The demands on the modern production manager range from the optimal use of resources to shortest production time to production quality with on-time delivery. The challenge is that different objectives compete against each other.
Even if fundamental decisions have been made in the rough planning phase on the basis of defined rules, it is still up to the production manager to adapt production to changing conditions (e.g. rush orders, delayed material delivery, machine failure, etc.) and to make the right decisions, getting the most out of production and not losing sight of efficiency.
Here’s how MES solutions (Manufacturing Execution System) can help production managers streamline their workflow and better manage their responsibilities.
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Decision-making authority thanks to MES software
To make the right decisions, the production manager needs visibility into what is going on in production, whether all planned resources (from materials to machines to employees) are available, and whether production orders are going through as planned, or if there are other issues. His or her information must always be up to date.
With any changes in the conditions, it is meaningful or even essential to adapt previously made decisions. The procurement of relevant information must neither take up much time nor, for example, depend on an employee taking a break and the information he or she needs to submit not being available ad hoc.
With MES solutions, production planning can be optimally implemented and monitored in production. MES systems make all production-relevant information available at the click of a button. The information must be available in real time and ideally graphically refined. The production manager can thus quickly identify possible problems and react in the best possible way.
Error reduction through smart production control systems
Online communication between MES software and workstations reduces the susceptibility to errors in the production process. Since all information is automatically sent to workstations, there are fewer manual activities, and thus, fewer sources of error.
An MES solution can provide employees with helpful information on the machines so that they do not waste time searching for information they need. The automatic and semi-automatic feedback ensures that not only the employee at the workplace, but also the production manager is always informed about the current status and can intervene if necessary.
Sustainable process improvement through available key figures and periodic reviews
By the information converging within an MES solution and from generated KPIs, it is possible to identify weak points of the process in addition to errors. Production managers can see in the system which workstation the most issues arise from, and which are the most frequent sources. With this knowledge, the cause can be quickly investigated, and corrective measures can be taken.
Another example is the improvement of production processes by monitoring output, setup times and throughput times. In an MES solution, it is possible to quickly identify which workstation has the lowest output, the highest reject rate, or the longest setup times over a longer period of time.
The production manager can take this insight as a starting point and define and implement measures to optimize the weakest points in production. The mentioned examples are only a fraction of what is possible with current production data in terms of process optimization.
2020 software solution for perfectly automated production processes
2020 Insight offers powerful MES functionality that enables production planning and production control to be perfected while simultaneously transferring all relevant information to an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. In terms of information transfer, it doesn’t matter whether companies use 2020 Insight, standardized ERP systems, or self-developed, industry-specific solutions.
In this way, all production processes can be mapped in detail without having to introduce another isolated IT solution. With the 2020 Insight solution, production managers receive a real-time overview of their production. Information such as machine utilization, material availability, setup times and throughput rates provide just a small portion of the information and key figures that are available.
The 2020 solution with its MES functionality enables production managers to continuously optimize their production and schedule resources in such efficient ways that the competing goals of quality and time are best met. In addition, the solution assures that production managers can always provide the CEO, sales department, or even the customer with the up-to-date information they require. The knowledge they have access to is not limited to the status of each order, but drills down to each piece and component of an order, however small.
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