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MES AND IOT: THE BENEFITS

In this section, we will present the different benefits for M.E.S. actors through integrating the IoT.

MORE FLEXIBILITY: THE AGILITY OF M.E.S. EXPLOITATION

As the M.E.S. are intended for optimizing the manufacturing process and resources, they have to be connected to the different measurement devices and the different parts of the manufacturing system.

One of the major concerns of M.E.S. actors is how to easily face to the manufacturing environment that were qualified for a long time as a static one and now migrating to a dynamic one to quickly respond to customer and market queries. This change is mainly due to the often the market demand change and the highly competitive atmosphere of the global market. This change is characterized by the increasing frequency of the custom production orders. Then, the traditional M.E.S. systems have to improve their ability to respond easily and quickly to the different changes.

The M.E.S. have to be more flexible in terms of supported functionalities. Two major alternatives are proposed. The first one consists one adopting a full web solution; a solution based as SaaS[1] one. However, this solution presents some inconveniences that are:

  • • Security aspects of exposing manufacturing data on the net,
  • • Performance lost as the gathered data has to be uploaded on the net, analyzed and then, and load it to manufacturing dashboard.

The second alternative is the preferred one: the workflow[2]. It has mainly the advantage to integrate flexible alternative for invocating alarms such is the case of mail and Short Message Service (SMS) notifications. However, the actual M.E.S. need further work in order to be adopted by the workflow engine. This alternative is estimated as a promising as it provides the user with the possibility to specify new manufacturing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)[3] and to adjust the M.E.S. for the possible changes occurring on the shop floor. Furthermore, many M.E.S. actors are working on proposing out-of-the-box versions that can be used immediately by the user without changing the system and without requiring integrators for setting up the M.E.S.

The main area that is intended to be flexible and supported by the workflows are:

  • 1. elementary data storage,
  • 2. the data return,
  • 3. the relevant data selection (KPI),
  • 4. the decision model design,
  • 5. the decision evaluation, and
  • 6. the selection and choice of a solution.

  • [1] Software as a service is a software licensing and delivery model in which software islicensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted (Dan Ma, 2007).
  • [2] Workflow: An automation of a business process, in whole or part, during whichdocuments, information or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action,according to a set of procedural rules (see, WFMC).
  • [3] Key Performance Indicator: A type of performance measurement. It enables the evaluation of an organization or an activity.
 
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