by Anuj Parashar (pictured on left), and Bhagat Singh (pictured on right), Domain Consultants in the Innovation and Transformation Group within the Manufacturing business unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
A Smart Manufacturing Execution System
Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a system to execute, monitor, track and report operations on the plant floor in real time. Industry 4.0 is billed to lead the digitization of manufacturing and production processes. MES is a very critical component of Industry 4.0 that will act as an enabler to achieve the end to end digitization objective by acting as a bridge between various plant floor systems and providing an integrated ecosystem for real time information exchange and better and faster decisions.
MES has been evolving everyday with more and more intelligence being built into it. Internet of Things (IoT) has been envisioned as the integral part of manufacturing industry that will impact all the areas from planning till delivery. This will Impact MES too. An amalgamation of MES and to reconfigure production, quality, maintenance, and inventory systems management is defined as MES 4.0. MES 4.0 is a concept of developing a smart factory by integrating PQIM pillars through smart objects for providing smart processes.
The analysis here is focused on a plant floor of an automotive industry. ISA 95 activity model has been utilized as baseline for this study and as per ISA-95 activity model MES has been classified into four functions; Production, Quality, Inventory and Maintenance. This write-up focuses on these four areas with respect to internet of things possibilities and tries to develop a concept for MES 4.0. The analysis predicts the extent to which IoT can be utilized in production management, inventory management, maintenance management and quality management.
The Transformation Journey
Referring to ISA 95; the Operations Activity Model is utilized for the analysis of activities of each of the main function across the plant and how each of the activities is supported by IOT. The analysis is based on a certified reference model (ISA 95) which sets a baseline for different functions on a plant floor and activities within it.
The applicability check of IOT is based on interviews of SME of MES and IOT, different online sources and published material. The extent to which IOT can be applicable to each functional area is shown in the illustration below. The current coverage of IOT in the four areas of MES is as the Inventory area with highest percentage (41%), maintenance is 34%. Quality has maximum scope of IOT implementation. In general, if we see the IOT coverage on an average across the four areas is only 32% and there is a Scope of Improvement.
Diagram at above right demonstration IoT coverage on an average across the four areas is only 32% with a huge Scope of Improvement.*
*The data set used for the analysis is limited to within the organization.
The automation and information technology integration has been part of the manufacturing processes and new concept of internet of things is redefining manufacturing processes and its systems. The analysis presented here shows scope for internet of things implementation. The key take away are:
- IOT has immense scope in the MES area with an average coverage of only 32% leaving a huge 78% of the total MES areas still to be covered.
- IoT needs to be implemented in the areas identified here in order for MES to be able to meet the future needs of the manufacturing plant.
- The approach discussed here can be utilized to study the user specific need to implement or upgrade MES as IOT spreads its roots in the manufacturing processes.
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