Manufacturing Execution System (MES) in dairy business – how does it work?

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Manufacturing Execution System (MES) in dairy business – how does it work?

Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is, in other words, a system of a production implementation. Using information technology, software and automation elements, it allows collecting information to be collected directly from workstations in real time. Generally speaking, MES is responsible for ensuring the highest possible quality of production. This also applies to producers in the manufacturing sector.

In the activity of the District Dairy Cooperative in Piątnica, the key role in production management is played by the management of production and maintenance personnel. This is supported by a MES class IT solution.

In order to keep up with the production of one of the flagship products and meet the high demand, the final stage of the cheese production process has been equipped with one of the most efficient packaging machines. However, the key issue is the proper way of production management together with the supervision of efficiency and maintenance of work processes, therefore the management of OSM Piątnica decided to introduce a system supporting the management of efficiency of the cottage cheese packaging machine,” says Piotr Polok, sales specialist in Astor.

The application was built on the basis of the Wonderware MES – Performance solution, which allows for the analysis of downtime and productivity of machines. The master system for data collection has been implemented without any interference in the way the process is conducted and automatically records the state of the packaging machine. It is also responsible for calculating the current value of the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) score.

Thanks to live process visualisation, as well as the ability to analyse and generate reports indicating the most frequent causes of downtime, operators, who are the “front line” of the maintenance department, can act preventively.

For the needs of the system, an application was created to visualise and supervise the process, through which subsequent production orders are launched and production is accounted for. The system also records all parameters related to the creation of a given type of assortment: from the source and number of packages, through the expiry date of the cheese, to information about the operator working on a given machine.

The most measurable benefit of MES implementation is the increase in packaging efficiency (according to the manufacturer by about 8%). Among the operational benefits, the first place belongs to the electronic reporting system (each report is adapted to the needs of a given company department).

Other benefits include a change in the way data is collected from manual to automatic and quick access to reports with information on the most frequent failures, machine operating conditions, maintenance history and billing of materials used during packaging.

On the basis of a report showing the degree of machine utilisation, the production manager is able to calculate the reserve production capacity and thus increase the efficiency of the line (…). We knew that this was possible, but we did not think that the improvement could be that big. It reassured us that the planned increase in production would not be a bottleneck to limit the total production capacity. Online access to reports and basic and current parameters related to the packaged assortment is provided through a reporting portal. Analyses based on real data can be conducted from any location/computer on the site. Thanks to the knowledge of system administration tools, the time spent on creating a queue of production orders for a defined assortment has been reduced to a minimum,” explains Piotr Polok.

Photo: Pixabay

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