Three Ways to Transform Your Shop Floor in 2021 with MES Software
The key to successful manufacturing in 2021 and beyond is automation that maximizes available human resources while increasing efficiency and controlling costs. More uptime, less capital tied up inventory, up and down traceability, reduced scrap and rework, and on time delivery all contribute to the success of a well-managed manufacturing operation. 2021 has been especially challenging. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers were forced out of the workforce, creating manpower shortages and supply chain disruptions. But manufacturing must continue, often with less personnel on the shop floor. So, as we move into the Fall it is time to look ahead to the future and ask, how can our factory be optimized? What can we do to enhance communication? How can we efficiently analyze our data? To help answer these questions, here are three ways to prepare for the coming year by transforming your Shop Floor now with Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software.
SHOP FLOOR AUTOMATIONS WITH MES
Most decision makers have a pretty good idea of what an MES is, but the majority of them don’t fully understand the full benefits that MES software can provide to their operations. First, MES software does not replace Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. In fact, a good MES will enhance the functionality of ERP software by allowing a company to customize the software to its individual needs.
According to IMCO Software President, Ruben Mirensky, “The purpose of an MES is to seamlessly exchange data across the whole organization.”
Knowing that the power of data is a major driving force for Industry 5.0, manufacturers are taking notice. Today, IMCO’s state of the art MES software gives companies the ability to completely customize and control their data within one product.
Mirensky goes on to say, “Data acquisition is an important part of an MES because it’s used in determining issues with your current operations and drawing the baseline upon which to build improvements. After that baseline is developed, the MES software can be customized to achieve those operational improvements.”
#1 – EVOLVE INTO A SMART FACTORY
Now let’s look at how MES software influences Smart Factories. In a previous post, we discussed how companies could evolve into Smart Factories with CIMAG MES. How is this beneficial to you in 2021? One word, Automation. Automating your facility and becoming a Smart Factory is the best way to transform your shop floor in 2021 to compete in 2022 and beyond. Automating outdated systems like paper shop packets, excel schedules, and more will increase company productivity and efficiency. According to customer feedback, CIMAG MES helped companies achieve Schedule Attainment performance higher than 90%, reduced scrap and rework by more than 33%, and increased machine utilization by more than 15%. Just imagine the problem areas of your company at the moment. How many of them can be solved by automating production and digitizing documents
#2 – DEVELOP A STRATEGIC OPERATIONS STRATEGY
Becoming a Smart Factory with the aid of an MES can help your company perform better in all stages of manufacturing. With this type of software your company will be able to increase efficiency and productivity. It can improve manufacturing operations by:
- Helping to manage company data by pulling it in real-time and as close to the source as possible
- Transforming the pulled data into information that can be used all across the factory
- Providing a continuous flow of information and communication between each level of the company
The next step in transforming your shop floor is to develop a strategic operations plan. The keyword decision-makers need to pay attention to here is strategic.
Implementing an MES software is considered a strategic move for your 2022 operations plan because it acts as the foundation for your company’s success. As your team ventures into developing an operations strategy, focus on setting realistic milestones throughout the year to produce goal-oriented results.
#3 – CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT YOUR WORKERS WANT TO BE A PART OF
This seems like a pretty straight forward, common sense type of suggestion. However, as the industry evolves, the culture of your company should as well. According to the article How Technology is Changing Manufacturing, employment for manufacturing has dropped from 14% to 8% between 1996 and 2016. According to Industry Week, manufacturing jobs fell by 12,000 in 2021. Notably, most of those jobs lost were in the automotive industry.
If you do a simple internet search on “Satisfaction Rate of Manufacturing Employees” the results are limited in regards to workers being satisfied with their jobs. Part of this dissatisfaction rate stems from frustration. This most likely includes frustration with long schedules, lack of proper training, and poor communication between departments. MES software can help resolve some of these issues
Companies tend to put lots of pressure on workers to maintain benchmarks and quotas. This can become frustrating and difficult if your employees don’t understand how those benchmarks and quotas are calculated. CIMAG MES, the MES product from IMCO Software, conquers this problem by making the modules very user-friendly. Having user-friendly modules lowers the amount of time needed for employees to be trained on using system. This helps limit time spent away from their main functions while learning how to use MES software.
Updates that won’t disrupt workflow
Another benefit of implementing an MES is that any time you make a change “in the background”, it is transparent to the workers on the floor. In other words, the company is able to implement changes in their ERP system without having to retrain the workforce on the floor. This helps workers stay confident in their abilities to operate the system and concentrate on the machines and production line. The company benefits, saving time and money by not having to invest in retraining workers each time a change or update occurs. Utilizing MES software truly can contribute to a positive work environment that empowers employees to feel that their efforts make a valuable contribution.
An additional benefit of MES is that is enhances communication, and that in itself can increase employee morale. Have you ever tried to relay a message across the factory only to run into one of these issues?
- You couldn’t find the employee you were looking for.
- The message you wanted to be relayed was misconstrued before it got to the proper recipient (aka “the telephone game”).
- The person who was supposed to deliver your message simply forgot to deliver it.
If you have ever worked in a factory, these scenarios are all too familiar. With a Manufacturing Execution System like CIMAG MES, personnel receive alerts in real-time. These alerts include changes in schedules, maintenance requirement updates, notification when an employee leaves a machine to take a break, when a machine has stopped, and much more. The ability to real-time production floor status information about personnel, equipment, raw materials, and inventory is a huge benefit for manufacturing companies.
USE MES TO EVOLVE, DEVELOP, AND CREATE
As 2021 winds down, it is a good time to transform your factory to be smart, efficient, and cost effective for 2022! From productivity to efficiency, CIMAG’ MES software has you covered. Use this the rest of this year to evolve into a Smart Factory by taking advantage of everything manufacturing technology has to offer. Start by developing a strategic plan, establishing realistic targets and goals along the way. Most importantly, give your employees a better work environment. Together with Manufacturing Execution System software, these items will be huge game-changers for shop floor control in 2022 and beyond.
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