There are many software systems to potentially support Configuration Management - in this post we’ll talk about one system that is providing significant value towards support configuration management… MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems).
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) support configuration management (CM) in two primary ways:
- They ensure that products are manufactured in accordance with manufacturing specifications defined in the DMR (e.g., execute the electronic procedures developed by MES).
- They enable automated creation and export of electronic Device History Records (eDHR) in a technology neutral format to support post-manufacturing configuration management requirements.
MES executes production orders per approved device configuration and manufacturing specifications contained in the Device Master Record, performs point-of-use verification of resources, and creates eDHR that record the as-built configuration and complete genealogy.
MES supports design transfer and manufacturing procedure definition in several specific ways:
- MES transforms manufacturing and test procedure documents into Electronic Procedures that specify processing steps, materials, equipment, and training certifications for each operation or workstation.
- MES transfers developed procedures and workflows to the DMR within PLM where they can be reviewed, released for use, and transferred to production facilities. MES will collaborate with the Engineering Change Control Process managed by PLM to create/revise DMR components that guide manufacturing. MES receives the Engineering BOM from PLM, and for each level in the BOM will obtain the DMR index, DMR components, and their associated artifacts.
- MES transforms routing diagrams to electronic workflows that can be used to manage the flow of production orders through the operations.
Further, MES supports CM in service depot operations by:
- Transforming service procedures into Electronic Procedures, including the disassembly process, materials to be removed, and re-assembly procedure
- Employing the Test Procedures developed for manufacturing to test repaired/refurbished products
- Initially developing the service procedures to support networks in the manufacturing plants
In developing a DMR, the manufacturer ends up with a leveled DMR where there is an index associated with each level in the bill. The index points to a version-specific component that defines either a manufacturing, packaging or test procedure: a manufacturing BOM.
“For facilitating this process, the best way is to have the execution system author or source these,” says Michael Cislo, specialist leader at
Deloitte Consulting. “The development of the DMR is actually a collaboration between PLM and MES, with MES taking the yeoman’s share of work.”
DMR components authored by MES include manufacturing procedure, manufacturing BOM, packaging procedure, test procedures, and
With respect to service, MES is used in device tracking, process flow control, and test data management in repair process flow at the service depot. It is employed to execute the repair/refurbishment procedures at the depot, where service procedures are represented in the system the same way manufacturing procedures are, ensuring that procedures are enforced.inspection procedures. MES integration points that support configuration management include item master, bill of material, manufacturing procedures, DMR (index and data), and DHR.