TracePro and ERP as one!
"What do Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) offer in modern production companies"
Whether large or medium production industries, they are well aware how important is the control of the production in real time with the correct data. Modern ERP are now implement a module called “production”, which manages the movements, but approaching them through their cost. So, you know what happened in your production but you do not know what's going on there right now. Also, the program, the production orders, the required materials, etc., for the production process, which all of their data are listed in the ERP, should be transferred either orally or printed, through people, thus a small gap between what should be done and what really happened, is created. Exactly for this gap, a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) creates a bridge.
MES exchanges information with the central ERP of the company and receives from it every data which are necessary for the production, such as project and production orders, routings, recipes, etc. All the data are transferred to the production area via specialized industrial terminals. The terminals show only the necessary information, in order to be extremely simple in use, for the employees in the field. Depending on the type of the production and the production process, all the data are collected during the manufacturing process through handheld terminals, and with the help of technologies such as barcode or RFID. Thus, the data can be transferred in real time on the P/Cs of the people who have the MES application installed. At the same time the central ERP is automatically updated. These data can be collected automatically also, as there is connectivity ability with centralized or distributed automation systems (PLC, SCADA, etc.).
On the contrary to what most people believe, MES are highly flexible systems and apart from the large industrial companies, it concerns also medium-sized food manufacturing companies, as they have to adapt with the needs and procedures of each of their customers.
In summary, the implementation of a MES offers:
- Knowledge of the 'what did happen' and not of 'what should be done'
- Direct and real-time control of the real data from the procedures of your production
- Reduction of the operating costs (employee productivity etc.)
- Better view of the performance of the business (applying Key Performance Indicators)
- Increase of the efficiency of the workers in the production/storage/distribution
- Full cost control (materials, labor and machine working, per order and per item)
- No reason for losing orders due to deficiencies (correct production planning, proper inventory control, streamline replenishment)
- Ensure traceability at all stages of production
- Make the most out of your production machines
Apart from the production process, headache for the manufacturing companies is the management of raw materials and packaging materials. Thus, more and more companies implement Warehouse Management Systems, (WMS) and they are careful to interface with MES. It would be even better, if they have one complete system for that.
The receiving of raw materials, especially if this takes place on scales or weighbridges or in silos (for bulk), a specific computerized approach is required. This happens both for traceability purposes and for your need of having the right stock. WMS which can also be interfaced with scales, weighbridges etc. also offer a clear view of the inbound and the storage of raw materials. In collaboration with MES a successful import of the raw materials to the production, even prediction of orders, can be succeeded.
After the production of the finished products and their storing to the right places, the Warehouse Management System, via handheld terminals with Barcode and/or RFID technology, will close the circle of outbound - loading while ensuring full traceability.
In summary, the implementation of a WMS offers:
- Annihilation of errors at the delivery of your products
- Increase of the efficiency of workers in the storage/distribution
- Faster procedures with no errors
- Better use of your storage area
- Annihilation of losing orders due to deficiencies (correct production planning, proper inventory control, streamline replenishment)
- Reduction of returns (better product management - FIFO - FEFO)
- Reduction in committed capital (lower inventories - dead stock)
- Ensure TRACEABILITY at all stages of the supply chain
In our days, both production control systems (MES) and Warehouse management systems (WMS) are flexible, easy to use and provide information in real time. They are necessary for the proper functioning of the production and the warehouse, while other sections of your company, such as the accounting department, will be more relaxed.
In the case of a complete MES & WMS platform, both in one system, the benefits are multiplying by the creation of a series of reports and ultimately the reduction of cost and the increase of profits.
AcmonData (www.acmondata.gr) has designed and developed the application TracePro, which provides WMS & MES in a single platform which adapts, depending on the size and needs of each company.