Data collection and acquisition

19 Aug 2022

We continue the series of materials dedicated to approaches to interpreting MES and its functions.  The beginning you can find by the link. And now we are going on to discuss function of data collection and acquisition.

From a general point of view, the data acquisition functionality of the MES is an interface that has been shifted into the production environment. Often the importance of this interface is not given much attention. The great variety of data entry objects and their automated identification, the ergonomics of a dialog control, plausibility check of acquired data, data acquisition techniques are only some of a wide range of aspects, that have to be considered when planning, designing and implementing an MES. Although, practically one requirement, that every company has for data acquisition, is that the data should be acquired during the production process without basically any additional effort from the worker generally.

Effectiveness, transparency and optimal use of resources are the key success factors for production businesses nowadays. The long-term competitiveness of a company depends directly on them. Therefore, transparent operational data management forms the basis for effective manufacturing and process analysis. Batch and quality data, quantities and runtimes, downtimes, shutdowns and disruptions are systematically recorded and visualized with production data acquisition software. Online access enables real-time analysis directly at the terminal, at the control center and via the web application. Moreover, the offline capability ensures consistent and effective data acquisition as well. As a result, when we are considering the corresponding “Data Acquisition” functional module of a specific MES, we are, first and foremost, focusing on the following options:

  • Creating transparency and flexibility in production and operating processes
  • Collecting qualitative and quantitative data on quantities, runtimes, downtimes, reasons for failure, disruptions, batches and quality
  • Online- and offline capability forValues of MES data collection
  • Adjustable and flexible software solution for a detailed visualization and analysis
  • Order- and message systems for single detectors, multi-machine operators and group workplaces
  • Data protection compliant collection and -management of personal and production data
  • Digital fault collection card for documentation and analysis of incidents

On the other hand, lots of engineers all around the globe still do not completely understand, why, actually, there is a demand for some kind of specific software, particularly, for the “Data Acquisition” function, if we already have a SCADA system for quite an extending period of time. In fact MES system possesses much wider scope of functions.  MES system secures the availability of the information subsystem for the production, offers an additional possibility of securing against failure of the ERP system. Practical experience has shown, that during several hours of failures at the ERP level, the store of orders held in the MES enabled production to keep going, which means that avoid major economic losses could be avoided.

In summary, MES is a powerful production management tool supporting production optimization, starting from the process initiation to the final shipment. It not only transmits production information to production planning systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and SCM (Supply Chain Management) in real-time, but also orders the planned production data to the production site. Consequently, such a functional module plays a crucial role, regarding the necessity to cope with all of the significant production and business needs.