MES the way forward for manufacturers

Thursday, 20 December, 2007

Increased regulatory pressure is forcing manufacturers to improve production agility, enhance reporting capabilities and reduce overall costs by investing in manufacturing execution systems, according to a market analysis by Datamonitor.

The study, titled Linking plant floor and enterprise systems for greater manufacturing agility, examines the priorities global manufacturers are placing on linking various plant floor and enterprise systems.

Of the 150 companies surveyed in North America and Western Europe, 61% are either currently planning or actively investing in linking the two environments.

"The disconnect between plant floor and enterprise systems is something that's developed over the last 30 years; however, there's now a renewed push to close the gap," said Adam Jura, manufacturing technology analyst and author of the study.

"We're seeing significant expenditure on both traditional manufacturing execution systems (MES), as well as newer manufacturing intelligence solutions. In so doing, companies hope to improve their scheduling, supply-chain interactions and performance monitoring capabilities." Manufacturers worldwide will spend $2.5 billion on traditional MES software and services by 2012 (excluding newer intelligence solutions that focus on solely pulling data up from the plant floor), up from $950 million in 2006. "The traditional MES market is one of the more interesting markets to look at in terms of how it is unfolding," said Jura.

"On one hand, there are a large number of smaller vendors still active in this space; while on the other hand, the emerging threat of manufacturing intelligence-only solutions is forcing vendors to develop additional functionality.

"As such, the winners in this market over the next few years will be heavily influenced by acquisition strategy, functionality development and services capabilities."

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