SAP MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems)

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Managing And Monitoring Production Processes: How To And Best Practices

The MES software are adopted by many customers for managing the production and material flow on the shop floor.

In this blog, we look at the integration between SAP and the MES software.

At Apprisia, our team of SAP MES consultants focus on creating business value for organizations by providing SAP MES based solutions to support their business requirements for managing shop floor equipment and monitoring production processes.

MES stands for Manufacturing Execution System which is used to manage the operations; for example, production order, process data, work instruction storage etc.

It is related to the manufacturing and operations.

The main purpose of any MES System is to gain visibility, flexibility in operations and manage the supply chain effectively along with consistent documentation.

In the market, there are numerous MES systems specific to industry type, product nature and manufacturing complexity.

In general, MES is vendor specific and as per explicit need of the customer. MES systems are independent of ERP systems and are “add-on” software.

Usually, it is difficult to find all our requirements in any ERP suite that can manage the complex manufacturing flow of products; in such situations, specialized software products such as MES are suited, where ERP functionalities are not sufficient to run the operations.

Indeed, MES assists in achieving the multifaceted requirements of the organization.

At the highest level, MES needs integration between the ERP and shop floor automation. SAP maintains the record of materials, BOM, routings and orders; the MES maintains the records/transactions such as WIP (work in progress).

For implementing the MES, the consultant has to perform detailed analysis of MES requirements such that they can be mapped with the manufacturing environment.

The consultant has to perform the analysis of the integration with SAP PP since there is overlap of functionality offered by SAP and MES software.

MES plays a major role when there are many shared resources or work centers, complex routings (master recipes) and substantial effort to manage the production of material into finished product.

MES increases operation excellence and manages asset and its utilization, which in turn reduces overall operational cost of the business.

MES provides capabilities such as plant data collection, production process quality management, order tracking; additionally, the MES system provides detailed scheduling of operations, production process management, performance monitoring, resource allocation, manpower allocation and management control of engineering documents.

Resource allocation can be manual or automated in MES. There is real time exchange of messages between the SAP ERP and MES system regarding various facets of the manufacturing operations.

Let’s say in case of production management, one can easily download production schedule from SAP to MES system, upload production confirmation/consumption to SAP. 

In case of asset management in MES, we can download equipment list from SAP and upload equipment runtime data to MES.

ISA (Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society) S95 standard describes the connectivity between ERP and the MES system; this includes MES functionality and database schema, message formats between application systems etc.

There are two major integration options for MES integration with SAP

  1. SAP xMII (Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence) : SAP xMII facilitates real-time transactional integration between plant shop floor and enterprise (SAP ERP) systems out-of-the-box. By using the schemas available in the xMII repository, we can perform faster integration between xMII and the MES systems conforming to the IS95 industry-standard interfaces.
  2. SAP PI : This is the integration middleware platform within the SAP NetWeaver suite. We can use SAP PI to exchange information between the MES and SAP ERP products.

Need Help:
In case you need assistance on SAP MES based solutions, please contact us.

Please send us your questions, comments or assistance request, and our team would be glad to assist you.

Please send us your questions, comments or assistance, and our team would be glad to assist you.

By Abhishek Khandelwal (on behalf of SAP Consulting Team)

SAP :: Streamlined

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