Date of Award

6-2013

Degree Name

MS in Industrial Engineering

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Advisor

Reza Pouraghabagher, Ph.D.

Abstract

The priorities of executing the manufacturing orders generated by an MRP system are often in operational conflicts with the dynamics of the manufacturing floor. It is not uncommon for a given manufacturing order to reach the shop floor several weeks or longer after being "opened" by an MRP system where it may face a chaotic case of large queues, machine down-time, parts shortage, scrap problems and other resource management constraints. Many companies have resorted to the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software solution to resolve these problems. This method first gained popularity in mid-90’s within the semiconductor industry. An MES approach is an on-line, real-time data gathering, analysis and storage to assist in short-interval scheduling (shift or day) manufacturing operations with an emphasis on revising scheduling priorities. It is essentially an information system tool for the shop floor and if designed properly, it may be used as an advisory system for effective decision-making. However, in implementation MES faces several challenges including the proper software platform/architecture, integration within ERP or a stand-alone best-of-breed, amount and type of data/information to be exchanged with the MRP engine, and a user-centered interface for various layers of decision making. This paper will provide a detailed background on various technical, software, and organizational factors that the use of an MES implementation may impose upon the practitioner. Furthermore, and as a case study, it will discuss a systematic implementation strategy for MES at a high-tech company in California. The discussion of the critical success factors in implementation planning will hopefully be of value to both practitioners and researchers in similar projects.