MES in SAP

MES in SAP ERP means no middleware and no interfaces with maximum data transparency

X-NetMES is an MES system with a modular structure that utilizes the existing SAP ERP or S/4HANA data structure and enhances it with the requirements of an MES solution.

The X-NetMES portfolio covers all areas of a classic MES application:

  • Order data collection such as labour time, machine time or number of units in relation to the SAP order and work centre.

  • Labour time tracking for the registration of non-productive time to the collection of at work time (clock-in – clock-out).

  • Machine data logging with direct communication with the machine and process equipment.

  • Quality data collection in production for operator self-inspections or inspections during goods receipts.

  • Material data collection including registration of materials and quantities for consumption with batch or serial number (traceability).

  • Maintenance data collection to increase the availability of technical equipment and precise performance settlement.

  • Detailed planning for the precise management of the production flow and resources.

  • Cockpit for the current overview, evaluation of the past and as a measuring tool for the KVP.

X-NetMES also means: Standard software that is customized to meet the requirements of the respective production or assembly process through parametrization.

“Standard software is simply standard software with update capability!”

X-NetMES has a modular structure and a specific workflow is mapped depending on the application. The processes are set up with a comprehensive customizing function.

The user interface is dynamically designed and can be adjusted for the specified workflow. Options for the classic interface based on BSP or a current S/4HANA Fiori variant are provided. All dialogues are displayed with a web browser. Accordingly, there are no restrictions with regard to the hardware. Of course, the dialogues can also be used on tablets or smartphones.

The X-NetMES Standard Suite requires few consulting and programming services

The result is a quick implementation that is gentle on resources.

X-NetMES is completely integrated in SAP ERP or S/4HANA. There is no use of middleware. We don’t use additional sub-components, such as SAP MII or SAP PCo.

The classic MES includes the registration of actual data for the order / operation. A dialogue for easy input accompanies the operator while working.

All common types of orders and activities are supported:

Production orders (PP)
Process orders (PP-PI)
Project orders (PS)
Maintenance orders (PM)
Cost centres / internal orders (CO)
Data is automatically collected by starting or stopping the activity type. Input for good / scrap quantities is verified.

An option to select a paperless or document-supported workflow is provided. In addition, operator management based on stored documentation is available.

A high degree of automation for input is possible in combination with other functions.

Labour time recording is structured in the following modules:

Labour time work centre
In contrast to the classic BDE with the registration of the account allocation of the operator time to the order and work centre, there is a qualified collection of activities (non-productive times) that cannot be allocated directly to an account.

Labour time at work
All times for the operator within his working time are collected with qualification. X-NetMES registers each “time slice” for the operator and distinguishes between time that can be allocated to an account and time that cannot be allocated to an account.

At work time terminal
The at work time is collected and posted in correlation with the SAP HR module (Human Resources). The operator can input his attendance and absence status on a separate at work time terminal.

This X-NetMES module replaces the middleware for at work time collection (clock-in / clock-out time). All common identification systems are supported (Legic, Mifare, etc.)

The structure of the machine time is roughly divided into processing, set-up / cleaning, downtime planned and downtime not planned.

X-NetMES collects these status values and posts the corresponding times to the SAP activity types. The qualification of breakdown data is a major component of the function.

Production quantities and related process parameters are also collected and posted.

The status and quantities can either be collected manually by the operator or automatically directly by the machine.

The machine is connected quite easily via:

A signal converter that collects the machine signals directly
An OPC connection that communicates with the machine control unit
An HTTP connection that is used to establish an individual communication path.
X-NetMES has standardized processes for each connection type. Approximately 5,000 machines have already been connected to SAP via X-NetMES worldwide. Whether it is Simatic, Sinumeric, Heidenhain, Allen Bradley, GE-Fanuc, etc. – our team has a solution.

With regard to traceability, it is important to know which inbound material was used in which outbound material. The inbound lot is a component of the outbound lot.

Backflush postings are prone to errors and a lot specification can slow the material flow.

X-NetMES provides a workflow for the proper consumption posting of the material that is used. The operator simply registers the applied batch (component) and its quantity. The data is posted directly with reference to the order or operation.

Another function is the collection of serial numbers for the order (production equipment) or for assembly. The operator uses a simple workflow to collect the individual parts and assigns them to an object.

There are no lengthy and error-prone recordings or retroactive manual transmissions of data to the SAP system.

The collection of maintenance services for the devices and systems represents the primary functional content of the X-NetMES maintenance data collection. The function is based on the SAP PM module (Plant Maintenance).

There is a differentiation between ad hoc maintenance and standard maintenance:

For ad hoc maintenance, the operator or the machine will initiate the maintenance operation (repair). The maintenance operator(s) enter(s) the services and materials directly at the X-NetMES terminal.

For standard maintenance, the maintenance operator is managed on the X-NetMES terminal. The activity and components are entered directly.

The focus of the X-NetMES quality data collection is the inspection during production.

Analogue to the QM inspection lot, the operator enters the quantitative and qualitative inspection characteristics at the X-NetMES terminal. A dynamic workflow that is derived from the SAP inspection plan guarantees an ergonomic operation.

There is an option to connect digital measuring devices. In addition, there are interfaces to complex inspection systems.

X-NetMES Studio is available for evaluation of the MES data. The display includes the current status of the work centre and the parametrizable display of evaluations.

The activity status for personnel and system is displayed colour-coded for each work centre. Information about the assignment and machine activity can be viewed at a glance.

Detailed evaluations are available on several levels. In the default setting, the levels are divided into area, cost centre, work centre and capacity.

Preset evaluations for the continuous improvement process, such as:

Process of the status on the level (cost centre / work centre), OEE, NEE, MTBF, failure data analyses, output in relation to various objects, shift reports, attendance statistics, etc. are available. The preset evaluations can be adjusted to suit individual needs. The trained administrator can store his own evaluations.

An SAP BI or SAP BW interface exists.

What is an MES?

Within the system hierarchy, the classic MES (Manufacturing Execution System) maps the information and control level between the shop floor and the ERP. In this sandwich position, the MES supplies the production level with an ordered worklist, records data and passes these data on to the ERP.

Specific functions, for example the selection of operations, the recording of non-productive times, direct communication with machines or the production-specific evaluation of data are often only implemented in the ERP in very rudimentary form. The MES closes these gaps. Moreover, the “usability” of an ERP interface (e.g. SAP-GUI) is not always ideal for the user, either. The workflow should be adapted to the way the operator works and not vice versa. Here, too, an MES offers the necessary support.

Looking at the process from the viewpoint of the ERP, the shop floor seems far away. The barrier between them consists of paper, GUI transactions, non-synchronous feedback or a limited data base for the evaluation of performance.

How is an MES structured?

The ERP system and the shop floor are often brought closer together via the MES. Technologically, data from the ERP are transferred to an underlying MES system, which in turn communicates with “production-related processes”. The production data are also stored and limited as well as transferred non-synchronously via interface to the ERP. The data lie on 2 system levels, which means that there are two “data islands” and thus two “data truths”.

In addition to the active production data, the so-called “master data” must also be maintained in two different systems. If a new work centre is defined, for example, it must be defined in both the ERP system and the MES.

What are the advantages of an MES integrated in SAP?

A system integrated in SAP ERP solves the problem of two “data truths,” as a data pool is accessed without an interface. This strategy is the basis of our MES.

What is X-NetMES – the MES integrated in SAP?

The development of our MES system X-NetMES is based on the premise of using the standard SAP data and functionality and enhancing this standard by adding MES functions. The focus here is on avoiding the use of interfaces and double data maintenance. The result was an SAP add-on (software supplement in SAP ERP or S/4HANA) which is equipped with the following performance features:

  • All functions of a professional MES are integrated in SAP ERP or S/4HANA (machine data collection, personnel data collection, plant data collection, quality data collection, etc.).
  • High-efficiency evaluation environment for analysis of the KPIs, scalable for various areas of application (series or one-off production, assembly, maintenance, etc.) and industries.
  • State-of-the-art front end technology (HMI) on the basis of SAP Fiori or HTML-5, completely browser-based and independent of device.
  • No data islands or double data maintenance outside SAP ERP or S/4HANA.
  • Central maintenance of master data (material, work schedules, personnel, costs, etc.) via the SAP standard.
  • Open coding and traceable program sequences, no use of non-SAP tools, SAP-ABAP as programming basis.
  • Release security with regard to SAP S/4HANA updates.

The X-NetMES system is established on the market, in use in hundreds of applications, helping our customers to continually improve their production processes.

Use the power of your SAP system for efficient production!

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