Published on November 9, 2023, 6:43 am

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), first coined in 1992, play a crucial role in monitoring and tracking the manufacturing process on the factory floor. The primary objective of an MES is to ensure that operations are effectively executed, leading to improved production output.

In today’s era of industry 4.0, MES software has become a significant product for manufacturers looking to modernize their factories. Research conducted by ABI Research predicts that investment in MES software will reach a staggering US$5.4 billion by 2031 as manufacturers embrace innovative productivity-enhancing solutions.

The study also highlighted the growing trend towards cloud-based MES software adoption, accompanied by the integration and automation of production data using modern architecture and best practices. While some manufacturers may have reservations about cloud-based systems due to security concerns, James Prestwood, an industrial and manufacturing analyst at ABI Research, believes that factors like ease of deployment and maintenance, cost-effectiveness, and transparency will encourage more manufacturers to adopt this new approach.

It’s important to clarify that MES works alongside Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. While ERP focuses on answering why decisions need to be made, MES is centered around how those decisions should be implemented. As such, MES remains an essential component on the shop floor of a typical manufacturing plant, providing automation and control to ensure smooth operations.

The market for MES has witnessed an influx of new entrants in recent years. Younger companies like Apprentice.io and Tulip are introducing innovative functionalities such as cloud-native designs and tools for citizen developer communities. These developments not only cater to enterprise-level manufacturers but also enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from advanced MES solutions.

Established enterprise software firms like Oracle and SAP have also ventured into the realm of MES products. This expansion into MES offerings further intensifies competition within the market segment dominated by established players like Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, and Rockwell Automation.

What used to be a large and expensive investment, MES software has now become more accessible thanks to cloud delivery and the availability of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options. This accessibility extends its benefits to a broader base of manufacturers, including those with lower CAPEX budgets.

In conclusion, MES is on a collision course with Industry 4.0 and next-generation industrial automation. The adoption of cloud-based MES solutions, along with the entry of new players and established software firms into the market, is reshaping the landscape of manufacturing technology. As manufacturers recognize the potential for increased productivity and efficiency through MES implementation, the future looks promising for this critical component in modern manufacturing processes.

Read More: MES on a collision course with Industry 4.0 and NextGen industrial automation

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