The best manufacturing technologies have characteristics that allow them to stand out amidst a swampy sea of underperforming, overpriced solutions. These solutions are designed to monitor manufacturing processes and track materials, costs, waste, machinery, and many other aspects of production.

With so many assembly phases and divisions, it’s often difficult to determine which MOM/MES technology will best fit a company’s needs. Aberdeen’s intent data provides visibility into which businesses are in-market to purchase manufacturing technology, as well as the capabilities organizations are seeking for their own needs.

From a survey focused on MOM/MES technologies, Aberdeen identified what manufacturers consider to be valuable characteristics of this technology (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Aspects of MOM/MES Solutions that Hook Businesses

#1. Ability to Migrate to Cloud

Cloud capabilities are desirable for many reasons — mainly that storing data in the Cloud provides round-the-clock access to data. Specifically for manufacturing, cloud storage can be useful for fast data access on large plant floors, inventory warehouses, and shipping depots. A cloud-based format often facilitates more effective sharing and updating of data; improving collaboration amongst operations and maintenance teams. Additionally, storing data with cloud technologies reduces IT costs by minimizing the number of physical devices required to handle the data.

#2. Quality and Production Flow Management Capability

Many MOM/MES solutions are effective if they increase manufacturing flexibility, which allows companies to readily adapt to product or process alterations. For this reason, most businesses look for solutions that will evaluate their quality and production flow to optimize processes. Tracking quality and production flow creates visibility into these processes and smoother transitions between changes in flow structure.

#3. Real-time Production Analytics

Observing the impact of various decisions in real-time is extremely beneficial for manufacturers. Real-time data allows manufacturers to view and monitor a wide range of processes, giving them the ability to prevent and promptly handle errors. Real-time data can also optimize machine usage and effectiveness by increasing the visibility of manufacturing processes. Warehouse management can also profit from the organized, up-to-the-minute nature of real-time production analytics.

#4. Ability to Visualize Data on Mobile Devices

Akin to the major impacts of cloud capabilities, visualizing data on mobile devices provides employees with the ability to access data at their convenience. But, mobile data’s impact is mainly centered around connecting people and machines; machines can contact employees to initiate the next steps in production flow and notify them whenever a problem arises. Machines remain reliant on people, and accessing data on mobile devices only enhances this dependency. Visualizing data on mobile devices also improves worker safety and increases employee availability by expanding communications.

#5 & #6. ISA-95 and ISA-88 Support

ISA support within manufacturing technology gives businesses a method for following standard procedures that require minimal effort for employees. The technology takes care of building processes that already adhere to guidelines. Manufacturers can also rely on built-in ISA support to keep up with best practices.

The Best-in-Class are Already Implementing MOM/MES

These six enticing aspects of MOM/MES technology are sought by businesses today, as they drive success in a wide variety of areas. Best-in-Class companies have already started to implement these technologies to satisfy their needs (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Best-in-Class Have Capabilities to Target Key Areas

According to Aberdeen’s latest research, the Best-in-Class are more likely than other organizations to have cloud capabilities, real-time visibility into manufacturing processes, and the ability to access manufacturing data from mobile devices. These companies are rising in status and profitability while fulfilling the requirements of key target areas for manufacturing solutions. This points to a correlation between these six features and overall success.

When searching for a 5-star MOM/MES solution, we recommend companies seek out these six qualities first. Our research demonstrates the significance of these capabilities and, more importantly, the rewarding impact they have with Best-in-Class companies.