Does MES/MOM have a role in Industry 4.0?

Essential Role of Industry 4.0 paper

After many interviews and discussions, MES appears to me to be essential to success with Industry 4.0 or other future factory visions.

If smart materials are talking to smart machines to become smart products, do you still need MES/MOM to coordinate plant activities? This is the picture of Industry 4.0. After due analysis, I believe the answer is clearly yes.

I know not everyone agrees. Some think yes, others no, and many are simply not sure. Industry 4.0 is a topic that most people feel unprepared to address (according to research put out for this year’s Hannover Fair).

My view is: it’s essential. I believe MES/MOM will need to step up to an even more important role. Some of the focus and function may shift away from the MES as ‘human control system” that has been a major function for most manufacturers. I believe for most manufacturers MES will continue to be feeding information to people. However the roles, context and scope of that function may change.

For the foreseeable future, most companies will not have ALL smart machines, materials and products. Especially the materials… How many materials do you use, and when do you suspect they will all have the industrial internet of things (IIoT) embedded or in their carriers or containers? I’m thinking it might be a long time.

In addition, MES/MOM will be essential to handle the vast quantities of operations data coming from these smart machines, devices, materials and products. Even if the products can pull themselves through at some point, you will want a way to put all of that data in context to understand the conditions that worked most efficiently and effectively (in process industries, “the golden batch”). Plus to be able to track the overall operational results of improvement efforts – whether new processes, new equipment or new materials. In this way, MES/MOM will become a big data management solution – even bigger than it has been historically.

In this light, MES/MOM is an integral part of the enterprise IT infrastructure required for modern – let alone – future manufacturing eco-systems to operate effectively. In the innovation industries where many indirect labor folks focus on new products, complying with regulations, and gaining a competitive edge, the role of MES/MOM will only grow in importance.

For more about this topic, please read my new report The Essential Role of MES/MOM in Industry 4.0. This project was sponsored by Siemens PLM Software (the former Camstar group) and I enjoyed speaking to both Siemens team members and customers with some wildly varying views.

I’m not the final authority, and my crystal ball has always had a bias toward seeing MES/MOM!

What do you think? Can you see where MES/MOM has a role?

Let me know.

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One Response to “Does MES/MOM have a role in Industry 4.0?”

  1. Kurt Pu October 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    Hi Julie,

    This is a great topic. I agree. With the up-to-date ICT products and solutions, in the factory and process, materials, machines, products, DB and Apps for sure can talk to each other if communication port is standardized, so MES will become unneccessary gradually. I always belive that the “old big mes” would have to be renovated to be smaller in size and modular in terms of functions being attached to specific production areas, machines, lines etc to make it dedicated to solve those “regional” problems instead of a factory wide big mes solution which is definitely bad in ROI.

    “mini mes”, or specific manufacturing App, would be the trend. And this is the way to make the production systems smart.

    Kurt

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