Manufacturing execution system

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Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are computerized systems used in manufacturing. MES can provide the right information at the right time and show the manufacturing decision maker "how the current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve production output."[1] MES work in real time to enable the control of multiple elements of the production process (e.g. inputs, personnel, machines and support services).

MES might operate across multiple function areas, for example: management of product definitions across the product life-cycle, resource scheduling, order execution and dispatch, production analysis for Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), and materials track and trace.

The idea of MES might be seen as an intermediate step between, on the one hand, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) or process control system on the other; although historically, exact boundaries have fluctuated.


"Manufacturing Execution Systems [help] create flawless manufacturing processes and provide real-time feedback of requirement changes,"[2] and provide information at a single source.[3] Other benefits from successful MES implementation might include:

  1. Reduced waste, re-work and scrap, including quicker setup times
  2. More accurate capture of cost-information (e.g. labor, scrap, downtime, and tooling)
  3. Increased uptime
  4. Incorporate Paperless Workflow Activities
  5. Reduced inventory, through the eradication of just-in-case inventory[4]


In the early 1980s, MES concepts originated from data collection systems. A wide variety of systems arose using collected data for a dedicated purpose. Further development of these systems during the 1990s introduced overlap in functionality. Then the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) introduced some structure by defining 11 functions that set the scope of MES. In 2000, the ANSI/ISA-95 standard merged this model with the Purdue Reference Model (PRM).[5]

A functional hierarchy was defined in which MES were situated at Level 3 between ERP at Level 4 and process control at Levels 0, 1, 2. With the publication of the third part of the standard in 2005, activities in Level 3 were divided over four main operations: production, quality, logistics and maintenance.

Between 2005 and 2013, additional or revised parts of the ANSI/ISA-95 standard defined the architecture of an MES into more detail, covering how to internally distribute functionality and what information to exchange internally as well as externally.[citation needed]

Functional areas[edit]

Over the years, international standards and models have refined the scope of such systems in terms of activities, that typically include:

Relationship with other Enterprise systems[edit]

MES integrates with ISA-95 (previous Purdue Reference Model, “95”) with multiple relationships.

Relationship with other Level 3 systems[edit]

The collection of systems acting on the ISA-95 Level 3 can be called Manufacturing Operations Management Systems (MOMS). Apart from an MES these are typically Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), Warehouse Management System (WMS) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). From the MES point of view possible information flows are:

Relationship with Level 4 systems[edit]

Examples of systems acting on ISA-95 Level 4 are Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resource Management (HRM), Process Development Execution System (PDES). From the MES point of view possible information flows are:

In many cases, Middleware Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) systems are being used to exchange transaction messages between MES and Level 4 systems. A common data definition, B2MML, has been defined within the ISA-95 standard to link MES systems to these Level 4 systems.

Relationship with Level 0, 1, 2 systems[edit]

Systems acting on ISA-95 Level 2 are Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Batch Automation Systems. Information flows between MES and these process control systems are roughly similar:

Most MES systems include connectivity as part of their product offering. Direct communication of plant floor equipment data is established by connecting to the Programmable logic controllers (PLC). Often, plant floor data is first collected and diagnosed for real-time control in a Distributed control system (DCS) or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. In this case, the MES systems connect to these Level 2 system for exchanging plant floor data.

The industry standard for plant floor connectivity is OLE for process control (OPC).

MES Software Solution Providers[edit]

Memex Automation
WERUM (Körber Group): PAS-X - MES
POMS Corporation: POMSnet - MES
GE - Manufacturing Software / MES
Siemens MES/MOM Headquarters in Genoa - Italy
Rockwell Automation: MES
RWT - Process Optimized Information System
Aptean - Factory MES
Talika PMS
Inductive Automation - Ignition
Nysus Solutions
Callisto Integration Ltd
SPUDWEB Technologies Pvt Ltd

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McClellan, Michael (1997). Applying Manufacturing Execution Systems. Boca Raton, Fl: St. Lucie/APICS. ISBN 1574441353. 
  2. ^ Meyer, Heiko; Fuchs, Franz; Thiel, Klaus (2009). Manufacturing Execution Systems: Optimal Design, Planning, and Deployment. New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN 9780071623834. 
  3. ^ Vinhais, Joseph A. (September 1998). "Manufacturing Execution Systems: The One-Stop Information Source". Quality Digest. QCI International. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ Blanchard, Dave (March 12, 2009). "Five Benefits of an MES". Industry Week. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ Johann Eder, Schahram Dustdar (2006) Business Process Management Workshops. p. 239

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]