MES for Automotive Suppliers - Success is a two way street

Automotive suppliers need their MES applications to allow exchange of information not only within the organization, but also across the supply chain
Carmaking (PresseBox) (Porto, ) Manufacturing as a phenomenon is rapidly changing and transforming into a practice which is highly demanding for both the OEMs and their suppliers. Being able to provide high quality goods consistently have changed from factors which created consumer delight to mere qualifiers.

Demand for more value adding data, faster and need based quantum deliveries, quick rollout of new products, transparency in costing and cost effectiveness are some of the most sought after deliverables for suppliers and OEMs alike.

So for an automotive supplier, say an airbag manufacturer or a brake manufacturer, the challenges are aplenty. Today we will find out how an MES application might help automotive suppliers meet the expectations of their OEMs and at the same time improve their operations to continually attain higher synergies and better profit margins.

When we look at both the driving forces for an automobile supplier – external demand and internal operational goals - it becomes evident that there is a need for end-to-end connectivity in both directions of their value chain. While it is imperative to be connected to the customer, in order to support their demand for a lean and JIT based operation, it is also critical to be connected to suppliers to ensure their goals are aligned with the rest of the value chain. MES can be the application which provides such unparalleled connectivity while encompassing all the external and internal deliverables of process improvement

The MES has been a tool to affect process improvement, but it has also been an application which provides integration across other lower and higher level applications to bridge the gap between the shop-floor and the top-floor. As the MES application collects demand data from the OEM’s along with quality and product related feedback, it allows the supplier’s management to assess the demand and plan production cost effectively, while initiating new product design based on feedback gained on currently supplied products or based on the specs of a new vehicle design that the OEM is working on.

Another advantage which the supplier gets almost automatically when the MES is connected to the OEM’s process, is the fact that the time to design and roll-out any new product reduces drastically. This is because of the fact that information travel in real-time through the MES and allows the R&D team and management to act of unforeseen issues based on their analysis of data obtained from the OEM.

OEMs might impose various stringent quality and compliance related parameters, which might mean an extremely high cost if the desired standards are not met. The MES application would allow for process personnel to execute their operations while being fully acquainted with the specifications, any OOS incident may be immediately detected and automatically trigger a CAPA in place. When each and every important piece of information is collected from the shop-floor, it allows the supplier to meet the transparency/quality requirements placed by the OEM, in the sense that engineering data is now available through the MESto provide the OEM an insight into how the desired specs are being maintained.

The WIP management feature of the MES allows supply to be in sync with the demand and it becomes possible to orchestrate the operation to meet the demand just-in-time, with the required quality parameters met and validated. Better management of WIP also allows production costs to be minimized allowing smooth production and reducing excess production and process waste.

Connectivity with OEM and suppliers would automatically allow for the entire value chain to become leaner, which in previous times was a major challenge. Besides making operations lean, transparent, quality oriented, compliant and cost-effective, the MES allows better and faster R&D, which helps new products to be designed, tested, produced and delivered within a fraction of time it would have taken say 10 years back.

MES applications need to be flexible enough to evolve with the requirements and meet both short term goals and long term objectives. MES selection is key to being able to meet external and internal requirements, so while choosing an application special attention needs to be given in addressing the current pain points and future plans. A good read on the topic can be found on our website.


Critical Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH
Maria-Reiche-Str. 1
D-01109 Dresden
Tom Bednarz
Managing Director / Geschäftsführer
Anna Zieba
Media Contact


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