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MES: The Soul of Smart Manufacturing

With the changes in the economic environment at home and abroad, the demand for information and data in China's manufacturing industry continues to increase. Companies are paying more attention to lean production and flexible manufacturing.  As the middle-level, MES’s demand also showed a rapid growth.

At present, the hottest topic in China's manufacturing industry is smart manufacturing. In the tide of global economic reforms, the Chinese government proposed the "China Manufacturing 2025" strategic plan and vigorously supported manufacturing companies to promote smart manufacturing. Enterprises from all walks of life are also eager to try to achieve "minor humanization”, reduce costs, respond flexibly to market changes, better meet customer needs, and improve corporate competitiveness by promoting smart manufacturing. With the introduction of the Internet of Things and services, manufacturing will establish a global network in the form of CPS (Cyber Physical Systems) in the near future to integrate equipment, warehousing and production facilities. The core of the “upgraded version” of industrial manufacturing lies in the information flow through digitalization and information , creating a lower-cost, higher-performance, more flexible manufacturing capability and enabling smart manufacturing.

In general, the enterprise production and operation management process can be divided into three levels, namely, the planning level, the execution level, and the control level. Through planning-level management (ERP, MRP, etc.) systems, the company integrates the company's existing production resources according to customer needs, inventory, and market forecasts, and compiles production plans. The executive layer formulates the shop floor plans according to the production plans issued by the planning layer. The task of processing at the control layer summarizes and reports on the execution of the work plan and tasks. The entire factory's production process is not transparent. When problems such as changes in production plans, material shortages, equipment failures, and the occurrence of processing quality, information cannot be effectively transmitted, and production cannot be adjusted and optimized in time. In order to make up for the information gap between the planning and control layers, the control layer MES emerged. The MES monitors the production information, conducts the upward transmission to the planning layer, controls the execution layer downwards, and connects the enterprise's upper production planning system with the equipment control system at the lower level, fill the gap between the upper and the lower layers and open up the factory information channel, making it the basis and necessary condition for realizing the “upgraded version” of industrial manufacturing.
The MES system is a set of production information management system for the executive layer of manufacturing enterprises. It can provide enterprises with manufacturing data management, planning and scheduling management, production scheduling management, inventory management, quality management, human resources management, work and equipment management, and tools. Tools such as tooling management, procurement kilometer, cost management, project Kanban management, production process control, underlying data integration analysis, and upper-level data integration decomposition, create a solid, reliable, and feasible manufacturing collaboration management platform for enterprises.
The Networking capabilities, transparency management capabilities, paperless capabilities, and fine-grained capabilities are the goals for companies to build smart factories. The MES system firstly traces, manages, and statistically analyzes data on the basis of real-time production data collection functions at various parts of the plant, thereby further helping the company to make the plant production networked, transparent, paperless, and finely grounded. Taking FINERN MES as an example, the details are as follows:
1. MES System Improves the Networking Ability of Intelligent Factory Workshop
In essence, the MES system is to help enterprises achieve the improvement of smart factory floor networking capabilities by applying industrial Internet technologies. After all, in the information time, changes in the manufacturing environment require a networked manufacturing model with a fast response mechanism for market demand. FINERN MES system integrates workshop equipment, realizes centralized control and management of workshop production equipment, and exchanges information between production equipment and computer, completely changes the single-machine communication mode of the previous numerical control equipment, optimizes the allocation and reorganization of equipment resources, and greatly improves the equipment utilization rate.

2. MES System Improves the Transparency of Smart Factory Workshops
The MES system improves the transparency of smart factory floors. Real-time information on the detailed equipment status of the shop floor. The FINERN MES system monitors the plant equipment and production status in real time. The standard ISO reports and charts visually reflect the current or past processing status, enabling the company to intelligently shop the equipment and process the equipment. The information can be seen at a glance, and the control instructions can be issued to the workshop in time to feedback the execution status in real time and improve the transparency of the workshop.
3. MES System Improves the Paperless Ability of Smart Factory Workshop
Frankly speaking, the MES system improves the paperlessness of digital workshops by adopting technologies such as PDM, PLM, and 3D CAPP. When the MES system is integrated with PDM, PLM, 3D CAPP and other systems, all the production-related information and processes in the intelligent factory floor production process can be integrated and managed by computer network and database technology, providing engineering and technical personnel with a collaborative work environment that enables the creation, maintenance, and paperless browsing of job guidance, electronically manages production data documents, avoids or reduces the manual transfer and circulation of paper-based documents, ensures the accuracy and security of process documents, and quickly guides production to standardize operations.
4. MES System to Enhance the Smart Factory Floor Refinement Ability
In the improvement of refinement capability, MES technology is mainly used, because enterprises are paying more and more attention to refined management, and the actual implementation of lean production. They no longer simply do 6S, but pay more and more attention to detail and scientific quantification, constructing the foundation of a smart factory.

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