MES Gives You Real Time Data to Make Better Business Decisions

Optimizing production on the plant floor involves getting the most out of your equipment and your team. Management, maintenance, scheduling, supply chain, and many other disciplines all need to work together. Shortcomings are measured in dollars, and can provide enormous opportunity for adding to the bottom line.

Proven Approach
Vertech’s trained and experienced MES group understands that successful MES implementations require a team approach. We begin our engagement with you seeking to understand and define your process and business objectives. Using process mapping, our Features and Calculations interview process, and a series of interactive workshops throughout the development process, we work with your team to deliver a software tool that truly delivers business value.

Industrial Strength
With a strong background in industrial automation, Vertech’s team delivers more than just MES know-how. Our automation group understands plant-floor control systems and can solve any automated data collection problem. From modern control systems to legacy controllers and networks, we can connect your enterprise software.

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OEE & DOWNTIME TRACKING

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a universally accepted metric used to evaluate the effectiveness of manufacturing equipment. OEE is the product of three performance measurements for a machine or line: availability, performance, and quality. The definition of these three components varies from machine to machine and process to process, so a successful OEE implementation requires significant up-front planning and research.

Understanding when your equipment is not running is made even more valuable with downtime tracking. Vertech’s team can integrate your OEE system directly into your plant-floor control systems to automatically record not only when a machine is unavailable, but why it is not running. Real time and historical reporting provide actionable information to your production management and maintenance teams helping you achieve the highest possible value from your plant assets.

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TRACK AND TRACE

Track and trace systems monitor the progress of a product through the manufacturing process and record valuable information throughout including manufacturing process information and raw materials information. Through integration with existing control systems, This information gathering can typically be automated, and any additional information is gathered from operators electronically.

The resulting database provides a wealth of information including product genealogy, lot information, raw material usage and waste, and real-time production progress monitoring. Value is realized through process optimization and risk limiting in critical situations such as product recalls. Vertech’s team works with you to map your process and develop a data collection strategy to integrate customized, off-the-shelf track and trace software bringing all of this to reality.

 

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RECIPE MANAGEMENT

Product changeover time on a production line can be a significant opportunity for improvement in line efficiency. Part of any digitalization strategy should include automated line configuration, commonly known as recipe management software. Recipe management software stores set-point information for thinks like fill-volumes, cycle times, conveyor speeds, etc. associated with a specific product’s required configuration. Rather than configuring each individual machine on a line, operators can configure the entire line at once by selecting a stored configuration.

Vertech’s MES group works with your team to develop a recipe strategy for your production lines that enforces standards and quality while remaining flexible to support required variations that inevitably arise in the real-world. Our team can both manage integration with existing control systems and assist in the development of manual processes if required. And, of course, we work to ensure the security and integrity of your process information.

 

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DATA ANALYTICS

The field of data analytics encompasses a wide variety of software tools and algorithms that support ongoing process improvement efforts. Formerly out of reach for all but very large corporations, data analytics are now mainstream. Mathematical analytics tools can be applied to the large volumes of data collected from all areas of a manufacturing enterprise to find and monitor for patterns often too complex for humans to see. Some common applications include extending equipment or tool life through predictive failure analysis, finding energy waste by looking for known patterns in power consumption, and evaluating production information for lost or wasted raw materials.

Specialized analysis like this requires specialized tools and involves math that makes most of us cringe, so Vertech has partnered with Seeq Corporation to leverage their powerful software tools. Our Certified Analytics Engineers are trained to implement Seeq’s software and to work with their data scientists to develop custom analytics solutions for difficult problems.

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ERP INTEGRATION

The holy grail for the Digital Enterprise is complete, electronic data integration across all departments and levels. While you’re on your grail quest, however, an easy to obtain victory can be had in integrating production layer software tools like scheduling, maintenance management, inventory management, and MES software directly into your ERP system. Whatever ERP system your organization leverages, there is a secure and efficient method for integrating information flow.

Vertech’s MES group has integrated ERP systems like SAP and Oracle to a wide variety of production software systems using strategies such as web services, intermediate SQL tables or text files, or direct integration where that fits the enterprise data security strategy. Our clients have automated raw material and finished good inventory updates, integrated incoming orders with production scheduling, and tightly tracked costs per lot.

 

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STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL

SPC is a quality assurance tool used to monitor production processes in real time. A specialized form of data analytics, SPC software samples key production variables and compares those variables against known tolerances. The idea is to catch quality problems and alert operations to fix the problem before it actually occurs. As an added side-benefit, SPC systems record the sampled data for future analysis should a quality problem be caught later in the process providing valuable information to troubleshoot problems and improve systems.

Data collection can be accomplished through direct connections to plant equipment (which is preferred) or through software alerts to production personnel tasked with manually collecting samples. With a strong background in industrial control systems, Vertech’s MES team will work with you to develop a data collection strategy and methods, and implement off the shelf SPC software in your production environment.

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