Chris McLaughlin April 4, 2019

Essential MES Tool #3: Data Entry Automation

In the previous two blogs in this nine-part series, we’ve discussed some of the high-level manufacturing execution system (MES) tools for better understanding productivity problems – overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and downtime tracking. Both of these MES tools generate a lot of data, which brings up the next important question when it comes to implementing MES solutions in your organization – how do you handle this excess of information?

For manufacturers specifically, there is an abundance of data collected and available, which can become extremely overwhelming when done manually. While data entry automation is not traditionally considered a part of MES, we believe data integrity is critical and needs to be considered a vital MES tool. When someone is manually entering data, a lot can go wrong. Someone can press the wrong buttons, or if someone is manually writing down data that another person logs, it can easily be misinterpreted or misread.

For example, maybe out of 100 data points, three are entered incorrectly. Though there may be only a few inaccuracies, the system is only as good as the data it’s receiving. When using this data as a statistical reference, a few small inaccuracies can mean a few wrong decisions are made.

This is why we strongly believe data entry needs to be automated and controlled. In conjunction with MES, we can minimize manual data entry, or we can bypass the human factor entirely by collecting information directly from the machines on your line. In the end, this means decisions are being made based on more accurate data, leading to more accurate decision making.

In our next posts, we will look at how you can use asset management and track and trace techniques to more efficiently manage your plant’s inventory. 

Download our 9 MES Tools Every Plant Manager Needs to Improve Business Performance white paper to examine all the best MES tools for increasing business performance.

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