A new generation of manufacturing execution systems (MES) reaches beyond production execution to provide true application functionality for specific industry needs. In addition to controlling the manufacturing process, this MES is driving integration up to ERP and down to the automation layer.
According to Claus Abildgren, consulting partner, NNE PharmaPlan, who presented at the Life Sciences Forum at Automation Fair this week in Chicago, three core challenges face corporate MES strategists. First, manufacturing operations leaders lack foresight of trends and technologies due to demanding daily operations. Second is the difficulty of balancing corporate vs. site goals and needs across an increasing range of product types, frequent recipe changes and evolving regulations. Third, local experience is often insufficient, and sites struggle to absorb new knowledge and expertise.
Presented with the challenge of modernizing MES in this complex environment, your typical head of manufacturing systems faces some big questions: how to balance corporate standards with individual site requirements; how to make sure projects are targeted by their value to the company; how to keep up with constant changes being pushed to the plants; and how to manage the expectations of all the stake holders.