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Role of MES in Operational Excellence –> A Step towards Perfect Plant

Role of MES in Operational Excellence –> A Step  towards Perfect Plant

Generally one of the purpose of MES implementation is to improve Operational Excellence but always the question arrives HOW?


So let’s try to find out how it can be done?


Ask yourself this question: What are your earnings if you can improve your plant

Availability by 1%? Of all industries, the continuous process industry is

one of the industries where production time can be vital. The more production time

you have, the more you produce, the more you can sell (depending on the market)


If fact it is a simple mathematical equation. Hypothetically speaking, if you produce

5 tones of product per hour and you can sell it for € 1.000 per tone, then an improvement of 1% more production time in a year would mean about 90 more production hours. Suppose you have 20% profit on sales, then this would mean € 90.000 more profit per year. The figure itself isn’t that large, but in overall performance based on time and number of manufacturing locations it is worth to look into this.


Equipments and most of all energy consumption shares the major cost in the industry. An important KPI is therefore the amount of energy used to produce 1 tone of product.


MES generally helps us to get the data out from the SCADA and Equipment layer to the more presentable layer of ERP.


MES can be used with BO and using various reports and data it might very well be possible that there are improvements on plant performance to be found.


Another interesting question would be: What if you could lower your yearly

maintenance costs with 10%?


Assets in a continuous production process are costly and so is maintenance on these assets. Maintenance costs money for materials and hours, but also due to loss of valuable production time.

 Industries then want to minimize loss of production time due to maintenance, but also want to

prevent unsolicited loss of production time due to plant break-downs.


In the 80’s plant maintenance was performed in a reactive way “when it breaks down we fix it”. In the 90’s it was more commonly accepted to have a proactive approach: calendar based with fixed intervals or preventive with specific frequencies.


Findings are that maintenance still costs money and questions rose like:


  • Is it necessary to perform maintenance now?
  • Are we not replacing good parts?
  • Was that Machine even used since the last lubrication?
  • Are we bothering about the idle equipments?



Maintenance is evolving. New learnings are that we should maintain a piece of equipment only when a potential failure is at hand and identified. In other words, we should base our maintenance strategy on the condition of the equipment.


In case we want to base our maintenance strategy on the condition of the equipment, the first step is to actually measure equipment parameters that are of interest.


Generally industries do measure various parameters but without proper handling of that data it is subjected to negligence.


So the next step would then be to define targets for various measurements and continuously

monitor them against their targets. In case a target is about to be reached, an alert

can be send on beforehand and maintenance can be scheduled at appropriate time.

With a MES system in place this can all be done in real-time and automated.


So these some some small opportunities MES gives us to achieve better Operational excellence which would result in big differences in the company’s account books.

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