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MES Technology Trends That Goes Beyond Just Traceability

MES Technology Trends That Goes Beyond Just Traceability

Conventional MES solutions were used by manufacturing companies to track and trace their products in complex and expansive systems. In the new age, MES solutions are advanced to be more than just an automated track and trace solution. Manufacturers in the past would be more interested in the capability of tracing products prior to purchasing and deploying an MES solution, unlike the modern manufacturer, who is more focused on delivering value using data-driven manufacturing insights. This article will elaborate on the newly-fangled adaptation and advances of MES solutions and how it is no longer a technology that stops at just product or process traceability.

Retro-fitting MES Versus New-Age MES

Non-conventional MES solution utilisers find traceability as a secondary feature because all MES solutions do come with advanced product track and tracing technologies. The new-age manufacturing giants are more interested in learning the industry 4.0 recognised capabilities offered by MES solutions, and they deploy MES solutions with the intention of using them as the centre of operational excellence and relatability. So what are the advances that the MES solution of the new age underwent? Here are some of the changes between conventional MES Solutions and a newly-fangled MES.
  • Conventional MES were function-centred, while new-age MES solutions are more focused on relatable, cost-effective and timely services
  • Old MES solutions were manoeuvred or utilised by experts; while smart MES solutions do not require the guidance or assistance of a ‘go-to’ person or professional
  • Outdated MES solutions foster outdated compatibility, security and interoperability compared to new-age solutions
  • Retro-fitting MES solutions are prone to neglect or inaccurately detect obsolescence of assets or their maintenance and sustainment requirements
  • Smart MES solutions do not require human assistance to optimise factories, while old MES solutions required human data input, collection and manipulation actions
  • The elasticity of conventional MES solutions is rigid, but modern MES solutions can house multiple protocols that allow them to connect with disparate systems, applications, data sources and expansive ecosystems effortlessly
  • The limited utilisation of new technologies of conventional MES solutions becomes far behind the new-age capabilities enabled by new MES solutions
  • The regular drawbacks of the old MES solution, like unresponsiveness and dwindling capacity
  • Traditional hard-coded MES Solutions fail in meeting the dynamic requirements of manufacturing clients, while modern MES solutions investigate, analyses and meet client requirements autonomously
  • Unlike custom-build MES solutions, old MES solutions are forced to implement workarounds to complete tasks, therefore, fails in augmenting operations on the fly

The Modern Manufacturer and MES

The modern manufacturer must be data literate to move to the competitive edge of the unforgiving manufacturing industry that has dominated the economy of most countries. Data technologies have advanced MES solutions to utilise the latest technological features like Digital Twin, Simulation, IIoT Sensor Networks, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics and a range of other solutions that go beyond the tracking and tracing capabilities of a substandard MES solution. By upgrading the MES solution with disruptive and futuristic technologies, MES solutions adapt and optimise to create value in every department and every point of the manufacturing ecosystem. Thus, making MES technology a multifaceted solution more than just a GPS for product tracking in an outmoded manufacturing vicinity. Here are some of the extraordinary features that draw the line between MES solutions that stop product traceability and MES solutions that are built to scale up companies to meet the future of manufacturing today.
Deployed as the Centre of Excellence

The MES solution is the core or the brain of a manufacturing organisation. Thus, deploying an MES solution is a very important decision and a mandatory investment to the modern manufacturer. However, deploying an MES solution as the centre of excellence is quintessential because smart MES solutions are rich in data. Value-driven MES utilisers deploy this system to improve manufacturing operations, control investments and expenses and meet the fluctuating interests of clients at the centre of the company- at the MES.

Therefore, the MES solution is not deployed as a mere application; it is the stepping stone for manufacturing of the modern world to determine their operational targets, desired agility and kick off their manufacturing plans appropriately. Unlike previously, it will be integrated with all the points of the organisational IT infrastructure and ensure that your MES solution capitalises on the abundance of manufacturing data comprehensively. Therefore, manufacturers must invest in reliable and professional MES solution providers to optimally deploy an MES solution.

Immersive Visualisation
The AR and VR features of modern MES features have allowed manufacturing managers to exploit immersive visualisation platforms to diagnose MES operations with hands-on experiences. The AR technology allows the user to get real-time or non-real-time visibilities of smart factory operations, performances and sustenance despite the changing environments of manufacturing vicinities. AR technology takes MES functions a step ahead of the track-and-trace feature and allows the user to check order statuses, isolate bottlenecks of operations, integrate with quality control systems and more.

On the other hand, VR technology offers benefits by allowing manufacturing practitioners to model and integrate virtual factories to create the most fitting environments for development frameworks and product designing. Manufacturing analysts and decision-makers can use VR to test manufacturing parameters, check the feasibility of future efforts or suggest modifications to align the impending requirements of your factories. These intelligent technologies provide the needful information to refine your MES efforts with immersive inspecting, diagnosing and prescription capabilities. The AR and VR technology can be regarded as two technologies that help manufacturers of the new age to get quick wins by even quicker insights.
Digital Twin for More Than Tracking and Tracing
Digital Twin Technology has also played a vital role in modifying and optimising outworn MES solutions. The Digital Twin Solutions have propelled in visualising all parametric information of manufacturing operations starting from work order statuses, equipment’s remaining lifetime, the performance of a conveyor belt, to numerous parameters with boundless information from the past, present and predicted future.

The Digital Twin Technology collects data from the smartly rigged IIoT systems of the factory to visualise parameters, desired and actual statuses and a range of noteworthy information required to make game-changing decisions. Combined with Simulation Technology, IIoT data streams, Predictive and Prescriptive AI models, proprietary ML algorithms and more, the power of the Digital Twin only expands. From real-time statuses, positions to working conditions, this technology represents data in an immersive model of any physical object and can be seamlessly integrated into any MES solution. The manager can simply mitigate risks, control costs and upheave the performance of the manufacturing systems by exploiting a hologram or a 3D/2D model of the factory.
Simulation to Bend ‘Gut-feeling’ to Insights
Simulation Technology moved the ‘What If’ scenario analysis from a gut-feeling to a scientifically proven and accurately predicted insight. The simulation technology is where all the potentials of the manufacturing company are matched with the changing requirements of the clients. Hyper-efficient and fluid production processes would be almost useless if they do not meet the current client requirements of the sustainment needs of the ageing assets of a manufacturing company. All services and unique probable manufacturing scenarios can be simulated into the smart simulation platforms of MES solutions and guide the user in self-reliantly diagnosing how their assets, processes and performances will behave in certain events.

This technology allows the user to feed parameters, statuses, data streams and other required information to simulate and events and display how it would impact the resource, assets and performance of factories, warehouses and other manufacturing facilities; It identifies and optimises the utilisation of critical resources by anticipating the impending risks, failures or substandard scenarios that correspond certain operational decisions. Therefore, exploiting an Adaptive Simulation Model to verify and validate production yield, asset reliability and successful product qualification processes is something that modern MES utilisers cannot afford to overlook.
Moving to the Cloud
Cloud-based MES platforms enable manufacturers to open opportunities with better levels of efficiency, quality, productivity and visibility in manufacturing processes. Elevating MES solutions to the cloud allows manufacturers to connect factories, production lines, equipment to all departments of manufacturing firms to enable significant opportunities and awareness of successes and hidden potentials under one screen. Adopting a forced quality framework in your MES system is made easier and faster via cloud technologies. All information starting from forward-looking predictive insights to the minute data can be directly loaded to the cloud platform, and data manipulation will be easier with universal data collections enabled by it. Isolating production errors, accessing the comprehensive historical data archives, testing data and other data manipulation done to capitalise manufacturing data and narrate success stories of the company is effortless with cloud-driven MES solutions.

Therefore, it certainly facilitates manufacturers in more than tracking and tracing products in their expansive manufacturing networks. Furthermore, interconnecting all points of the manufacturing ecosystems in a shared platform to optimise the manufacturing, supply and logistics, warehousing, and a range of departments to meet goals and quality standards optimally. Another not-to-be-missed feature of using an MES solution driven by the cloud is that it can not only be used by one company but a cluster of companies, making it an amazing MES solution upgrade for global-scale conglomerates.
Predict, Prescribe and Innovate
Out of the newer technologies that impact the new generation of MES is Advanced Analytics. The predictive and prescriptive technology plays a vital role in augmenting MES solutions to their better versions. AI and ML algorithms personalised for specific manufacturers according to the risks trends, asset degradation patterns, service fluctuations and other significant parameters have allowed manufacturing experts to use predictive and prescriptive technologies to make decisions confidently. These technologies accelerated advanced analytics to analyse copious amounts of data in real-time and enable agile and real-time manufacturing decision making.

These two technologies give new meaning to perceiving information and extracting forward-looking insights to overcome challenges, limitations and inefficiencies in manufacturing decisions. Smart Manufacturing efforts empowered by modern MESh platforms can use predictive and prescriptive information to support the operators and manufacturing managers on the shop floor. These technology tools can enable precise, non-intrusive and reliable predictive insights and automatically prescribe after actions like triggering alarms, executing event-driven strategies, controlling cost parameters and more.

We Are Asia’s Best MES Solution Enabler

Cerexio was recognised in an event hosted by a research platform in 2021 as the number one MES solution provider in Asia and one of the five most prominent MES solutions at a global scale. Cerexio enables MES solutions for forward-thinking manufacturing companies with features that go beyond real-time tracking and tracing. We deliver smart technology solutions advanced by industry 4.0-recognised technologies like DIgital Twin, AI, AR and VR, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, Simulation, IIoT networks and a range of technology features. The flawless synchronisation capabilities of these solutions empowered autonomous dynamic process scheduling, serial control, financial and operational insight generation, workstation management, intuitively capturing KPIs and boundless features at your fingertips. Connect with Cerexio to learn how your manufacturing company can sky-rocket profitability, interoperability, and sustainability within a single effort by contacting Cerexio.

Future Factories and MES Solutions

Achieving the supreme interconnectivity between manufacturing companies and universal stakeholder-related ecosystems is the key to the success of manufacturing facilities. Omni-connected MES solutions will bring forth the needful insights for manufacturing managers and decision-makers to make decisions in a few seconds rather than months. Thus, future factories will replace obsolete systems and brown or legacy machinery with better and efficient MES solutions and smart equipment. Digital technologies are not a long way from affecting and disrupting manufacturing establishments and being aware of the changes that occur and the needful augmentations in your MES is the first step of unlocking the future of your manufacturing company.

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