Next GEN MES: Smart Factory of the Future is Now 

By Janice Abel

Category:
Industry Trends

MES is the backbone for lower cost, higher quality and faster production for the Smart Factory of the future.  It is the future for newer more complex, innovative and more personalized products.  More MES functionality will be embedded in devices and equipment so that they govern themselves and take corrective action that helps them to improve efficiencies and avoid unscheduled downtime.  MES is the foundation for Industrie 4.0 and smart manufacturing. 

Factories will enable real-time visibility globally across the entire value chain.  Today’s next gen factories will be completely automated and seamlessly connected and highly collaborative and will host more application data on-premise, on the edge or in the cloud.  Many applications will remain on-premise or in edge devices.  Highly automated and connected factories will enable intelligence and collaboration throughout the global enterprise and supply chain for game-changing value. 

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The smart factory will include simulation and digital twins, augmented reality, virtual reality, process analytics, scheduling analytics, additive manufacturing (3D), robotics, drones and more.  New product introductions (NPI) and “batches of one” will be more common where everything is changed often and customized for each specific client.  Additive printing or 3D printing solutions are more scalable and can reduce some of the time-consuming pre- and post-processing and can significantly increase production capacity at reduced cost.  Many of the operational and manufacturing functions now performed by humans will be replaced by robotics that integrate to the MES solution.   And more personalized products. 

More MES functionality will be embedded in devices and equipment so that they govern themselves and take corrective action that helps them to improve efficiencies and avoid unscheduled downtime.  MES is the foundation for Industrie 4.0 and smart manufacturing.  Factories will enable real-time visibility globally across the entire value chain.  Today’s next gen factories will be completely automated and seamlessly connected and highly collaborative and will host more application data on-premise, on the edge or in the cloud.  Many applications will remain on-premise or in edge devices.  Highly automated and connected factories will enable intelligence and collaboration throughout the global enterprise and supply chain for game-changing value. 

The smart factory will include simulation and digital twins, augmented reality, virtual reality, process analytics, scheduling analytics, additive manufacturing (3D), robotics, drones and more.  New product introductions (NPI) and “batches of one” will be more common where everything is changed often and customized for each specific client.  Additive printing or 3D printing solutions are more scalable and can reduce some of the time-consuming pre- and post-processing and can significantly increase production capacity at reduced cost.  Many of the operational and manufacturing functions now performed by humans will be replaced by robotics that integrate to the MES solution.   

More MES functionality will be embedded in devices and equipment so that they govern themselves and take corrective action that helps them to improve efficiencies and avoid unscheduled downtime.  MES functions will also be more modular, scalable and enable the acquisition of only what clients want.  

MES software will be able to assimilate IoT data in real time and integrate with more advanced analytics, augmented and virtual reality and digital twins.  The software will enable enterprise wide visibility and digital twins for operations data.  MES needs to eliminate silos and be seamlessly connected to enable innovation and include capabilities that enable the flow of data from newer smart sensors to older traditional sensors, to autonomous machines and more traditional manufacturing equipment.   

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Lights out or dark factories are increasing, because the need for human intervention is being phased out.  Data connectivity, quality and integrity will continue to be the important to production and MES intelligence.  Highly automated factories enable intelligence, collaboration and visibility throughout the global enterprise for game-changing value.   

Additional research on new Gen MES software and MES capabilities are available through other MES reports including the latest edition of the MES Market Research Report and MES Supplier Selection Report.    

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Digital Twins: Key Technology for Smart Factory of the Future 

The future will include the integration of newer technologies such as digital twins with simulation, augmented reality, virtual reality, additive manufacturing (3D), robotics, drones and more.  Applications will be more modular, data flow and traditional boundaries between systems will disappear and the relationship between design, manufacturing and the virtual simulation that captures and emulates the physical world will transform into the Smart Autonomous Factory.  New product introductions (NPI) and “unique custom products” will be the norm where everything customized for each client and is changed often.  Many of the operational and manufacturing functions now performed by humans will be replaced by robotics or automated software that integrates to the MES solution.  More revenues will come from new services. 

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In the future, MES will be more app like and plug and play with each other, with more auto features, such as auto-configure, auto-data contextualization, situational awareness, predictive analytics that predict the process and product quality, track and trace, dynamic scheduling, etc. that will make customization and manufacturing easier. Materials and parts will be automatically replenished using real-time data.   Mobile devices will report the status of the process and devices for actionable decision making using MES. 

All these newer technologies, strategies, and trends are penetrating new MES deployments.  For additional information, check out ARC’s latest MES for Process Market Analysis Report, MES for Discrete Manufacturing Market Analysis Report and MES Supplier Selection Guide.  

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