MOM Is the Future! What Is the MOM of the Future?
- Digital Factory
Manufacturing companies will be facing challenges in the near future that will drive deeper and tighter interconnection of the virtual and physical world of products, machines and workers. All starts and ends with a product and a customer; each product is tailor-made. A MOM system is the brain of each unique product manufacture control.
In our last article in AIMagazine 24 on the topic of MOM we discussed the main purpose of MOM systems, where their place alongside the ERP systems is and what their main advantages and benefits are. We will focus more on the future and vision of these systems now, namely in the light of current trends, such as the Industry 4.0 or Internet of Things.
Challenges of manufacturing companies in the near future
- The pressure on the flexible introduction of new products onto the market grows; faster response to changes initiated by end customers is a big competitive advantage.
- Customers always want higher variability and broader range of products, they want to have the option to change the product till the last minute, especially in conjunction with the „on-line“ configuration and design. And not only in cases of super luxury products.
- This applies also for a series production, where design changes have to be applied. There is an on-going pressure for 100% quality; any hesitation can have far-reaching consequences in our time of Internet media.
- The price should be reduced by several percent and the functionality should improve each year.
- And concurrently, the most important thing – profit for shareholders – should be generated. Now and in the future.
To be able to face these challenges, manufacturing companies will drive deeper and tighter interconnection of the virtual and physical world of products, machines and workers. Everything starts and ends with a product and a customer. At the beginning, the customer defines and specifies the product, he has the option to change it later, and finally, he receives and uses it. The product is consequently „tailored“ for the customer‘s needs, and it is unique. And a MOM system is just the brain of each unique product manufacture control.
MOM is the system for the future
- An essential feature is tracking and management at the level of uniquely identified product or packaging.
- It takes over the instructions and product information from applications for order processing / product configuration – from Web applications, ERP, PLM.
- In the case of so-called „Smart Object“, a MOM system „communicates“ via terminal devices with a chip that is an integral part of the product or attached to the product, for example an RFID tag. It is even able to transfer data into the chip (traceability).
- The system transfers control information to devices, machines or robots, and collects information on actual production parameters and other data, for example files with photo documentation.
- It mediates communication between the machine and the operator or between the MOM system and operators. The system forwards instructions to workers, requires performance checks and evaluates the values of executed transactions.
- It controls all material flows consisting of components, semi-finished or finished products, or unique final products. This takes place through the system conveyors control, technology (such as Pick-by- Light) and automated systems management. Human logistics operators are instructed and managed through on-line RF terminals then.
- Schedules and synchronises all resources necessary for the production and handling, following and in accordance with physical management systems.
- Identifies stops of crucial workplaces or technologies. Immediately notifies the appropriate management level and enforces solutions of the situation in specified time periods.
- Provides accurate and detailed data for management analyses, e.g. focused on OEE, identifies bottlenecks and further process improvements, predictive maintenance, quality analyses. Data for analytic decisions and prediction.
MOM in relation to Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is a key economic theme of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, who visited the „digital enterprise“ of the Siemens company, producing Simatic equipment in Amberg, Germany, early this year. These results show the benefits – such as increasing productivity six times with the same headcount in the last ten years, or 40x error rate reduction over the past five years to the factor of 99.99885. Except PLM, the brain of the system is MOM / MES Simatic IT, owned and developed by Siemens. However, the question remains, how much did the implementation of these systems in Amberg cost? Actually, this is a perfectly mastered corporate marketing. Just the MOM solution price and its integration into the existing environment has been the limit for small and medium enterprises until recently. For a MOM system, the capability of integration is the critical feature. Be it is a classical form through EDI, integration with devices using the OPC standard, or a general API integration. This may be e.g. used for on-line connection with the fastest growing applications for contacts with customer – using a browser on the PC, mobile application on the phone or in the car. The entire integration process can significantly accelerate standardization, especially at the communication interface for systems, machines, people and other smart objects.