Category: Production & Operations Management

07 Mar 2017
Diames manufacturing execution systems

How Have Manufacturing Execution Systems Changed the Industry?

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) have come a long way in the last few decades. A couple of decades ago, manufacturers used manufacturing resource planning (MRP) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to manage data. However, those applications were limited compared to what MES can do today. Manufacturing companies not using MES today are behind in the times and could be making their systems and processes much easier. Those using MES using MES understand the benefits offered. MES has changed the industry and continues to evolve. Take a look at exactly how.

Real-Time Data Collection

The flaw with MRP and ERP is you can’t access real-time data to analyze. This is critical for the manufacturing business process, because you can see how a particular project is going and know how to manage inventory, supplies, maintenance and other factors.

Having the ability to see what happened in the past few hours, what’s going on currently and what the projections are for the near future makes business process management much easier. Making business decisions based on projections alone are just as good as guesses. With manufacturing execution systems, you can take a lot of guesswork out of the equation.

Customizable and Flexible

Being able to customize MES software makes it great for any manufacturing plant. If you want the system to focus more on inventory, you can do that. If you want it to focus only on a certain machine or a process, you can do that as well. This is a big positive when you have a machine that may not be functioning properly and you don’t know exactly why. Manufacturing execution systems can give you enough information to identify what part of the process is causing problems, so it can be addressed accordingly.

MES Gives Manufacturers a Competitive Advantage

Accessing real-time data from anywhere can prevent downtime. With cloud based MES, you can view data from your mobile device virtually anywhere. You can also rest assured the data is kept securely in the cloud. Because of this mobility and flexibility, manufacturers using MES have a clear advantage over others not using MES. Reduced downtime means increased profits due to shorter processing times—and higher quality products as a result.

Any business process management professional always looks for the most efficient way to go about business. Manufacturing execution systems have changed the industry over the last few decades, and will continue to do so in the future as it evolves even further. For more information about how MES can be tailored to your company, feel free to contact us.

23 Feb 2017
Diames business process management

How MES Applications Can Benefit Your Production

Making the decision to install the right MES applications can greatly impact your business’s production line. Not only will production run more efficiently as a whole, but production managers can make better business decisions by utilizing MES. The technology in MES applications creates transparent processes at any stage of production, meaning operators can react immediately if an issue arises. Without this technology, workflow will not be as efficient, which can cost time and money. Here are some key ways MES can impact your production business process positively.

1. Improves Cost Optimization

Using human resources on the shop floor can cost a significant amount of money, and the same volume of facts and figures can’t be produced. Without using MES applications, it is virtually impossible to have a proactive production management approach.

Cost optimization can happen at any stage of the production process. When analyzing your business process management, you have to look at everything from the planning stage to the delivery stage and anywhere in between. Manufacturing execution systems can make each one of those stages more efficient, thus reducing costs and driving profits.

2. Reduces Downtime and Waste

Errors on the production line will occur, regardless of what systems are in place. However, with MES applications, the time elapsed between the error being noticed and being corrected is significantly lower. This results in much less waste and could prevent shutdowns.

Your business process management planning likely takes waste into consideration. Raw materials alone can account for a significant amount of the cost of the product, so reducing waste can give a big boost to a company’s bottom line and create happier consumers as well.

3. Creates Overall Synchronization of Processes

When data is collected from every stage of the supply chain, it leads to processes running like a well-oiled machine. MES applications can tie in any and all stages of your production to create a more efficient and effective business. Plus, production managers can make better decisions about any maintenance repairs or other business decisions based on the real-time data provided by MES. It’s the synchronization of the company’s processes that makes it more powerful and profitable.

If you are one of the few companies without MES applications, you need to at least consider the benefits you’re missing out on. For more specific ways on how manufacturing execution systems can be incorporated into your business, be sure to contact us.

21 Feb 2017
Diames manufacturing operations management

Leveraging Manufacturing Operations with Automation

Some companies still operate under the assumption that automating a single machine on the production line will create higher productivity and better ROI. However, large companies ultimately don’t benefit at all if they have multiple machines at the plant, but only choose to automate one of them. When it comes to manufacturing operations management today, automating the entire system and processes is critical to having better productivity and efficiency. The good news is there are applications available to improve the entire complex immediately, without changing the existing infrastructure.

Automated Solutions Lower Costs

Automating your existing infrastructure by incorporating MES applications can provide an immediate impact to costs. Simply put, having a reliable automation system will reduce errors on the production line. With the help of MES applications, the root of a potential problem can be identified and corrected immediately. A human worker would still likely be able to identify an issue, but it would take longer to diagnose and pinpoint the issue’s origin.

In manufacturing, time is money. The longer it takes to produce something, the more money is lost. If there is any sort of downtime, money is going down the drain every minute. Automating the entire production process will eliminate downtime and keep everything running efficiently, which will lower the overall production cost and increase profits.

Improves Productivity

One of the challenges of manufacturing planning is trying to anticipate the unexpected. Machines could be damaged and have to be shut down for a certain amount of time, or there could be a variety of other issues influencing planning and inventory. When you incorporate MES applications into your processes, productivity and efficiency will increase to the point where managers can make better business decisions. There are still no guarantees, but the increased productivity with fewer errors makes it easier to plan.

MES Creates Efficient Workflow

The best thing about MES applications is companies don’t have to alter their infrastructure to incorporate them. A business can immediately become more efficient in their processes and manufacturing by incorporating manufacturing execution systems. From the planning stage all the way to packaging the products for shipment, MES can make companies more efficient every step of the way.

Companies always look for ways to become more efficient. Automating your machines can help you leverage manufacturing operations and put your company ahead of the game. Be sure to contact us to learn more about how automation can improve your business immediately.

14 Feb 2017
Diames manufacturing execution systems

Improving New Product Introduction with Manufacturing Execution Systems

Anyone in the manufacturing business knows the challenges of New Product Introduction. Translating a market need into a product ready to sell can be a challenge at many different levels. With the help of MES solutions, the manufacturing process of these new products can be closely monitored so no details are missed.

This also goes for calculating more accurate costs and identifying any process that may need to be reevaluated and tweaked for better efficiency. Here are some of the ways manufacturing execution systems can boost the effectiveness of a newly introduced product.

Streamlined Process

Getting a new product right the first time is the best way to succeed with a newly introduced product. The best way to do that is to be on the same page with the design, engineering and production teams. The best thing about MES applications is manufacturers can go through the entire process of making a new product without losing any time along the way. Not only will this create a high quality product the first time, but the costs will also be lower, meaning more profit.

Decreased Challenges, Increased Accuracy

Any time a new product gets developed, there will be challenges along the way. With manufacturing execution systems in place, those challenges decrease because of the data available for use in improving the entire process. The fewer challenges standing in the way before the newly introduced product hits the market, the better accuracy you’ll experience.

Reduced Latency Issues

Latency is one of the most frustrating things about manufacturing. When every level of a new product introduction is on the same page with each other, latency will be reduced drastically. MES applications can provide the real-time information and data needed to monitor the process from start to finish. The real-time information can also help production managers identify problems before they cause larger issues leading to latency.

Keeps Manufacturers Ahead

It seems like before a new product gets introduced, the next one is already in the works. For manufacturing companies, it makes business more profitable, but it can also present challenges because of the rapid movement. Companies have turned to different MES solutions to help create shorter planning and implementation of new product production.

Staying ahead of New Product Introduction is critical for manufacturing companies. Be sure to contact us for more ways MES applications can help make your next newly introduced product a success.

09 Feb 2017
Diames MES consulting

The Advantages of Implementing a Comprehensive MES

It’s nearly impossible to have a proactive production management improvement approach without a comprehensive MES implementation. A comprehensive MES will give production managers a broader overview of the manufacturing environment, so it’s easier to identify what’s working and what’s lacking. This is different from the watch-and-see approach, because not everything can be viewed at once and it’s difficult to measure productivity in the long-term.

With the real-time results generated by manufacturing execution systems, companies can get a better overview of key performance indicators instantly. Here are some of the other reasons why manufacturing plants are turning to comprehensive MES implementation.

Connects The Entire Process

Many companies make the mistake of taking a narrow approach to viewing different operations. For example, they will look specifically at the workflow of a certain part of the process, but not look as closely at other issues. These issues could range from a general overview of equipment maintenance, supply and demand or the overall quality of the product.

Comprehensive MES implementation connects all processes, from the planning, engineering and scheduling to the entire production process. It’s essentially the only way to be able to view the full picture of production in order to be proactive and get ahead of any potential issues to prevent downtime.

Greater Inventory Turns

Companies who have adopted MES have seen greater inventory turns than those who haven’t. The last thing any production manager wants to deal with is not having enough inventory to meet order demands. Manufacturing execution systems can help prevent a shortage.

Comprehensive MES to Fit Individual Companies

Some companies go through MES consulting to determine what system is right for them. Most companies will at least implement applications for planning and scheduling, inventory control and overall quality management at the production plant. However, since every company operates differently, the comprehensive MES can be tailored to best fit your needs.

When an MES is completely implemented, companies have proven to be more effective and efficient on the production line. This includes providing higher quality products in a shorter amount of time and at a lower cost. All of these factors turn into higher profits, better systems with lower maintenance costs and happier clients overall. For more information on MES consulting and to learn about what manufacturing execution system would be right for your company, be sure to contact us.

28 Nov 2016

Improving Production Management Can Reduce Last Minute Planning

Production scheduling and planning are a lot more difficult than they sound. Without the proper systems in place, last minute planning is almost always inevitable. However, Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solutions can allow plant managers, supervisors or workcenter operators  to use advanced planning processes to help make operations run more smoothly.

One helpful manufacturing execution system is a shop floor manager. This tool enables users to view and manage the entire operations on the shop floor with an online data navigator. Make sure the use of real-time data is a feature of your shop floor manager MES tools. This ability can significantly help to improve production management and cut-down on last-minute planning.

Start With Analyzing Plant Level Data

The shop floor manager should display a full view of the entire plant operation to get a general sense of productivity. Anyone in a Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) role will appreciate the ability to quickly scan real-time data versus running reports based on past data.

If the manager can pinpoint a machine that’s not producing well, then they can dig deeper into the specific department. Without a full view of the manufacturing plant, it wouldn’t be as easy to narrow the issue.

Analyze the Data

MES shop floor manager tools should be able to break down the real-time data into departments, work centers and even crew members. The best way to improve production management is to identify the source of a problem, rather than just address it on the surface. Manufacturing execution systems allow managers to target the source of a breakdown and be proactive in repairing it instead of discovering the problem when it’s too late.

From a manufacturing planning standpoint, managers can make more accurate projections based on real-time data. Traditional systems rely on historical data to produce projections. But a manager who stays on top of their MES tools can clearly see where the production currently stands and can monitor productivity to ensure it stays on the right track.

Compare and Customize Display Information

Having a system to display the information relevant to you and your company for planning purposes is critical. Users should be able to view different schedules, times and data with a few simple clicks. Whether you want to know how a particular employee is working or how long a machine has been running, the information should be easy to access.

When it comes to planning, the more information you have, the better off you’ll be. But having the relevant data is even more important. MOM is all about knowing what has happened on the floor and comparing it to what’s currently in production. When you do that, you’ll be able to limit last minute planning practices and move toward advanced planning.

Contact us for more information about the DIAMES Shop Floor Manager MES. This essential production planning tool has all of these essential features and more.

24 Nov 2016

Science of Manufacturing Operation Management

One of the biggest and most serious mistakes manufacturing companies make is only reacting to problems when they occur, instead of identifying their potential early in the process.

Manufacturing processes are in most cases quite complex and not transparent by themselves, so any sort of down time is detrimental to production. The best way to sustainably improve productivity and efficiency on the shop floor, is a proactive production management approach. There are several technical and organizational ways to be more proactive. Using a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) as the technical platform in combination with Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) methods is the optimal approach to achieve immediate sustainable results.

Identify Small Issues Before They Become Bigger Ones

A minor glitch at any point in the Manufacturing Business Process could be just an isolated, non-serious issue. But in context with the complete production activity chain, the impact can become immense in a very short time. An MES / MOM combination is one of the best methods to immediately identify a small issue inside the larger manufacturing process chain without losing too much time or too many resources.

An MES allows a plant manager, supervisor or workcenter operator to look at the broad view of the production process chain and analyze the production data in real time. If a small issue is identified, then it can be addressed immediately to prevent bigger problems later on.

Track Employee Performance

Another benefit of MES applications is the ability to track employee performance in the context of executed production activities. You don’t want to wait until a production disaster occurs before you realize an employee hasn’t been meeting certain standards. The key to successful manufacturing scheduling is knowing all employees are doing their jobs. With all of the moving parts in a production plant, it can be difficult for managers to identify slacking employees on a daily basis. If managers had software to track employee performance in real time, then the statistics could be measured more accurately and appropriate action could be promptly taken.

View Production as a Whole and on a Small Scale

Many people in the MOM role can get too caught up in the bottom line, rather than looking at the individual processes. MES applications can simplify both aspects by giving a one-page view of production as a whole, as well as certain departments or processes.

In order to improve productivity on the shop floor, you have to be proactive as a manager. Depending on the size of the operations, you may not be able to walk around and monitor everything in person. Plant managers have too many other responsibilities to be micro-managing, so having the proper manufacturing execution system will help consolidate the important real-time data into your system.

The Manufacturing Business Process is difficult enough to manage, but the DIAMES team of professionals has solutions to help managers be more proactive at their jobs. Find out more about your options by contacting us today.