MES Building Blocks

June 1, 2003
MES building blocks are keys to success

Three keys to success in building a manufacturing execution system (MES) are developing common processes, a common data structure and common requirements to serve as a foundation, says Jeff Schaaf, senior director, MES and validation business, for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

With this layer in place, the next step should be a data historian that can interface with shop floor automation, he recommends, before an electronic batch record system is developed. “If you do it the other way around and put the batch record in first and then automate the historian, you’ll most likely have to re-engineer the batch records to some extent,” Schaaf says.

Schaaf notes too that doing a data historian first can be a good credibility builder for a MES project. “Historians are pretty standard roll-outs. So they really are a good tool to show multiple sites from a project perspective that you know what you’re doing, and there’s a chance this is going to work,” he advises.

Integration with other enterprise systems and a data analysis tool top off the effort.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: MES without the mess

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