MES stands for specialized software solutions designed to tackle the tasks of production scheduling and management. The purpose of such systems is to synchronize, coordinate, analyze and optimize production processes at a certain production facility. MES can be industrial complexes or software solutions deployed in workshops or at production sites.
A broad selection of management systems offered by both national and foreign vendors acts as a deterrent. The customer considers such a variety of systems and vendors and the lack of methodology that would help select a system for a particular application as a risk factor. Because of this, the customer may choose to wait before implementing the system even though the need to enhance production management efficiency is quite obvious.
Introduction of MES without adjusting your business processes may do more harm than good
SET UP A DEDICATED WORK TEAM
It is necessary to set up a work team using your staff. The work team will be responsible for:
learning about the system
introducing the system to the other staff members / training
dealing with the system vendor (Integrator)
In the case of smaller companies, the work team can consist of one responsible person
HAVE YOUR RESPONSIBLE PERSON LEARN ABOUT THE SYSTEM FUNCTIONALITY
Following the guidelines provided by the Integrator, the responsible person will install the system on the company computers and start exploring the possibilities of the system with the help of the manual.
MAKE SURE YOU INPUT INITIAL DATA
One should make sure the information about the orders is input in a timely and consistent manner. New data should be input upon receipt of new orders. Every order should be broken down to separate production operations.
The company leadership should appoint a person who will be generating new orders.
SUPPORT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS MODEL
РBy regularly importing data on new orders in the system, the responsible staff member acts as a plant dispatcher:
using the system, he/she draws up production schedules;
as much as possible, he/she makes corrections to the schedule in real time guided by the updates from the field personnel or the foreman.
INPUT DATA BY MEANS OF REMOTE ACCESS
The company will purchase the required number of cheap (possibly, used) PCs. The responsible person will set them up where they can be accessed by the field personnel and will create a local area network by integrating them with the computer running the main system module. After that, the dedicated person will install a remote access programme on the computers and show the personnel how to work with the system.
After such training, the employees will be responsible to input information about the beginning and the end of each operation in a timely manner. It is a very simple action: one just needs to type in the password and push a button. However, we would recommend considering introducing a system of rewards for timely and careful data inputs.
ANALYZE SYSTEM UTILIZATION
Once steps 1 to 5 have been implemented, one can consider that the basic implementation stage is completed. At this stage one will have a better idea about possible issues, as well as about the scope of customization that would be required. The Integrator will be able to use the terminology adopted by the company and the company will be able to formulate questions considering the key concepts and capabilities of the system.
Should the company feel the need for a deeper system customization, we will jointly consider what items will need to be further customized. This is followed by preparation of a customization plan.
Our experience shows that some of the arising issues can be resolved by better organizing and tuning up the system. In this case, the Integrator will provide all necessary information support.
To resolve the other issues will require some customization. In this case, a separate agreement is signed.
The timeframes and methods of further system customization will depend on the customer’s wish list and actual site capabilities.
This functionality helps manage resources (such as machines, tools, operating procedures, materials, equipment) and other objects. It provides a detailed history of resources and ensures correct functioning of the production equipment and real-time monitoring of electrical equipment
This functionality ensures detailed scheduling of operations based on priorities, attributes, characteristics and properties of a certain type of product. It also determines an optimum level of equipment utilization for a particular shift
This functionality ensures online monitoring and dispatcher control over the production process. It monitors the production status, equipment and labour utilization, as well as execution of orders and batches. It also does a real-time monitoring of operations to ensure the execution of the production plan. All changes are monitored in real time and adequate adjustments to the plan are made
This functionality makes sure the supporting documentation (manuals, standards, execution techniques, drawings, standard operational procedures, part programs, production run records, reports of engineering changes) has relevant contents, ensures information transfer from shift to shift and enables to keep logs of production plans and reports. Data archiving is also available
This functionality ensures interaction between various production subsystems for the purpose of receiving, collecting and transferring process and control data circulating through the production environment. Production status data can be input manually or they can be transferred automatically and at a set interval from process control systems or directly from production lines
This functionality delivers information about the personnel at defined intervals. This includes time sheets and attendance reports, monitoring for certification compliance, the possibility to monitor and manage the key and additional responsibilities of the personnel (e.g. preparation activities, expanded work area, etc.)
This functionality delivers the product quality control data (including real-time data) collected from the field level and thus ensures proper quality control while highlighting critical points. By analyzing correlation dependencies and the cause-and-effect relationships of the control events, it can offer adjustments for a particular point
This functionality monitors a specified production operation and can make automatic adjustments aimed at correcting or improving the operation or it can offer an appropriate solution to the operator
This functionality ensures support of the maintenance operations with regard to the process equipment and tools during the entire production process
This functionality provides information about where and how a certain product item was handled. Status information can include: reports on the personnel dealing with this type of products, product components, materials from the supplier, batches, serial numbers, current production environment, violations, individual product data sheets
This functionality provides reports on actual performance and compares the current performance indicators with the previous and expected ones. Such reports can include such measured parameters as resource utilization, resource availability, resource cycle time, compliance with the plan, standards and other parameters
Production process control system for aluminium sheets and plates at a new rolling mill plant
Centralized dispatcher control system for the Angrensk coal strip mine
Production control systems for the steel section mills, which are a part of the casting and rolling complex
Rolling Mill No.1
An integration project for Sinter Plant No.5
Cold Rolling Mill Complex: An integration project for the production process control system
An integration project for the Ground Phosphate Rock Line
A product data management system for planning and scheduling
An order preparation and route generation system for planning and scheduling
Soon after that project had begun, our department took up another project, of no less importance. The next project was implemented for Kamensk Uralsky Metallurgical Works and it was rather comprehensive. We were to build a MES system responsible for aluminium sheets and plates at the new rolling mill facility. We integrated several related areas in a single system read more
Organizing work is never an easy task. It is about a proper and efficient interaction between departments, as well as internal and customer relations. Our department encompasses both analysts and developers, who work like links of one chain, and each of them contributes to the final result. Analysts are the first who get involved, and only after they have done their part (they build business processes and get them approved with the customer; they make sure they know about all the needs of the customer, etc.), developers come into play.
A few different areas of system development are distinguished inside the department, that’s why a few teams have been created. Thus, one team specializes in applied components of MES (modules, applications, etc.). The second team is engaged in the development of a general concept for MES architecture, which enables us to use the same platform for different sites. The third team is working on developing planning and scheduling solutions.
Today, the Department boasts quite an extensive project portfolio, and each project is of value for us. The spectrum of our customers includes Asha Metallurgical Plant (Amet), KUMZ, Tulachermet-Steel, NLMK, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK), Tutaev Motor Plant, EuroChem, Uzbekugol. Our solutions cover such areas as steel making, steel section mills, rolling mills, mining and mineral processing, planning and scheduling.
In 2015, Aleksandra Kochneva joined KONSOM GROUP hired as Manager of the MES Department. Thanks to the contracts that were signed between 2015 and 2020, the Department expanded to 30 personnel, among them there are developers, analysts and system architects. It means that KONSOM GROUP’s MES solutions are in demand and of relevance for the Customers.
MES Department Manager +7 982 305-76-19