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What trends are currently shaping the MES world?

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Bernhard Falkner, Chief Technology Officer at Industrie Informatik GmbH, explains what topics will accompany us through the next year in the fields of MES and Manufacturing Execution Platforms.

Mr. Falkner, what trends are currently shaping the development of MES solutions?

New platform technologies, artificial intelligence and customization are leading the trends in shopfloor IT and in the MES field.
Individualization is required at various levels of complexity: from customizing to engineering to development. In engineering, our portal technology enables the flexible design of UIs. We see great potential for individualization in low-code development without time-consuming programming, in order to accommodate future requirements that transcend standard processes even more quickly and agilely within the software standard.

What is winning the race? The novel Manufacturing Execution Platform or the proven Manufacturing Execution System (MES)? Does this competition exist at all?

They are complementary. MES core functionalities represent the essential basis for handling digital manufacturing processes and thus also for establishing the new Manufacturing Execution Platform. These core functionalities need not be reinvented in the context of an MES, but are available as a service, as in our solution.
Not every company can and will be able to exploit the full performance spectrum of digital manufacturing optimization right from the start.

What role does artificial intelligence (AI) play in current and future MES applications?

The early identification of optimization potential or potential faults thanks to ‘predictive analytics‘, i.e., forward-looking analyses based on artificial intelligence, will create even more opportunities in future production to generate knowledge from the enormous volumes of data in modern production systems.
However, AI and predictive analytics are not miracle cures. They are neither better nor smarter at their tasks than a human would be. Their advantage lies in replicating human know-how – at high speed, with big data, and around the clock. The key to success is the adaptation of AI and machine learning to the respective data situation and customer expectations.

Bernhard Falkner has been concentrating on product management and development as CTO since 2017.