classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


Mineral processing applications
January 2009, Training & Education

The implementation of manufacturing execution system (MES) technology is seen by many as an indispensable performance enhancement elixir.

Specifying and selecting an MES.

Keywords: [automation, architecture, asset, BIDAT, business intelligence, business process, competitive advantage, compliance, enterprise architecture, ERP, event, forecasting, integration, ISA95, inventory, manufacturing execution system, material tracking, MES, metal accounting, mineral processing, modelling, partnership, scheduling, production planning, S88, selection, SOA, strategy]


With today’s competitive manufacturing environment, companies must look at which technology can help them deliver more quickly, cheaply and efficiently to meet their customer’s demands. MES software aims to provide operator support, production scheduling, genealogy tracking capabilities and accurate, real-time visibility into production performance.

As a result such software could deliver the following benefits to an organisation:

* Reduction of errors (and thus a reduction of waste and rework).

* Easier location of the causes of problems.

* Reduction of manual entry time.

* Reduced cycle-time (and thus increased yield and throughput).

* Efficient use of equipment.

* Improved planning and streamlined schedules.

* Reduced cost of regulatory compliance.

There is no standard tick-list for deciding whether a business needs MES software. The key to a successful software implementation is making sure the requirements are defined and what is important to the enterprise before selecting which software would best meet its business objectives, and therefore 'Understanding the key elements on successfully specifying and selecting a MES system for the mineral industry' is very important.


The implementation of manufacturing execution system (MES) technology is seen by many as an indispensable performance enhancement elixir. It is the next big thing after ERP; something you must have to be competitive. Yet the irony of the 'IT paradox' also holds true in this case. More elaborate technology does not equate to better business performance; much more is needed. It is equally true that breakthrough performance within an industry is not sustainable without a solid technology platform.

Figure 1. The value attached to information is a function of different levels of maturity in how information is managed
Figure 1. The value attached to information is a function of different levels of maturity in how information is managed

MES technology differentiates itself from commercial business process management systems through its ability to enhance production output. It is not designed to cut costs. It is, however, designed to help businesses deliver increased output through direct control over execution of production processes. It often links up with existing automation systems, thereby expanding the level of direct control within the grasp of management. Correctly deployed, MES technology can provide a unique and sustainable competitive advantage.

A common theme emerges from both these considerations. MES technology enables access to information that allows the business to know what is happening in the manufacturing processes as it happens. Whether its management will act upon this information is a function of how much value they attach to it. This largely determines the impact the investment will have on the business, more so than the level of business process automation it enables.

The challenge of selecting an MES solution for the mineral processing industry therefore hinges on two key concepts:

* Understanding the factors contributing to achievement of business objectives within the industry (and how these may be unique to your business).

* The state of readiness within the industry (and within your business) to deal with the amount and characteristics of the information it will provide in answer to these questions.

This paper examines the influence of these two factors on the MES selection process. In addition, it also looks at the importance of architecture and where the MES fits into the enterprise architecture. This predisposes the MES towards key functionalities that enable its role within such a composite architecture. Finally, it looks at how the implementation process can affect the choice of partners both internal and external to the business, and hence the choice of MES product.

Continued on the web

For the complete article visit

Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • Reimagining skills development
    October 2018, Rockwell Automation, Training & Education
    Consider the wider potential application for skilling people beyond the immediate environments of organisations.
  • Online education is coming of age
    October 2018, Training & Education
    Hands-on engineering via remote and virtual laboratories and simulation software.
  • An examination of the current qualification options available to student engineers in South Africa
    August 2018, Training & Education
    The discussion in this article focuses on the third milestone in a learner’s career, i.e. from education into industry.
  • Free-to-attend seminars to share latest industry insights
    August 2018, News, Training & Education
    Taking place from 10-14 September at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg, visitors to this year’s Electra Mining Africa will not only have the potential of engaging with 900+ exhibitors across the ...
  • Industrie 4.0 – training for the factory of the future
    Technews Industry Guide: Industrial Internet of Things 2017, Festo, Training & Education
    On the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution When Edmund Cartwright developed the mechanical loom in 1784, he laid one of the cornerstones for industrialisation. The use of electricity in production ...
  • Up skilling for a converged world
    Technews Industry Guide - Industrial Internet of Things 2016, Festo, Training & Education
    Festo Didactic’s progressive teaching prepares people for new roles in the Smart Factories of Industry 4.0.
  • SKF Training Solutions opens first official regional training centre
    October 2015, SKF South Africa, News, Training & Education
    SKF South Africa’s Training Solutions is living the group global vision ‘To equip the world with SKF knowledge’ by opening its first official regional training centre. SKF Training Solutions’ manager, ...
  • Yokogawa training courses accredited for CPD points
    October 2015, Yokogawa South Africa, News, Training & Education
    Yokogawa South Africa has announced the accreditation of its training courses by the Society for Automation Instrumentation Measurement and Control (SAIMC), for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) ...
  • Endress+Hauser training courses
    October 2015, Endress+Hauser, Training & Education
    Who will benefit from this ­training? Instrument Technicians and Engineers       Process measurement and instrument configuration – TC1001    Johannesburg 26-30 October       Process measurement and instrument ...
  • IDC training courses
    October 2015, IDC Technologies, Training & Education
    Who will benefit from this ­training? Automation Engineers       Power Cables: Operation, Maintenance, Location and Fault Detection    E-learning 5 November       The Practical Business Engineer    E-learning 18 ...
  • Siemens training courses
    October 2015, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Indust. & Drives, Training & Education
    Who will benefit from this ­training? Automation Engineers       Introduction to Profibus, Ethernet, Profinet    Midrand 2-4 November       Fundamentals of AC Variable Speed Drives    Midrand 2-6 November       S7 ...
  • SEW-Eurodrive Academy courses
    October 2015, SEW-Eurodrive , Training & Education
    Industrial gears       Johannesburg 27-29 October       Movitrac B – Movitrac B inverter    Johannesburg 28 October       Movitrac B – Movitrac B inverter    Johannesburg 25 November       Movidrive B – Movidrive MDX ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.