Industrie 4.0: MES - Prerequisite for Digital Operation and Production Management
Tasks and Future Requirements
Everybody is talking about Industrie 4.0, and yet,
at the start of this position paper, it appears necessary to lay out the
key aspects regarding the position and role of Manufacturing Execution
Systems (MES) in an Industrie 4.0 context. The German standardisation
roadmap for “Indstrie 4.0” describes the underlying goal of Industrie
4.0 as being “to render the advances already made in information and
communication technologies, and those expected in the foreseeable
future, utilizable for production companies”.
From a business
perspective, this is a “new stage in the organization and control of the
entire value stream along the lifecycle of a product”. A technical
requirement for reaching this stage is specified as the “availability of
all relevant information in real-time through the networking of all
instances involved in value creation” as well as the “ability to derive
the best possible value stream from data at all times”. A key factor
here is the “connection of people, objects and systems” to form
“cross-organizational value networks”.
Unfortunately, Industrie 4.0
is often reduced to the vividly descriptive example of the “digital
factory”, and the self-organisation of production and communication
between the workpiece and machine are highlighted as the supposed core
of Indutrie 4.0. In this connection, a frequent question is then what
the role of MES is in this oft-cited selforganisation.
Does this make MES superfluous? Or is MES in fact a
key element for attaining this new stage in the organization and control
of the value stream? And, if so, how does MES need to change in order
to fulfil this role? The ZVEI MES working group has addressed these
questions and will now present in this paper the positions established
as well as questions that arose.