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Top 9 Benefits of an MES System


What is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES)?

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are a specialised type of software solutions focused on managing and monitoring manufacturing operations, in which raw materials are transformed into semi-finished and/or finished goods.

In the ISA-95 model of plant operations, the MES system synchronises production by connecting the Level 2 (machines and equipment controlling operations) and Level 4, typically, the business information system (ERP), providing real-time view of the state of the factory.

Not only is a manufacturing execution system key to executing production efficiently, it is also considered an essential building-block of smart manufacturing and digital transformation.

There are 9 core MES system functionality:

  1. Dispatching work orders and their specifications from the ERP to production

  2. Supporting the execution of production orders from order release to finished goods

  3. Enforcing the process steps to ensure goods are manufactured conforming to the plan and to meet quality requirements

  4. Collecting data, automatically from equipment or through manual input, to drive operations, demonstrate compliance, measure efficiency etc.

  5. Providing a data store to hold historical data (relational database, integration with a data historian)

  6. Embedding quality management processes in production steps in regulated environment (non-conformance and CAPA management)

  7. Enabling traceability & genealogy of parts or raw materials, labour and equipment to manage warranty services and product recall.

  8. Providing integrated analytics and dashboards for monitoring and reporting of plant performance

  9. Integrating with production equipment (Level 2), business systems i.e. ERP (Level 4) and PLM

How Does an MES System Benefit Your Business?

Today's fast-paced manufacturing environment demands complete, accurate and accessible data from the shop floor. An MES system will provide effective monitoring and synchronisation throughout the factory to achieve high productivity and ensure responsiveness to market demand.

The MES software from Lighthouse, an Infor Company, was recognised with an "Honorable Mention" in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Manufacturing Execution Systems report and named a "Customers’ Choice" in the 2020 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’ for MES.

Find out more about Lighthouse MES

1. Real-time visibility with user-friendly dashboards

Visual MES data in real-time empowers operators and teams, promoting transparency, accountability and reactivity:

Shopfloor-Online MES maintenance dashboard

  • User-friendly dashboards enable line operators to work efficiently and react faster when issues arise with, for example, work orders and process monitoring data
  • Shift supervisors have a real-time view of the shift performance and problems with, for example, production count and downtime data
  • Plant managers are able to focus on driving plant performance more effectively, with real-time data at their fingertips around the clock


2. Support Continuous Improvement

MES system supports your Continuous Improvement plans:

  • Historical data held in the MES systems help teams can identify root-causes 
  • Corrective actions can be measured and evaluated
  • MES identifies sources of low quality and ultimately reduces the cost of good quality
See how Lighthouse MES facilitates traceability and quality compliance for a leading electronic assembly manufacturer

3. Ensure regulatory compliance

Quality Assurance and Control - often dealt with by departmental applications - can be integrated within MES systems to deliver significant added benefits:

  • Operators and quality engineers document non-conformance in MES
  • Recording, assignment, and follow-up of Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPA)
  • Compliance to 21CFR11 for FDA is built-in
  • Certificates of Analysis for your customers, instantly available
  • Conformance to ISO 9001 for Quality and ISO 14001 for Environmental Impact
See how Lighthouse MES facilitates traceability and quality compliance for a leading electronic assembly manufacturer

4. Improve agility and flexibility

Better processes, better integration of people and technologies as well as real-time data increase competitiveness.

  • MES systems support Fastest New Product Introduction (NPI)
  • Operations react fast and effectively to unplanned events
  • Real-time process monitoring prevent quality issues to arise
  • Connected to the business systems, MES delivers greater integration with the supply chain

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See how Lighthouse MES helped Nissan reduce NPI by over 50%.

5. Standardise operations and enforce best practice

Lighthouse MES provides a framework to control business process, for single and multi-site manufacturers, by standardising workflows and procedures:

  • Routings and workflows enforce the process and ensure control
  • Health & Safety procedures are built into the MES system to ensure they are followed
  • Up to date documentation is available to operators at all times on the line
  • In multi-site organisations, MES guarantees everyone works in the same way across all plants.

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6. Maximise use of assets

MES dashboard

MES systems drive efficiencies:

  • Speed up change-overs with alerts to key personnel when a job is nearly completed
  • Cycle-time can be improved with accurate OEE monitoring (overall equipment effectiveness), enabling operations personnel to focus on cycle-time improvement activities based on accurate information
  • Preventative and predictive maintenance of assets is enabled with real-time data from the production and quality departments trigger alerts for preventative maintenance activities; IOT signals can be captured in the MES system to enable predictive maintenance.

Lighthouse MES Maintenance Management

7. Reduce operational costs

An MES system enables increased control and cost-efficiency of all production inputs:

  • As MES monitors machines and jobs, operators time is released to focus on higher-value tasks, the system only alerting them when issues arise
  • Operational data is automatically collected from the machines and equipment, improving accuracy and saving man-hours often wasted in collecting and replicating data across multiple systems. 
  • MES drives down material costs with real-time process control that optimises the quantity of material used to meet specifications and real-time production counting to prevent over-making
  • Automated monitoring of energy usage of all plant equipment in MES will quickly help identify faults and optimise energy consumption
  • A single enterprise platform available through a subscription model removes fragmented systems that are responsible for significant overheads (IT development and maintenance, support, software licences)

8. Replace fragmented systems

Create an unbroken thread of critical data across all manufacturing operations, from the shop floor to the top floor:

  • The Paperless factory is achieved as the MES system integrates with machines and equipment removing the need for manual data collection, increasing accuracy and security
  • MES system replaces all spreadsheets, standalone databases, and departmental solutions that do not communicate with each other or the business systems
  • MES builds  a unified view of the state of the factory in real-time, with a single source of data available to all departments, production, quality, maintenance and logistics to make better decisions.

9. MES system to enable digital transformation

MES is the foundation of digital transformation in manufacturing. Lighthouse MES system provides a flexible framework to leverage new technology for your needs to include:

smart manufacturing

  • Industry 4.0 & smart manufacturing: the MES enables automated data capture from all machines, production lines, and ancillary equipment, furthermore it communicates with the ERP to provide a real-time view of the state of the factory, with visual controls and user-friendly role-based interfaces
  • Ease of deployment: an out-of-the-box full HTML5 MES application, built on standard technologies with trusted worldwide support by Lighthouse, an Infor Company, and our network of partner-integrators.
  • Hosting options: deploy Lighthouse MES on-site, in your corporate data centre or in the cloud
  • A modular MES system: Lighthouse MES delivers rich functionality across all areas of manufacturing production, quality, warehouse & logistics operations and maintenance

A world-leading enterprise-level MES system, Lighthouse MES offers a flexible approach to digital transformation, particularly suited to multi-national, multi-sites organisations.

Lighthouse MES: Digital Transformation at the pace that suits your objectives and budget.


Smart Factory with Lighthouse MES

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