MES - Manufacturing Execution System

The MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is a factory information system that manages and controls the entire production process, from order release to the finished product, with the aim of achieving production excellence. Ideally, its place is between the ERP and the Scada/PLCs and it is used to manage the production process in an integrated and efficient manner, in order to fill in the gap between the decision-making level and the executive level, dialoguing with all production resources: operators, machines/equipment/lines, tools and the whole automation level of the production process.

If we follow the evolution of the software systems in the manufacturing sector, both level 2 and level 4 systems have tried to extend their functionalities to level 3 (the MES level) to provide functionalities related to the execution phase of the process but without success, as only a MES system can perform the function of a factory operating system. A MES system operates in real time to react promptly to events occurring within the production facility and is interconnected with all production resources in a transversal manner, in all functional areas of the process: Production, Quality, Materials and Maintenance.
According to the international standards, a complete MES system has the following functional characteristics:

The 11 features of a MES system:

- Advanced scheduling
- Allocation of resources and status
- Dispatching of production activities
- Documentation management
- Traceability and genealogy of products
- Performance analysis
- Labour management
- Maintenance Management
- Process Management
- Quality Management
- Data acquisition and analysis





To check how much a MES system is complete and performing, we can analyze the following main features:

1. Functional completeness
2. Configurability and adaptability to customer specific production logic
3. Ability to integrate with information systems already in use
4. Technological platform
5. Internationality

1) Functional completeness
The functional completeness must be integrated into a single MES platform, configurable according to specific project requirements and no more to different departmental programs integrated to each other. The MES must be a single system that manages the various processes in a transversal and interactive way: Production management and control, Quality assurance control, Materials management and identification, Maintenance management.
2) Configurability
The MES must be engineered and designed to meet the specific project requirements for all manufacturing sectors. Therefore, it must be a configurable and customizable product and not a "project" to be built. The system must have a modular structure that allows the activation or otherwise of the different functionalities based on the project specifications, with the possibility then to perform functional upgrades and development of additional functionalities.

3) Integration with other systems

The MES must be integrated and combined with the corporate IT structure and must therefore be designed to dialogue with the ERP systems in use, as well as Quality management systems, Human Resources, Automated warehouses, etc. The MES becomes the engine of these systems that receive real-time data of execution processes, to allow planning, analysis and projections in the medium and long term. Interface IT procedures respect ISA standards and communicate bi-directionally.

4) Technological platform
The MES is a single IT platform that allows the management of the entire factory. Web technology is the most important feature today to meet operational needs, i.e. to manage interactive web operator workstations located throughout the world, which allows the digitization of information and operations. A unique database that manages data from all processes, which can also be accessed by other systems, to enable Business Intelligence at all levels.

5) Internationality
The MES must be multi-plant and multi-language to fit companies with multiple production sites all over the world, but this is not enough! It is necessary that the MES product is supported and implemented by a network of international partners that can provide companies with local support.

OPERA MES complies perfectly with these features thanks to its complete functional, modular and international structure, with numerous references in any manufacturing field, and to its easy integration with other systems. Enter OPERA’s world to know all its potentialities…