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Ten "blockers" in the implementation of MES!

Ten "blockers" in the implementation of MES!

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  • Time of issue:2019-05-13 17:37
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Ten "blockers" in the implementation of MES!

Failure to implement MES software is usually caused by tiny, seemingly unrelated details hidden in big events. This will bring losses to the company's labor costs, delays, downtime, productivity and equipment. So, what are the mistakes in the implementation of MES?
 
MES实施过程中的十个“拦路虎”!
 
MES software is a complete technical solution that seamlessly connects the entire production, inventory, and quality to make real-time, critical business functions and information visible. Data collection, storage, management, and analysis are all performed in a centralized database that provides powerful methodological support for data analysis and visualization and accelerated report release, ultimately improving productivity and profitability. The successful implementation of MES is inseparable from strict planning, detailed budget and expectations of results.
 
1. Lack of support
 
The CEO should encourage senior management and decision makers to stand in the command post and serve as a “bridge” for corporate communication, so that the whole company recognizes the importance of this task, and all people must help each other. Every employee should be aware of the goals of the MES and understand the timeline.
 
2. Insufficient demand assessment
 
If companies have insufficient knowledge of their strengths, capabilities and deficiencies, how can they correctly determine MES requirements and set corresponding goals? First, companies should conduct a detailed assessment of operations and listen to the opinions of all stakeholders. “So, a comprehensive assessment is necessary to document the most critical needs.” The company also needs to understand the importance of the MES system being fully completed as required. Given the uncertainties in the future, MES vendors should ensure greater flexibility in their systems. A clear understanding of the requirements of the business and the type of MES solution that best suits the business is the key to business decision making.
 
3. Insufficient overall planning
 
An internal project team consists of employees who are familiar with the production process within the company. Some of them have a technical background, and it is better if they have experience in implementing MES. The team should focus on change management and clear intelligence (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals. If your team has a shortage of key areas, consider hiring an external consultant. Then, set the project priority. The company must give the team a certain authorization.
 
4, data migration technology is missing
 
Data is priceless, which is the importance of MES software. Therefore, set procedures and safeguards in advance to prevent data from being unavailable, damaged or lost. Decide how much historical data to save. Clean or format obsolete or redundant data if necessary. Moving static data early, the dynamic data that may be migrated can be retained until the end. Note: Migrating data from the old system to the new MES software is the most time consuming part.
 
5, no clear timetable or budget
 
Different companies have different time plans for MES implementation. Without a clear timetable, it is easy to cause work to be lazy and the project to be postponed, so that the cost is seriously exceeded the budget.
 
6. Lack of review of suppliers
 
It is necessary to avoid the MES supplier's ability to match the needs of the enterprise. Companies should refer to several vendors and conduct background checks on each MES solution. See if they are working; whether they can meet the needs of your specific industry or business; whether there are flexible business models to meet the changing needs of the company; whether there are reference cases; whether the solution is comprehensive, and whether there is an experienced team involved in the planning , implementation, training, and ongoing support; they behave like partners or salespeople. Only suppliers can meet their own needs, and ultimately will produce satisfactory results.
 
7. Do not understand or use key features
 
If there is a lack of understanding and training of the functions of the MES software, or if the management does not promote full implementation, it will eventually result in waste of resources.
 
8, system failure
 
It is necessary to test before the official operation of the MES software - simulate the number and behavior of the users as much as possible, and adjust the process to avoid unplanned downtime.
 
9. Insufficient training
 
If the company does not pay attention to training, then the on-line MES will be accompanied by certain risks, and will not get the best return on investment in the future. Most MES vendors will provide follow-up services and support after the product goes live. It is very important for the employees of the company to accept their own training and then add their own personal characteristics according to their own industry, unique production process.
 
10, retain the original application
 
Retaining and using old technology (legacy applications), in addition to being used for reference, often leads to inefficient production and confusion for employees; companies can continue to pay for maintenance, hardware replacement and upgrades of legacy applications and match them with MES . But really, after the MES is implemented, you should say goodbye to the legacy application.
 
Benefits and summary of MES application, attached case
 
First, the added value and income of MES
 
MES实施过程中的十个“拦路虎”!
 
MES has been in operation for more than two decades. It is expected that multiple completed projects have confirmed the benefits and added value of these applications. In reality, the economic benefits of each new project are continuously assessed and reviewed. The reason is that the multidisciplinary and complex relationship of the project is difficult to define a universally applicable quantitative income approach.
 
The MES added value and revenue problem is a seemingly simple, but quality-related answer. The benefits are the efficiency and process of business improvement. Factors such as operational data accuracy, timely availability, increased throughput, reduced costs and increased customer satisfaction are major achievements.
 
Therefore, MES solutions are a key factor in the pursuit of operational excellence and are closely related to the analysis and optimization of operational processes.
 
The following areas show the potential for optimization with the use of MES:
 
● Increased transparency in inventory and capacity, thus
- Online access to possible delivery dates when order entry is made,
- Improved analysis of required delivery dates and total delivery costs,
- faster planning and order fulfillment,
- Improve the reliability of delivery,
- More flexibility in responding to changes,
- More efficient plant utilization.
 
● All important production parameters are based on permanent monitoring of the computer, reducing errors and defects.
● Computer-based production planning and scheduling, reducing production costs and making better use of plant capacity.
● Optimization of factory allocation reduces setup time.
● Improved planning reduces inventory (raw materials, finished products) and is more flexible for demand production.
• Extensive data exchange between the operations and automation layers (ERP, MES, DCS) makes the procedures more efficient.
• Effective organization, monitoring and documentation of processes ensures regulatory compliance (eg cGMP/FDA).
• Rapid data analysis and release of batch production results in lower finished product inventory.
 
Of course, the actual benefit analysis only applies to specific instances, because the requirements and scope of different tasks cannot be analyzed using common methods.
 
The amount of MES project revenue is determined entirely by an accurate comparison of the procedures before and after the introduction of the system with the associated costs. The external effects of the actual operational process, such as more reliable delivery scheduling, avoidance of contract penalties, and reduced personnel disruption must be included.
 
Therefore, target/current state analysis, including descriptions of current and future processes, is recommended as part of project preparation for the assessment of expected benefits. The study also demonstrated the greatest potential and step-by-step introduction of MES into all regions.
 
When these modules are designed as integrated components in a wide range of automation solutions, the interaction between the modules has a particularly positive impact. The relevance of each module depends on the specific plant and industry. Assuming that 1% of the total project cost (for large continuous plants) to 10% (such as pharmaceutical plants) invest in MES, the return on investment is generally completed in one to two years. In addition, the difficult to calculate MES income (soft income) is to further shorten the investment return period.
 
Figure 1 graphically shows the potential observations observed in the production plant.
MES实施过程中的十个“拦路虎”!
Figure 1: MES potential
 
In the related technical report published, the benefits of implementing an MES solution are described, including the steps to achieve the goal, as well as additional planning and unforeseen impact.
 
The purpose of this paper is to think and evaluate MES across industries. Therefore, a case study of the completed project is also carried out here. Although the content of the results has been reduced to some extent, in order to emphasize the diversity of goals, only different aspects are emphasized on the target.
 
Each case study describes the plant or process, the situation prior to the introduction of the MES, the implementation of the MES solution, the benefits gained, and the specific project characteristics. If possible, quantify the results and consider providing absolute values ​​for the examples.
 
Second, case analysis
 
1. Biopharmaceutical case analysis: comprehensive factory automation - ERP, MES, DCS
 
Process description
 
This analysis demonstrates a biotechnology plant that produces active biopharmaceutical ingredients as an example of integrated automation across multiple automation layers. Typical stages of the production process include material preparation, material addition, reactor sterilization, inoculation, fermentation, harvesting, product transfer and cleaning. Two preparation lines and eight fermenters are at the heart of the plant. A total of 80 processing units have been integrated with the overall concept, including cleaning units (WFI, purified steam, in-situ cleaning), chromatography and filtration.
 
Initial situation
 
In the newly built active ingredient plant, operational processes and production decisions are supported by MES software on the market. In the early stages, the MES module typically operates as a stand-alone application and communicates only with neighboring automation layers, exchanging data, and using specific interfaces to complete control system functions. This often leads to a diversification of methods, insufficient interoperability of implementation, and inconsistent operator environments.
 
MES solution
 
Choose off-the-shelf control technology and MES software for plant management and control. This concept implements the two parts as an integrated environment across all automation levels while meeting regulatory requirements. This works on project engineering, controlling recipe procedures and operator handling. Formula definition and management, including version management. During the execution process, control is transferred to other more suitable systems as special subtasks as necessary. The concept also includes mobile reaction units, electronic generation manufacturing instructions for manual procedures, integrated material tracking, optimized utilization of operational assets (equipment, materials, personnel), integration with laboratories, product scheduling, and software for business enterprises. Quality data interface. The system includes 50 computers and servers, 60 process controllers, 20 PLCs and more than 100 operator stations.
 
Automatic generation and release of regulatory-compliant batch reports is an added feature of this system.
MES实施过程中的十个“拦路虎”!
Figure 2: Integrated Automation Concept
 
Value added and revenue
 
The computer-based approach replaces paper-based documentation, significantly reducing time-consuming procedures before product launch. The time required for collection, verification, data editing and publishing has been reduced from a few weeks to a few hours. The results are significant and quantifiable.
 
The risks and costs of all application phases are minimized by a unified operator environment and an interdisciplinary integrated concept. Project Engineering, Operations and Quality Assurance share a standardized system that accesses and displays all available production data. The previously independently operated divisions, now combined into one unit, are based on a commonly defined approach, resulting in cost savings of more than 30%.
 
The overall economic benefits of this integrated solution and computer-based reporting system exceeds €2 million per year. This figure does not yet reflect qualitative results, such as improved corporate communication, more effective project phases and improved analytics, and protocol optimization based on a central repository.
 
More information
 
The entire project was completed in approximately 2 years.
 
2, food and beverage case analysis: energy data collection, as investment decision support
 
Process description
 
A manufacturer of mineral water and soft drinks, which is filled with 2 million bottles a year. The production facility consists essentially of a water supply, a syrup unit and a subsequent beverage mix and bottling plant.
 
The auxiliary area provides hot water and steam for production, as well as heating and cleaning facilities.
 
Initial situation
 
Energy bottlenecks, especially in the cold winter days, require an investment in heating system upgrades. Existing boilers with a 6 ton/hour steam output installed in 1978 must be replaced.
 
The size of the new boiler is a major challenge for this project. The only basis for size estimation is maximum utilization, which now only has monthly data. It is not sufficient to use this basis only to accurately calculate the demand for hot water and steam.
 
In addition, the energy distribution within the plant is also unknown because there is no consumption of individual units.
 
MES solution
 
In order to determine demand and provide reliable decision support, an energy management system needs to be established. In addition to measuring gas and electricity (primary energy) consumption, the system collects the required data for hot water and steam (secondary energy) and controls shutdown during peak loads.
 
Heat meters are installed in the boiler room to determine the energy consumption of the hot water. A steam flow meter, a gas meter is used to measure the consumption of each gas boiler, and the meter is installed at the transformer output and each unit. All tables are connected to the existing bus system and integrated into the energy management system. After half a year has passed, enough data has been collected for investment decisions. The evaluation showed that a smaller steam boiler with a 4 ton/hour output would suffice. The existing hot water boiler has a capacity of 2.400 kW, which is the peak of absorption heating demand in winter, while the old boiler can be reserved as a backup.
MES实施过程中的十个“拦路虎”!
Figure 3: Heat profile
 
Value added and revenue
 
The data provided by the energy management system shows the precise energy required to manufacture a particular production unit for a particular product. This enables targeted optimization of the production process (Figure 18). In order to avoid the load peak. Each unit is no longer started at the same time. Peak load management monitors and controls plant ventilation, office and control room air conditioning and wastewater treatment. The goal is to reduce the plant's peak electricity demand and gas supply reserves over the long term. It is planned to reduce the peak load from 1,850 kW to 1,700 kW, saving about 10,000 Euros per year. The gas reserve has been reduced from 4,000 kWh to 3,000 kWh, saving an additional €7,000 per year.
 
3. Refinery case analysis: long-term planning and scheduling
 
Process description
 
The refinery capacity analyzed was 125,000 barrels. In addition to crude oil processing, the company also sells primary petroleum products and provides application support to customers. The company also operates a lubricant blending plant at the same site.
 
The refinery produces unleaded gasoline, lubricating oil and other chemical products. The production of high-octane products has increased due to changes in demand for unleaded gasoline.
 
Initial situation
 
To a large extent, existing planning tools are used to manage changes in established procurement channels and refinery products. Product line changes required by the unleaded petrol market require new systems and modeling tools for flexible and timely material planning. The focus is on transparent processing, enabling company personnel to manage and maintain the system, minimizing the involvement of external modeling and system experts. The phased introduction of the new installation requires the reuse of the infrastructure of the existing system and the need to improve internal workflow and tank data management.
 
MES solution
 
Implementing a model-based solution requires analyzing feasibility and alternative product strategies and implementing monthly planning for refinery supply. The first module handles the staged factory conversion. The initial period is the reduction in sulfur production from gasoline and diesel, which is then transferred to unleaded gasoline. The complex impact of refinery modifications and the impact of new process units are transparent. This transparency provides decision support for new priorities.
 
The monthly plan is implemented in the second module, managing the supply chain, including the selection and distribution of raw materials. It also sets goals to optimize production and management of products, inventory levels and product distribution for specific markets. Cross-departmental planning data is used in the LP model of the refinery to determine scheduling and mixing, as well as to calculate APC application parameters.
 
The entire plant's data information system provides current process data, such as updated model values.
 
Value added and revenue
 
The model provides a flexible analysis of various parameters that affect plant operation and refinery results. Comprehensive decision support for strategic and economic planning, as well as actual planning. However, the exact economic effects can only be quantified based on assumptions. In the absence of underlying data or poor flexibility, bad strategic decisions can cause significant economic losses.
 
In terms of raw material costs, an estimated annual savings of approximately 3 million euros (about 5%).
 
Due to the precise and simultaneous input of data, an additional benefit is the optimization of the use of hybrid units and the simplification of computer-based workflows. The simplified handling of the transparent model structure provides an additional financial advantage. Training and support for data content is more cost effective than previous solutions.
 
MES实施过程中的十个“拦路虎”!
Figure 4: Impact based on model planning
 
Third, summary and outlook
 
MES实施过程中的十个“拦路虎”!
 
From the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, the main features of the MES concept were embodied by individual customer-specific MES projects. At the same time as many successes, some struggled due to software development difficulties, which was typical of that period of time - incomplete specifications, poor predictive development costs, and cost overruns and missed deadlines canceled the entire project. The initial excitement of MES later gave way to disappointment, and the deployment and benefits of MES became more skeptical. This has led to a significant uneven development of MES applications in different industries today. The higher the complexity, the more flexible the production, the more product changes, the more revenue generated by the MES module, and the greater the degree of acceptance. Today, mass production, such as in the automotive industry, is unthinkable without MES.
 
The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the possibilities of MES solutions for different industries and to provide an overview of the currently available solutions. The problem of early MES implementation has been resolved. Users and suppliers have learned the lesson and created a common sense and language based on standards such as IEC62264. Since the goal is not for individual projects, the MES solution is primarily assembled from configurable modules. The configurable portion is typically 60 to 70%, and the customer-specific extension is approximately 30 to 40%.
 
Based on the established enterprise execution model data structure and the standardization of transparent data transmission between applications, the innovation and deployment of MES applications will be greatly promoted.
 
The complexity of the application requires continuous inspection of the success and benefits of the MES project, and many projects have repeatedly demonstrated the economic benefits of MES. The goals of the MES must be achieved according to their respective needs. At the same time, increasing the quantity and quality of industrial expertise can ensure better optimization and high yield.
 
Early (local) and intra-enterprise IT infrastructure (re)configuration is especially important. This can be used for network structures and basic data structures, as well as for information security.
 
If long-term MES maintenance costs and personnel are included in the project, the success of future MES projects is almost guaranteed.
 
What do you want to grasp in the future?
 
As shown above, production scheduling, execution, and integration and interconnection of enterprise information flows are technically feasible and economically necessary. Therefore, the further development of MES solutions in all industries is logical. Solutions and systems are located at level 3 of the enterprise model (production operations management), just like today's IT solutions at level 4 (business planning and logistics) and at level 2 automation solutions (process management and data acquisition) Just as common.
 
Enterprise integration is increasingly considering the synergy of all three axes within the enterprise:
 
●Enterprise axis: planning--management--production;
●Supply chain axis: supplier--production--customer;
● Life cycle axis: development - production - support.
 
Given these requirements, the single and all-encompassing MES concept must be retired. The future depends on the collaboration of multiple applications distributed at different functional levels (ERP, MES and process control), enterprise areas (production, maintenance, quality and inventory management) and different axes (enterprise, supply chain, life cycle) .
 
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), which uses XML to exchange transactional data and Web services, enables this transformation for other applications and facilitates access.
 
Users must authorize optimized execution tasks, provide account numbers and web-based portals, and access all enterprise-level applications and overviews. At the same time, the specific distribution and interaction of the application is transparent to the user.
 
In the future, there will be more and more parallel simulation and real-time optimization. These will determine the best production variants based on specific criteria and thus support the decision making process.
 
MES's future commitment: to provide users with more value and benefits, to provide more exciting development opportunities for suppliers, I wish all readers can successfully implement the MES project.
 
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