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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Barber

Who are MESA and how do they define MES?

MESA


Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) is a not-for-profit trade association specialising in sharing MES best practices globally. The define themselves as:

"A global community of manufacturers, producers, industry leaders and solution providers who are focused on improving Operations Management capabilities through the effective application of technology solutions and best practices."

The MESA definition of MES is a widely recognised definition that provides a consistent framework for understanding the capabilities and functions of MES systems. According to the MESA definition, MES is a:


"dynamic information system that drives effective execution of manufacturing operations".

The definition goes on to describe the key functions of MES systems, including:

  • Production management - MES systems provide real-time visibility into the production process, enabling manufacturers to optimise production and ensure on-time delivery. They include functions such as production scheduling, materials management, and capacity planning.

  • Quality management - MES systems provide real-time quality data, enabling manufacturers to quickly identify and resolve quality issues. They include functions such as inspection, testing, and statistical process control.

  • Maintenance management - MES systems provide real-time equipment data, enabling manufacturers to optimise maintenance schedules and reduce downtime. They include functions such as preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, and equipment tracking.

  • Inventory management - MES systems provide real-time inventory data, enabling manufacturers to optimise inventory levels and reduce costs. They include functions such as inventory tracking, material tracking, and lot tracking.

  • Performance analysis - MES systems provide real-time performance data, enabling manufacturers to analyse performance and identify areas for improvement. They include functions such as key performance indicators (KPIs), dashboard reporting, and analytics.


MESA also references the key characteristics of MES systems, including:

  • Real-time data collection - MES systems collect real-time data from the shop floor, enabling manufacturers to quickly identify and resolve issues.

  • Integration with other systems - MES systems integrate with other software systems, such as ERP and SCM systems, enabling data exchange between different systems.

  • Customisability - MES systems are customisable to the specific needs of each manufacturing environment, enabling manufacturers to tailor the system to their unique requirements.

  • Scalability - MES systems are scalable, enabling manufacturers to expand the system as their needs change over time.

  • Security - MES systems include robust security features, such as user authentication and access controls, to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data.


Overall, the MESA definition of MES provides a detailed explanation of the capabilities and functions of MES systems, and is widely regarded as a well-defined and comprehensive definition. By integrating MES systems into the manufacturing process, manufacturers can achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and profitability. MES systems provide real-time visibility into the manufacturing process, enabling manufacturers to optimise production, reduce downtime, and improve overall performance. By customising and scaling MES systems to their specific needs, manufacturers can tailor the system to their unique requirements, improving their ability to compete in today's global market.


Having said that, one of the market trends over the last few years is an expectation from customers that MES systems are more configurable and "out-of-the-box". Customised solutions are difficult to implement and support. Very few MES systems are highly configurable and out-of-the-box. When looking for an MES, this should be a critical part of your evaluation process. If you want to learn more about MESA you can visit their website: https://mesa.org/

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