Advancements in technology and manufacturing software solutions continue to create more efficiencies within the space each year. For those organizations looking for that greater efficiency and productivity in 2023, implementing a robust software solution is nearly always a step in the right direction. A manufacturing execution system (MES) is a great option for those not currently using one throughout their production operations. Investing in an MES offers several benefits for manufacturers looking to transform their shop floor and overall production process in the next year.
Limit Waste – Increase Profitability
In general, the combination of manufacturing equipment and human operators to run them during production is what essentially produces goods. Because of the nature of human error and the imperfections and deterioration in equipment over time, production doesn’t always lead to 100% quality finished products. This can result in excess scrap, rework, or spoilage – each of which cuts into profitability:
Scrap: Any material(s) left over when producing a product.
Rework: Finished goods that don’t meet quality standards but can be fixed or processed again to achieve those.
Spoilage: Waste materials and any low-quality goods produced that can not be reworked or used for any other purpose and are discarded.
The above occurrences are almost inevitable when producing long-term, but manufacturers try to limit the frequency of them occurring as they all cost organizations time and money. A manufacturing execution system offers manufacturers real-time visibility and communication throughout the shop floor and other business functions. Because of this, any quality issues can be identified and resolved quickly before additional production runs become impacted or the issue causing them escalates. Some MES software can also implement fixes automatically using the data it collects – rather than wait for a human for resolution. In manufacturing, time is money. Reducing scrap, rework, and spoilage and identifying the root cause of those occurrences sooner rather than later can result in significant cost savings and increased profitability.
Decrease Downtime – Increase Production Levels
An MES offers manufacturers robust scheduling capabilities based on accurate data analysis and automation. This often leads to a reduction in setup and breakdown time for machines, ultimately allowing manufacturers to produce more, improve lead times, and get customers their products quicker.
The scheduling capabilities of an MES also positively impact the efficiency of the staging process of raw materials. Before assembly during the production process, components are stored until they are needed for production. Improving the efficiency by which these are stored and then transferred throughout the shop floor means optimized uptime for machines and greater production capabilities.
One other way an MES reduces downtime is by alerting decision-makers of conflicts when it comes to the availability of working machines, tools, and humans to operate them. Having a machine ready for operation without a human to operate it negatively impacts the production schedule. The same can be said for having personnel available on site (getting paid), but their assigned piece of equipment is down or unavailable. Alerts of these scheduling conflicts happen automatically, either triggering automatic changes in the production schedule or alerting those creating those schedules quickly to avoid unnecessary downtime.
Decrease Surprises – Increase Customer Satisfaction
Keeping customers happy means they are more likely to return for future purchases. But, how can an MES improve the customer experience? There are a few ways, tying back to the previously discussed improvements in efficiency and quality. More accurate scheduling means improved delivery time. Modern consumers expect expedited delivery of goods, and delivery delays impact their overall experience and impression of a producer as well as the likelihood of them continuing to purchase from them. Implementing an MES solution reduces production time by creating greater efficiencies in both scheduling and the production process.
Along with receiving shipments sooner, customers purchasing from a manufacturer who has implemented a manufacturing execution system often receive products with fewer defects or those that don’t meet quality standards. The benefit of this is two-fold. Purchasers are happier with the products received. Also, the need for returns decreases as well. When it comes to returning or exchanging sub-par quality or defective products, the cost of doing so falls on the manufacturer. Having to exchange a product for a quality one adds to production costs and decreases profitability. That effect trickles down to product pricing as well, impacting future purchasers who have to pay more because of inefficient production processes.
How to Select the Best MES in 2023
There are several manufacturing execution system software available for today’s manufacturers. If implementing one in 2023 is on your priority list, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to making a decision. Luckily, the team at IMCO Software can help. We’ve helped manufacturers across a number of industries implement software solutions – from the CIMAG-MES to energy planning applications and predictive maintenance solutions.
We understand that each manufacturing environment is unique and requires different solutions to ensure they operate efficiently and profitably. By learning more about your needs, the IMCO team can help identify the best combination of software solutions to become more productive, increase efficiency, lower costs, and increase profitability. For a free consultation and demo of our suite of proprietary software and for assistance in implementing a manufacturing execution system within your production facility next year, we encourage you to reach out. Transform your shop floor in 2023 – contact the IMCO Software team today!