Irrespective of where a manufacturer stands today, before introducing an MES, the company must do some homework. This includes conducting a feasibility study that describes the current state, including current workflows and processes. In addition, the company must define the objectives it wants to achieve by introducing an MES. Not until this economically oriented basis has been set, and has been accepted by everyone involved, will concepts be developed, functions be selected and concrete requirements be specified.
Feasibility study - can your objectives be achieved?
Each project starts with the analysis of the initial situation. Here, not only the existing production environment is reviewed and documented, but also the currently lived processes as well as existing interfaces.
Generally, this process is broken down into several steps and scopes of function. Combined with the target definition, an initial draft implementation recommendation can be derived.
The individual services that MPDV offers as part of a feasibility study include:
- State analysis of processes relevant to MES
- Process descriptions on the most important scenarios in the shop floor
- Description of relevant interfaces
- Definition of the desired target state
- Preparation of an implementation recommendation for management
Requirement specifications and tender process – what exactly should the MES do?
The next step involves fine-tuning the goals that were defined and to take a closer look at not only the planned processes and workflows, but also at the future infrastructure. In the production environment, the interaction between ERP and MES is critically important. However, what must also be taken into account is how the existing machines and equipment will be incorporated. Here, the level of detail gradually increases from the draft to the fine concept.
For these topics as well, MPDV offers services that can be requested as needed:
- ERP/MES integration consultation – for SAP users as well (based on distinctive experience)
- Consultation on the architecture for manufacturing IT, including a definition of an MES shop floor scenario
- Shop floor connectivity consultation as the basis for connecting machines and equipment
- Deriving MES tasks from the requirements defined in the feasibility study
- Selection of MES modules in accordance with the VDI guideline 5600 (based on IEC 62264 and ANSI/ISA 95) in order to further specify the required functions
- Preparation of MES specifications or a vendor-neutral tender process
Target specifications and fine concept – how can the preset goals be achieved?
The more fine-tuned the concept becomes, the more detailed the required functions can be specified. This process ends in a document that is designated as specifications, fine concept, system specifications or detailed concept, depending on the company’s internal terminology.
At this point we will compare your individual requirements and the functions of the manufacturing execution system HYDRA. If needed, customer-specific adjustments are defined.