensch, Material, Auftrag) ab.

To reveal this potential, B&C applies its MES maturity model: eight core functions of the MES are depicted on four dimensions: work orders, materials, resources, infrastructure. In particular, the core function, “production data collection”, aims at the evaluation of all individual information along the supply chain (machine, personnel, material, work orders).

The MES platform offers the right infrastructure to serve as “digitalization bridge” between shop floor and top floor, providing the result of this vertical integration to the horizontal supply network. In integrative analysis workshops, the current stage of development in the diagnosis fields is discussed and evaluated together with the customer. During this, the relevance of the fields, defaulted based on B&C industry experience, is checked and, if necessary, adjusted to the specific customer requirements or goals.

As a result, B&C provides the customer with a maturity stamp, which on the one hand can be matched to the customer’s goals and, on the other hand, can be compared to the industry benchmark from the anonymous B&C database. Deficits and potentials can thus be identified quickly and dealt with through appropriate, targeted measures. This means that, through a goal-oriented expansion of the MES, the necessary basis for the next digitization steps can be created.