GE Digital: The benefits of MES solutions in manufacturing
What is MES?
A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is an information system used in manufacturing to track, control and monitor the transformation of raw materials to finished goods.
Proper implementation of a MES system increases the team’s efficiency by offering the right information at the right time to the right people on how to optimise current conditions to improve production output.
In July’s Manufacturing Global magazine , we take a look at some of the benefits, according to .
- Reduce costs
By aligning resources, energy, and efficiency management via an MES solution manufacturing operations can reduce inventory, identify costly production gaps, lower energy and utility waste, and gain insight into throughput and critical processes.
- Improve quality
MES solutions capture robust quality data and related traceability information, while performing analysis on process-oriented data and product-oriented data, and classifying materials.
- Speed production
By harnessing MES solutions manufacturers can improve on-time delivery performances and respond optimally and with agility to late stage changes, gain up-to-date visibility of all work-in-progress orders, get more successful new product introductions (NPIs), and shorten design-to-delivery cycles.
In of Manufacturing Global, Joe Gerstl, Director of Digital Product Management at GE Digital, explained that maximising overall equipment effectiveness, scaling production scheduling and ensuring product quality by leveraging real-time production data are some of the key benefits of lean manufacturing. “While not new, lean manufacturing is a goal for many manufacturers in today’s economic climate,” commented Gerstl. “Modern lean programs utilise digital technologies to close the loop on continuous improvement and maintain changes through digitised standard work or SOPs. Lean programs of the past would see significant gains, but then the gains would slowly erode. Smart MES helps manufacturers maintain the momentum and drive consistency.”
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.