Cloud-Based MES Puts EV Suppliers in Fast Lane

The release date: 2018-04-12
Read the number: 405

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is in full swing. Automotive manufacturers are rapidly expanding their EV portfolios — and pledging to end the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) offerings in line with government mandates taking effect in the 2030s.

If you’re an automotive Tier supplier, the ripple effect of this manufacturing revolution is likely challenging the limits of your production capabilities. As the industry transitions to a new paradigm, you must continue to support both existing ICE platforms — and emerging EV offerings.

Flexible manufacturing has never been more important. But like many Tier suppliers, you may lack the production management tools you need to respond to an increasingly complex and competitive supply chain. 

How MES Can Change the Equation

Carmakers have long used manufacturing execution systems (MES) to improve agility and optimize throughput. MES solutions enforce specified production processes and standards — and coordinate activities throughout a plant to keep orders on track and assets performing optimally.

Traditional MES solutions, deployed on premise, integrate with other manufacturing, business and supply chain systems — and can be customized to address specific production requirements in a plant.

Without question, MES platforms deliver extraordinary visibility and control across the enterprise and are foundational to digital transformation and smart operations.

But the same characteristics that make traditional MES attractive to many complex automotive manufacturers — on-premise implementation and customized design — can be a big hurdle for Tier suppliers.

Filling the Gap with Homegrown Solutions

Typical Tier suppliers do not have the extensive IT and engineering resources required to support on-premise MES solutions. Instead, many rely on a patchwork of homegrown solutions, each focused on one aspect of production management.   

Does this scenario sound familiar? Inventory is handled manually, an Excel spreadsheet tracks orders and quality information, and a white board is updated with production counts each shift. Each department manages their data collection, making it extremely difficult and time consuming to normalize and aggregate data for timely decision-making across the plant, let alone the enterprise.   

Since in-house tools tend to proliferate behind the scenes, duplicate systems and data are common. In addition, these outdated tools are exceedingly difficult to maintain and can strain IT infrastructure. In fact, you might not know how many systems exist — or the potential cybersecurity risk they introduce.  

The bottom line? With only disparate solutions at your disposal, you cannot access the contextualized data you require to build a more efficient and responsive operation or apply a consistent approach to production management uniformly across a plant or enterprise.

A Better Way: Cloud-Based MES

Now there’s a better way. This multi-tenant, software as a service (SaaS) platform, delivers the MES capabilities you need to stay on top of your day-to-day production, meet quality standards, speed time-to-market — and better contain costs.

And because the solution is cloud-hosted, you can realize the advantages of an MES quickly — without additional IT or engineering resources.

One Tier supplier increased on-time delivery from mid-80% to 98%. Another exceeded efficiency goals with better visibility to real-time OEE — leading to $9 million in annual savings.

What else can you expect from the flexible, SaaS platform?

Fast implementation, thanks to pre-validated, automotive-specific templates based on best practices and backed by deep domain expertise.

Automatic software updates that keep you current with the latest technology and innovation, sourced from the real-life experience of a community of users.

Consistent support and IT management from industry experts focused on helping you maintain unparalleled uptime and best-in-class security.

No upfront capital costs — and predictable SaaS expenses charged to your operating budget.

And with the cloud-based solution, you can quickly scale the platform across one plant— or multiple sites to drive global consistency across your enterprise operations. 

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