Division and integration of MES and ERP in the hot

2022-08-16
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Division and integration of MES and ERP in iron and steel industry

in recent years, the information construction of China's iron and steel industry has entered a period of vigorous development. All iron and steel enterprises have invested a lot of money to implement ERP and other information systems. MES has gradually entered people's vision, and some large enterprises have been or are preparing to implement MES systems. Starting from the analysis of IT application in steel industry, this paper makes some brief discussion on the division and integration of MES and ERP

IT application characteristics of the iron and steel industry

iron and steel enterprises are continuous process enterprises. The production of iron and steel is a process of continuous (before iron) and discrete (after steel) mixing, physical change and chemical change mixing. The process is complex, the production conditions are strict, and it is multi factory joint production. There are many production equipment, and the degree of automation is relatively high. There are a large number of automation equipment, data acquisition system and inspection and testing system. These industrial characteristics of the iron and steel industry determine that the informatization of iron and steel enterprises has its own characteristics, that is, not only the system construction of the business level, but also the control and production management system related to the equipment at the bottom. In general, it can be explained by a five-level model:

L1 and L2 at the bottom are closely combined with the production equipment, and pay attention to the automatic control and optimization related to the equipment, It includes the process control of the whole production line and the basic automation of single equipment, which is the basis of the informatization of the whole iron and steel enterprise. L3 is a manufacturing execution system (MES), which plans, executes and monitors production operations, and collects and manages real-time production data. L1 ~ L3 are oriented to production process control and emphasize the timeliness and accuracy of information

l4 for the business level management of iron and steel enterprises, ERP is the core application, and also includes CRM, SCM, e-commerce and other business operation management systems. Under the guidance of modern enterprise management theory, advanced management concepts and methods are solidified through information systems to systematically and efficiently integrate and manage the internal and external supply chains of enterprises

l5 at the top level of the IT hierarchy model of the whole iron and steel enterprise, a large number of business data provided by L4 application systems such as ERP are mined and analyzed, and the analysis suggestions of various dimensions are obtained, which provides a solid foundation for the scientific decision-making of the enterprise management

in the above five layer model, there are interdependencies and data transmission relationships between layers. There are strict dependencies between L1 ~ L3 levels. The upper layer controls the lower layer, and the lower layer feeds back the operation information to the upper layer, forming a closed-loop control mechanism. L3 pays attention to the relevance and manageability of information in order to improve the accuracy of experimental results. The dependency between layers is not as strict as L1 ~ L3, but it also needs to transfer data between adjacent layers and emphasize the effective integration between layers

at present, China's iron and steel enterprises have accumulated in L1 and L2, and some have reached a relatively high level. Although the specific degree of automation of different iron and steel enterprises is different, from the perspective of the whole industry, basic automation and process automation have been widely used in iron and steel enterprises, and gradually deepened with the development of automation technology. L4's ERP is the focus of enterprise information construction. At the same time, many enterprises began to pay attention to L3's MES. In fact, the effective integration of ERP and MES is a key factor for iron and steel enterprises to achieve the goals of "production and marketing integration" and "management and control integration"

the division of labor between MES and ERP

people are very familiar with ERP, and the rise of MES is nearly a decade. The history of introducing MES in China is shorter. For many people, MES is still a relatively new concept

mes was first proposed by the American management community in the 1990s. The Trade Federation mesa International (MES International Federation), which aims to publicize MES ideas and products, defines MES as follows: MES can optimize the management of the whole production process from order placement to product completion through information transmission. When real-time events occur in the factory, MES can respond and report in time, and guide and deal with them with current accurate data. This rapid response to state changes enables MES to reduce activities without added value within the enterprise, effectively guide the production and operation process of the factory, so that it can not only improve the timely delivery capacity of the factory, improve the circulation performance of materials, but also improve the production return rate. MES also provides mission critical information about product behavior within the enterprise and throughout the product supply chain through two-way direct communication

mesa summarizes eleven main MES function modules through the practice of its members, including: detailed process scheduling, resource allocation and status management, production unit allocation, process management, human resource management, maintenance management, quality management, document control, product tracking and product list management, performance analysis and data collection. The actual MES product may contain one or several functional modules. The functions of each module are briefly introduced as follows:

(1) detailed process scheduling: optimize workshop performance through job sequencing and scheduling based on limited resource capacity

(2) resource allocation and status management: guide workers, machines, tools and materials to coordinate production, and track their current working status and just completed situation

(3) production unit allocation: the operation of sending materials or processing orders to a processing unit through production instructions to start a process or step

(4) document control: manage and distribute information related to products, process procedures, designs or work orders, and also collect standard information related to work and environment

(5) product tracking and product list management: obtain the historical record of each product by monitoring the position and state of the workpiece at any time, which provides the traceability of the product group and the use of each final product to the user

(6) performance analysis: compare the results measured in the actual manufacturing process with the past historical records, the objectives formulated by the enterprise and the requirements of customers, and the output report or display is used to assist in the improvement and improvement of performance

(7) Human Resource Management: provide updated employee status information data (working hours, attendance, etc.) at the minute level, and guide the work of employees based on the changes of personnel qualifications, work mode and business needs. Enterprises generally seek changes in technology sources to guide their work

(8) maintenance management: ensure the normal operation of machines and other assets and equipment through activity monitoring and guidance to achieve the implementation goals of the factory

(9) process management: guide the factory workflow based on planned and actual product manufacturing activities (this function can also be realized by production unit allocation and quality management)

(10) quality management: record, track and analyze the quality of products and processing process in real time according to the project objectives, so as to ensure the quality control of products and determine the problems needing attention in production

(11) data collection: monitor, collect and organize operation data from personnel, machines and bottom control, as well as process and material information, which can be manually entered by the workshop or obtained by various automatic methods

let's compare the division of labor between ERP and MES. We compare it from four aspects: management scope, management object, management content and management timeliness:

(1) management scope: ERP is the management of the whole enterprise or enterprise group business, while MES management is for workshops or production branches. Even the most fully functional MES system only provides a relatively narrow perspective for the whole enterprise, lacking the width and depth of data required by management and decision-making

(2) management object: ERP is the management of the entire operating resources (human, financial, material) of the enterprise, emphasizing the unity of logistics and capital flow, that is, the so-called "business and financial integration"; MES management is more focused on production site resources, namely equipment, processes, materials, etc

(3) management content: ERP manages the internal value chain and supply chain of the whole enterprise, that is, sales, procurement, production, inventory, quality, finance, human resources, etc., emphasizing the integration of all these businesses and the coordination and control of plans (sales plans, production plans, procurement plans, etc.); MES mainly manages the implementation of production, including production quality, production scheduling, production performance feedback, etc

(4) management timeliness: ERP has a wide time range for plan and business management, with the unit of year, quarter, month, ten days or week and day; Due to the need of production site management and control, MES management is more detailed, including day, shift and hour. Under the guidance of the long-term plan generated by the ERP system, MES carries out the planning, scheduling, monitoring, resource allocation and production process optimization of short-term production operations according to the real-time production data collected by the underlying control system. If the real-time time factor of l1/l2 is 1, the time factor of MES is 10 and the time factor of ERP is 100

planning is a very important function and content in ERP and MES. Let's take a look at the difference between ERP production planning and MES production planning:

ERP production planning is a front and back arrangement with production orders as the object; Considering the time factor, take the day (above) as the arrangement unit, and the sequence date is calculated by MRP logic according to the time of sales order and sales forecast, manufacturing lead time, raw material purchase lead time, inventory and other factors; It is an unlimited capacity plan based on orders

mes production plan takes production materials and production equipment as objects, and schedules according to production units; Take execution as the guide, consider the constraints, break up the production orders of ERP and reschedule the production schedule; It is a limited capacity plan based on time

integration of MES and ERP

the information construction of the steel industry objectively requires the effective integration of MES and ERP. The integration method is to streamline and optimize the business processes related to production, integrate MES and ERP through processes, and design the interface between the two systems based on the "in" and "out" of processes between MES and ERP. ERP and MES together constitute a complete closed-loop system of planning, control, feedback and adjustment. Through the interface, the transmission of plans and orders and the reception of actual performance are carried out, so that the production plan, control instructions and actual performance information can be transmitted transparently, timely and smoothly in the whole ERP, MES, process control system/basic automation system. MES is between ERP and the underlying control and automation system, and plays a connecting role. It is the basis and guarantee for the implementation of ERP system data

MES in steel industry usually includes the following function blocks: production order and process plan (operation plan), quality control, measurement management, inspection and testing management, process management, production control and operation management (production execution), warehouse management, roll management, production statistics, etc. The following takes a typical mes/erp integration process as an example to illustrate the integration design between MES and ERP:

steel enterprises in the ERP system arrange production plans according to sales orders and sales forecasts, and carry out quality design according to quality standards. The production plans and quality design results are imported into MES by ERP, and the MES system arranges more detailed production operation plans according to these information. Here, the specific data of the production plan transferred from ERP to MES include: production work order number, product code, steel type and specification, specific quantity, production unit, corresponding sales order, estimated start time of production, estimated completion time of production, etc; The specific data of quality design transferred from ERP to MES include: sales order, material code, steel type and specification, mechanical property requirements, and standardization

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