The objective of MES can be expressed in a single word: Transparency. "Without manufacturing execution systems (MES) there is no permanent link between automation and company management levels and no vertical integration," explains the MES D.A.CH association. "However, in the course of future Industrie 4.0 projects, this will become increasingly important since MES solutions are needed as information hubs. MES and Industrie 4.0 form a close symbiosis," states this transnational special interest group, which is presenting its initiative Industrie 4.0 Now at Digital Factory. (Hall 7, Stand A17).
The trend toward Industrie 4.0 and the growing need for efficiency and flexibility on the shop floor are placing increasing demands on industrial IT. MES support industrial companies in production control and establish a connection to ERP systems. The software makes the production status and effectiveness transparent at all times.
Leading MES providers in Hall 7
The growing interest in industry to optimize business processes with the aid of MES can be seen in the ever-expanding area that the theme occupies in Hall 7. In 2017 renowned providers such as MPDV, FORCAM , GFOS and Datafox are exhibiting at Digital Factory.
Datafox (Stand C12) is showcasing systems for electronic data collection. Based on its own embedded system developments, this German company produces customized solutions for time recording, access control, and production, machine, and vehicle data collection / telematics. The devices have been developed specifically for rugged industrial environments. "Dirt, dust, moisture, and vibrations don’t affect the devices," assures Datafox. "Our MDE devices reliably collect all machine data needed to carry out in-depth analyses with the purpose of optimizing production. They monitor all processes around the clock and intervene directly in critical situations."
With its "MES 4.0" MPDV Mikrolab GmbH in Hall 7 (A12) plans to show "“what MES will look like in the future." Interoperability, flexibility, management support, online capability, integrative data handling, horizontal integration, decentralization, and unified shop floor connectivity and the increased use of mobile MES components are all a part of this according to MPDV. The company’s latest flagship is "Hydra", an integrated, modular system for the continuous evaluation and flow of information between individual applications and beyond. "With Hydra, shop floor technicians and controllers have efficient information, evaluation, and planning functions available," explains the provider – from PDC/shop floor scheduling to machine and process data collection, and personnel scheduling, access control and escalation management.
With FORCAM FORCE, FORCAM (Stand A11) is bringing a global innovation to HANNOVER MESSE: This manufacturing software increases the productivity of manufacturing facilities and machines by up to 33 percent. Clear graphics ranging from detailed planning to factory comparisons virtually analyze errors and eliminate them in real life. In-memory computing enables Big Data analysis in real time. Top floor systems such as SAP/ERP, PLM, CAQ, CMMS and TDM can be integrated seamlessly. For cross-sector production monitoring, all participants – from workers to planners, plant managers and CEOs – are supplied with the necessary, graphically animated KPIs on various end devices such as smart phones, tablets, and PCs.
Practical examples at the international MES Conference
Extensive standard software solutions that are customized to the individual needs of its customers are a specialty of GFOS. "Standards are defined through the requirements of customers in the area of workforce management, manpower deployment planning, time recording, access control, and MES," says this Essen firm. Closely integrating MES with ERP ensures the "timely provision of high quality data and maximum transparency" of processes. This software is set up in modules: The data acquisition module enables access to the most important production data. The maintenance solution allows users to manage maintenance schedules and tool data from systems and coordinate maintenance activities. Other modules apply to quality, material, warehouse management, and personnel administration using mobile applications. All the GFOS modules will be demonstrated at Stand A09 in Hall 7.
In addition to iTAC Software GmbH and General Electric, GFOS is one of the main sponsors of the international MES Conference 2017. With the slogan "MES on its way to Industrie 4.0" this conference on April 27, 2017 presents practical examples of manufacturing execution systems. This trade congress – a part of the leading trade shows Digital Factory and Industrial Automation – targets companies in the process industry and the discrete manufacturing sector. Due to rapidly growing global interest in the topic, this year's MES Conference at the Convention Center (Room 3A) will be translated simultaneously for the first time.