Manufacturing Execution Systems represent the mainstay of manufacturing reliability and product traceability. In a nutshell, MES directly impact how factories around the world manage their centralized processes and track their overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).  So, what does this have to do with an IT services provider?

Well, by digitalizing processes and coming up with a custom solution to complex MES requirements, an IT services provider (who might that be?) can, as a driver of change, also generate a positive impact on how factories around the world operate, more precisely how they measure, review and control productivity, efficiency, budgets and defects.

The substantial improvements of an uplifted, scalable, easy to use MES are directly observed in any shop floor:

  • Fewer errors
  • Less waste
  • Fewer issues with connectivity across multiple locations
  • Less time to market

Less is more, right? Whilst it may seem clear and crisp in terms of benefits, end-to-end MES project implementations imply both solution analysis (assessment, process design, requirements, solution design) and, of course, the actual solution implementation (configuring, dev, testing).

Therefore, let us walk you through one of our Java-based magic applied to a specific project of middleware for a series of MES (located in different countries). This was a solution deployed for one of our manufacturing clients, a renowned mechanical and plant engineering company with extensive expertise in automation and Industry 4.0.

Manufacturing Execution Systems made effective

For this specific project, our client needed an improved approach to its MES, that would help them both build their paint shops faster, reduce production waste and connect their operations more efficiently, since they had offices located in over 32 countries; not to mention the fact that they required their systems to work flawlessly regardless of the country and their communication between the different MES to run smoothly.

One important challenge our client was facing, execution-wise, was the increase in material waste and capital losses, due to errors that would appear in their automated systems, leading to machines doing faulty pieces. One can only imagine the impact of errors in a paint shop, right? Therefore, finding a proper way to reduce waste and mitigate system risks was essential.

First things first: our consultants spent a considerable amount of time gathering all the information relevant to the success of our MES customization process. During an extended discovery workshop, we made sure to disclose every pain point, in a very open and comprehensive way, and we also began highlighting a few possible solutions to the clients’ urgent needs.

On a side note: normally, transforming all the gathered data into a first solution draft would probably take months, but, with the help of this exhaustive discovery workshop, our teams managed to come up with a clickable visual support, ready to be pitched to the company’s stakeholders in a matter of days, thus decreasing the overall deliverable time frame. That is the power of a thorough discovery workshop.

Java custom development in Manufacturing

Going back to the project, we started by integrating the client’s MES with their ERP solution. As part of this approach, we integrated an MES solution with another MES solution for the end client’s paint lines. We also created a synchronization mechanism and modernized the look & feel of the current system.

At the same time, we took it upon ourselves to create an application that tested the possible solutions for storage control, in an attempt to reduce any possible plant construction errors. After the integration, we also offered installation support and knowledge sharing sessions, to make sure that the client was using the tool at its maximum capacity.

As mentioned earlier, all this was made possible mainly via our magic with Java, JavaServer Faces, JBoss, Arquilian, Swagger and SQL Server. Truth be told, there is no magic going on, but rather our passion for technology, our commitment to supporting clients with digital solutions and an extensive technical acumen, courtesy of our teams of experts.

The outcome

Having clear goals in mind, our client’s interest at heart and our technical know-how in full steam ahead, we managed to reduce the number of paint shop errors from 10% to 5%. This subsequently decreased the amount of waste and its underlying budget losses. Since our solution connects different MES across countries, any customization or localization costs have been substantially downgraded.

If you want to find out more about our cost-effective, resource-efficient and highly qualitative Java solution, make sure to check out our dedicated case studies and do not hesitate to get in touch.  

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