AVEVA™ Manufacturing Execution System 2023 introduces an enterprise MES architecture that helps standardize multi-site operations
Written by Michael Schwarz, Senior Product Marketing Manager, AVEVA
When you compare the performance metrics coming in from multiple plants across your enterprise, one plant seems to be operating more efficiently than the others. Time to share what this plant does with the other plants so they can match what that most efficient plant is doing, right? But wait. Are you sure that plant really is operating more efficiently—or does it just seem like it’s more efficient because it’s using data and calculating metrics differently than the other plants?
Manufacturing companies with multi-site operations have been running into this dilemma with best-practice sharing for years. The problem is ensuring that each individual plant applies—and sticks to—enterprise-wide standards for operational reporting and the calculation of key performance indicators.
I’m excited that AVEVA has now added support for a single manufacturing execution system (MES) for multiple sites that eases the standardization of KPIs, reporting and sharing of consistent continuous improvement practices across the business.
AVEVA has already pioneered one of the best solutions to the problem of multi-site standardization with its model-driven MES approach. It lets companies create—model—templates that describe all operational activities, from data-collecting and reporting procedures to production workflows. These templates describe work tasks and data collection processes in a way that abstracts away from the physical differences and variations in automation between individual plants—so the company can use the same standard template across multiple plants.
The MES at each plant makes a model of the unique physical setup and capabilities of that particular plant. Enterprise-standard templates use that model to execute the operational activities they describe in a way that takes into account the local plant’s capabilities and instructions.
Deploying and maintaining an MES along with the corporate standards in each plant impact the time to value for corporate excellence initiatives and require large hardware, software, labor and facilities investments and maintenance needs at each plant. This large IT infrastructure and lifecycle-cost overhead is the primary reason manufacturing companies are interested in deploying a central MES that connects remotely with multiple geographically distributed plants.
Companies can now install the latest version of AVEVA™ Manufacturing Execution System as an enterprise MES solution that controls all the plants in a business unit, a global region, or, in some cases, an entire enterprise. Instead of installing a separate MES at each plant, you can install one MES at a data center that connects with a small footprint of computing assets that collect data “at the edge” of each plant and send it to the data center.
The MES at the data center holds a process and equipment model for each connected plant, together with all product-recipe and quality-specification master data. It also centralizes and unifies all execution data from the connected plants. So, the company can centrally enforce standards of data collection and work execution—which makes things that depend on reliable data, like continuous improvement, maximally effective.
All that said, individual on-site installations of a model-driven MES at each plant are still highly effective at standardizing manufacturing processes—and implementing an edge-to-enterprise MES architecture takes some specialized infrastructure that might not be for everyone. So, my colleagues and I are looking forward to talking with customers to help them figure out whether an enterprise MES or a more traditional on-site deployment is right for them.