2012 – summer Issue

Real Data, Real Time

In today's world of tight margins, cost containment, and just-in-time performance, maximizing productivity is the key to profitability. That's why Interstates' capabilities as an integrator of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are so valuable to manufacturers, according to Kelly De Jong, Director of Manufacturing Intelligence.

"MES provides the link between planning data, such as ordering and inventory, and performance data, which is what's actually happening on the plant floor during operation," De Jong explains. "Without an MES system, someone has to input production data at the end of a shift, day, or month, and that information is compared to the plan. MES automates the information gathering, so managers can get a real-time picture of operations."

Because of the speed with which MES delivers output information, De Jong notes that it can provide information crucial to increasing productivity "" whether it's measuring the actual impact of temporary downtime or identifying problems with the functioning of a production line. Interstates has experience implementing MES across multiple plants, pulling data from a variety of systems and making it centrally available for management and key users. This provides a company with timely information that is vital to overall effectiveness.

Interstates is not limited to providing or working with any one MES system. "We specialize in the integration of a variety of MES products," De Jong explains. "We want to do what is best for the customer and their unique operation." As De Jong sees it, well-integrated Manufacturing Execution Systems are an inevitable reason to push for lean manufacturing.

"If you're a pet food manufacturer," De Jong says, "the last thing you want is a warehouse full of pet food, and no buyers for it. Improving efficiency and productivity so you can produce just what you need, no more and no less, is the key to containing costs and being profitable. MES can play a big role in creating this reality for your plant. It can show you exactly how you're doing, what you need, and what you need to do to increase the efficiency of your operation."