MES promises significant ROI within six months

July 2005 SCADA/HMI

To gain a competitive edge in today's market, successful manufacturers are using manufacturing execution system (MES) to reveal opportunities for improved business performance and increased profit margins. MES solutions enable corporate, IT, plant and production managers to improve OEE and increase production and profitability by transforming and presenting realtime information in business context throughout the enterprise. CitectIIM says that its a non-invasive, modular approach, taking advantage of open technologies and complementing existing automation and IT systems, typically delivers significant ROI in 6-12 months.

This scalable MES solution delivers realtime access to plant and business information allowing key personnel to identify and act on opportunities to refine the workflow, maximise OEE, and to correct problems before they impact on supply chain, regulation compliance and production.

The following runs through the advantages to be expected by the different sections of an organisation when an effective MES, such as CitectIIM is correctly implemented:

IT managers

An easy-to-use interface gives IT managers 'point and click' access to all plant data as well as low installation and training costs. Reports can be automated in minutes using standard Microsoft SQL or Oracle database client tools.

Plant managers

Plant managers can easily integrate business information with plant KPIs to maximise asset utilisation and quickly measure yield, downtime, quality or material waste and determine a course of action to improve performance.

Maintenance engineers

Maintenance engineers can increase asset effectiveness, track equipment statistics, such as run hours and number of overloads, optimise service intervals and reduce bottlenecks and unscheduled stoppages.

Process engineers

Engineers can use standard tools like Excel to analyse plant information and identify areas that require improvement such as increasing response time, streamlining scheduling, analysing equipment failures and inventory shelf life.

Quality assurance (QA) managers

Quality Assurance personnel can easily compare plant production outputs against specifications and environmental regulations, analyse quality implications and automate record-keeping and reports.

Corporate executive managers

With realtime enterprise-wide information at their fingertips, CEOs, CFOs and business managers can confidently take prioritised action leading to increased profit margins and optimised quality, based on KPIs such as:

* Operational equipment efficiency (OEE).

* Return on assets (ROA).

* Energy utilisation.

* Production performance.

* Quality trends.

Executives can also compare information between different production lines or plants, be they in different towns or countries, and make changes that will optimise business performance.

Citect reported that in a recent poll its customers listed the reasons they had chosen to implement an MES solution. These are the top five reasons:

1. Optimise production efficiencies for increased profitability.

2. Increase asset utilisation by reducing downtime and unscheduled maintenance.

3. Improve product quality and consistency.

4. Reduce waste and comply with emissions targets.

5. Realtime access to plant data throughout the enterprise and in the business systems.

By connecting, transforming and presenting information in realtime, throughout the enterprise, MES solutions reveal opportunities that allow the user to increase performance, efficiency and profitability. Significant value is added in a modular fashion, by addressing each business need independently and by tackling the greatest 'points of pain' immediately. Each analysis module has a targeted purpose, with a focus on returning a measurable return on investment (ROI) to the business in key areas such as production, quality, traceability, downtime and plant performance KPIs.

The CitectIIM Server is a powerful platform that allows the user to quickly build and deploy MES solutions. By connecting to all production control systems and business databases using non-invasive, open technologies, it reduces training and deployment costs. The modular deployment approach allows users to target areas of maximum return first, and then scale their system to cover all aspects of their production performance needs, reducing upfront capital investment without inhibiting the long-term benefits.

Further benefits of Implementing MES include:

Revealing opportunities at every level

Data from multiple disparate sources can be taken, aggregated and transformed into manageable information for productivity analysis, data mining, querying and reporting. The information is presented in a business context rather than merely plant-centric, making it comprehendible to everyone in the company, and allows the user to dynamically select the groups of information required in order to make better business decisions. Personalised or role-based monitoring of production metrics reveal OEE in realtime, allowing more immediate and responsive decisions to be made throughout the enterprise and supply chain.

Align with business strategies

The CitectIIM Metrics module delivers strategic key performance indicators to management desktops via a digital dashboard. By transforming plant-centric KPIs into measures that support business strategies, CitectIIM Metrics empowers plant personnel to align with corporate decision-making, and ensures consistent measurement, optimisation and drive towards the same goals all the way to the plant floor.

Optimise production process efficiencies

By drilling down into the detail of plant KPI's personnel can make informed intelligent decisions which will increase yield, improve quality and reduce manual intervention and data entry errors. Access to realtime information enables the users to take action to correct problems before they impact on their supply chain, regulatory compliance and or production output.

Maximise return on assets (ROA)

ROA can be maximised by eliminating equipment downtime, unscheduled maintenance and process bottlenecks, and by improving operational equipment efficiency, speeding up time-to-market and streamlining schedules.

Low total cost of ownership (TCO)

Citect's IIM solutions are deployed in a modular fashion, where each analysis module delivers fast, incremental and measurable benefits, with a long-term vision of an integrated architecture that will allow sustainable and continuous improvement as and when the user needs it. Open technologies allow the IIM solution to scale easily with users' requirements, whilst upgrades are available between versions ensuring users can take advantage of the latest features.

Fast and significant return on investment (ROI)

Citect's non-invasive, modular approach complements existing automation and IT infrastructure, providing the user with a low risk solution. With higher visibility of operations throughout the enterprise, executive and plant managers can make decisions which will increase productivity and quality as well as decrease costs of maintenance and energy consumption. Used efficiently, Citect says that a company can expect to achieve significant ROI in less than six to 12 months.

For more information contact Wilhelm Swart, Citect, 011 699 6600,,

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