A proper manufacturing execution system will keep your bakery running efficiently.

Manufacturing Execution Systems for Millers and Bakers

What are Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) in bakeries?

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are software systems that enable flour mills and bakeries to manage all aspects of their production processes from order launch to finished goods. The various MES software applications guide, initiate, respond to and report on plant activities on a real-time basis. This allows millers and bakers to rapidly respond to changing conditions, coupled with a focus on reducing non-value-added activities, drives effective plant operations and processes. MES improves the return on operational assets as well as on-time delivery, inventory turns, gross margin, and cash flow performance. MES provides mission-critical information about production activities across the enterprise and supply chain via bi-directional communications.

The concept of MES is widely recognized and used in non-food manufacturing sectors such as automotive, electronics, and textiles – but less so in food processing. Plant business functions such as scheduling, maintenance management, quality, and time and attendance fall within the MES scope. MES is of particular value to operational management because it enables a plant manager to monitor such things as resource allocation and status, dispatching production units, data collection/acquisition, and quality management.

More about Specific MES Functions 

  • Resource Allocation and Status: 

This functionality monitors the availability of machines, tools, labor skills, materials, and documents that must be available in order for work to start on the production line. It ensures that equipment is properly set up for manufacturing while providing real time operations performance monitoring.

  • Operations/Detail Scheduling: 

Provides production sequencing based on priorities, attributes, and/or recipes associated with specific production units at an operation. It is finite and recognizes alternative and overlapping/parallel operations in order to calculate, in detail, exact time of equipment loading adjusted to shift patterns.

  • Dispatching Production Units: 

Manages flow of production units in the form of jobs, orders, batches, lots and work orders. Dispatch information is presented in the sequence in which the work needs to be done and changes in real time as events occur on the factory floor. It has the ability to alter the prescribed schedule on the factory floor.

  • Document Control: 

Controls records/forms that must be maintained with the production unit, including work instructions, recipes, drawings, standard operation procedures, part programs, batch records, engineering change notices, shift-to-shift communication, as well as the ability to edit “as planned” and “as built” information. It sends instructions down to the operations, including providing data to operators or recipes to device controls.

  • Data Collection/Acquisition: 

This function provides operational production data that populates forms and records that are attached to the production unit. The data may be collected from the production floor either manually or automatically from equipment on a real-time basis.

  • Labor Management: 

Provides labor resource status an up-to-the-minute time frame. It includes time and attendance reporting, certification tracking, as well as the ability to track indirect activities such as material preparation or ingredient mixing room work as a basis for activity based costing.

  • Quality Management: 

Provides real time analysis of measurements collected from manufacturing to assure proper product quality control and to identify problems requiring attention. It may include SPC/SQC tracking and management of off-line inspection operations, and analysis from a laboratory information management system (LIMS) could also be included.

  • Process Management: 

Monitors production and either automatically corrects or provides decision support to operators for correcting and improving in-process activities.

  • Maintenance Management: 

Tracks and directs the activities to maintain the equipment and tools to insure their availability for manufacturing and insure scheduling for periodic or preventive maintenance.

  • Product Tracking and Genealogy: 

Provides real-time production visibility where work is at all times and its disposition. Status information may include who is working on it, components, materials by supplier, lot, serial number, current production conditions, and any alarms, rework, or other exceptions related to the product. The on-line tracking function creates a historical record as well. This record allows traceability of components and usage of each end product.

  • Performance Analysis: 

Provides real-time reporting of actual manufacturing operations results along with the comparison to past history and expected business results. Performance results include such measurements as resource utilization, resource availability, product unit cycle time, conformance to schedule and performance standards.

For more information on milling and baking manufacturing execution software systems for both large and small bakeries, contact Dr. Darrel Suderman for a consultation.