The nanoMES as the modern data hub for Industry 4.0

Cloud based MES with services limited to the core are emerging in Industry 4.0. These nanoMES close the gap left by outdated or missing or incomplete MES systems. With their six characteristics, they offer easy, inexpensive access to the modern services of data analytics and evaluation based on algorithms.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) control and monitor the progress of production orders on the shopfloor. It is the central data hub in production.

Manufacturing companies are currently faced with two fundamental challenges for MES: Either they do not (yet) have an MES or they have an aging or already outdated MES.

The first case is obvious. Without MES, no data is collected and a large part of the potential that Industry 4.0 technologies offer is lost.

The second case requires more explanation: Most MES were developed some time ago, i.e. before the era of the Internet of Things: These systems were not developed to integrate data from the large number of sensors. They were not developed taking modern data aggregation principles into account, possibly even in real time. As a result, old MES limit the ability to see the operation of a plant live and holistically and to take timely measures to increase productivity. Data is isolated and often simply not recorded at all, which means that valuable knowledge is lost.

A modern approach to installing an MES – or replacing existing legacy MES – is offered by nanoMES. Nano in the sense of minimal, uncomplicated, flexible, scalable, needs-based.

Six characteristics distinguish these nanoMES:

  1. Fast brownfield installation: An MES installation almost always takes place in an existing environment, the brownfield. Heterogeneous equipment of different ages and technological levels have to be connected. If you go into the specifics of each equipment, the installation quickly becomes tedious and expensive. nanoMES, on the other hand, rely on minimally invasive acquisition of their data – in the best case without interfering with the control of the systems. This form of integration only takes a few minutes per system. Production orders from common ERP systems (SAP, etc.) are available in nanoMES via standardized interfaces. In this way, a nanoMES installation can take place without an IT project.
  2. Focused integration: nanoMES are specifically linked to individual equipment or systems. The start takes place at the bottleneck systems, significant or critical systems follow optionally. Systems with e.g. significant overcapacity or equipment that are not critical for the process are not connected to nanoMES in this efficiency-based approach.
  3. Easy use in the cloud: Software is moving more and more into the cloud. This is also the right place for nanoMES. This eliminates the previous effort for operation, updating, data backup. The required 100 percent availability is guaranteed through the use of professional data center operators.
  4. Customer-oriented licensing: While classic MES incur costs for projects, licensing, maintenance and updates, nanoMES are licensed for a monthly or annual amount per system. In this way, the license costs are flexibly controlled and adapted to the actual use. No long-term depreciation on software. No sticking to unsuitable IT systems “because we spent so much money”.
  5. Professional reporting and visualizations: The system data are recorded so that they are presented to employees in a meaningful way. nanoMES use modern forms of visualization such as waterfalls, heat maps or comparative reports. And that in a pleasant, browser-based environment where it is fun to analyze data. Excel downloads and the elaborate creation of tables with hand-knitted visualizations are a thing of the past.
  6. Advanced Analytics Ready: nanoMES are ready to use the latest technologies in data analysis. This enables statistical analyzes on data in real time as well as evaluations based on artificial intelligence. In the best case, the systems rely on AutoML approaches so that no data scientist is required to carry out analyzes and process the results. Anomalies in equipment productivity are identified and presented to the manufacturing engineer for processing that were previously invisible.

Figure: 6 characteristics of a nanoMES

These six characteristics describe a modern nanoMES. This approach is suitable for most industries. Discrete productions with piece, meter, kilo-based production processes in the manufacturing or filling industry (e.g. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)) are a prime application for the approach. If you would like to find out more, you can easily get in touch with us at info@oee.cloud