• Kaveh Taghizadeh, Partner |

Highlights

  • Manufacturing execution systems (MES) enable monitoring and real-time processing of data and ensure complete transparency, control and optimisation of production and processes

  • Agility, crisis resistance and compliance are significantly increased by MES

  • Customised and easily scalable MES solutions are gaining importance

Customised and customer-specific products  - this is what more and more buyers are demanding. For manufacturers, this is often reflected in smaller batch sizes and expensively set-up processes for production facilities. But trends such as rising regulatory requirements or increasingly complex and fluctuating production networks are also squeezing margins. Current crises, such as Covid-19 and climate change, are adding to the already heavy pressure on companies in terms of cost efficiency and sustainability. 

Individualised products, current market trends and rapidly building crises demand short response times - with no compromises on high product quality. Only a continuous flow of information and data in production helps to make this possible.

Using the data volumes of manufacturing as a strategic advantage with an MES

In order to ensure their own survival and competitiveness, companies should systematically record the huge amounts of data in their manufacturing operations and use it for their own strategic advantage. However, this places high demands on the company's own data processing. The challenge is, on the one hand, to access the critical data in production at the right place and in the right form and then to process it as a basis for decision-making. On the other hand, data must be made available to production bottom-up and top-down in the right quality and at the right time.

Companies that master these challenges can more efficiently utilise their manufacturing facilities and at the same time ensure that their production programme is highly flexible and of high quality. In addition, they will obtain end-to-end process transparency across all manufacturing stages. 

By implementing an MES, companies can consistently capture the critical data volumes in manufacturing, process them in real time and thus realise sustainable quantum leaps in productivity, cost reduction and quality of the production process.  

Opportunities and competition are growing in the field of digital production

As the central connecting element between upstream ERP and PLM systems and the downstream "in-factory software" for controlling production, MES enable complete transparency, control and optimisation of production and processes. Given the potential of artificial intelligence, the possibilities will be even greater in the future. For example, intelligent MES can recognise patterns and indicate machine downtimes and quality defects before they actually occur. In addition, developments in 5G technology will significantly increase the possible uses of MES and thus competition in production. 

In the long term, however, companies should not only equip isolated local production sites with an MES, but also connect their entire global production network via a holistic MES solution. In this way, companies can achieve transparency in their manufacturing footprint, be agile in reacting to changing conditions across the entire value chain and ultimately achieve competitive advantages through speed of response and increased efficiency.

MES implementation must be planned in good time

It is important for companies not to adopt one-dimensional austerity programmes despite the current challenges of the Covid-19 crisis, as this may increase the risk of missing out on future-oriented and success-critical investments. Companies that fail to renew their MES or think they can do without such a system altogether run the risk of being left behind by the competition and no longer being competitive in the medium to long term. 

Studies predict that 45% of existing MESs will be replaced within the next 2 years because they will no longer be compatible with new machines with a higher degree of automation. Companies should therefore examine the future viability of their current systems in good time and react promptly so that they can make the best possible use of opportunities, such as the nationwide 5G implementation and the end of the Covid-19 crisis, with a functional MES.

Easily scalable and individual MES solutions, tailored to company-specific requirements

Individual, hardware-agnostic and easily scalable cloud edge solutions are particularly suitable for SMEs. These MES solutions can be quickly expanded to the entire company and, depending on requirements, implemented without large internal IT resources. 

Compared to monolithic MES solutions, cloud edge solutions can be tailored more flexibly to specific customer needs and local characteristics while bringing lower implementation costs. The combination of MES solutions with edge computing also makes it possible to circumvent the risk of a delayed roll-out of 5G technology in structurally weak regions.  

Expanding your own market position with MES implementation

KPMG offers a targeted, customised solution for MES implementation. This is achieved through a holistic approach and a comprehensive assessment. Factors such as the environment, size and budget of the company, organisational and production structure, as well as individual challenges and requirements, are taken into account. In this way, we can identify and sustainably implement suitable solutions for every company. 

The introduction of custom-fit MES solutions will play a key role in the field of digital production and enable companies to position themselves sustainably on the market and decisively set themselves apart from competitors. Therefore, you should promptly examine the comprehensive application possibilities of MES in your production environment and exploit existing potential. 

What an MES can offer your company:

+15% OEE improvement through continuous optimisation

+30% availability through proactive control

+20% quality through monitoring of the entire value chain

-10% manufacturing costs through transparency in all areas

-80% Decision-making time through improved decision-making bases