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How can we provide a baseline on selecting MES systems or SCADA systems? What are the factors that lead to the selection of MES systems & which cannot be implemented in SCADA?
First of all, SCADA systems are NOT MES systems. The two are very different sets of software, with completely different end uses and design objectives.

Many of the SCADA/HMI software companies, and many DCS companies provide MES software to go from Level 2 to Levels 3 and 4 of the Purdue Model of Manufacturing.

SCADA and DCS systems operate at Level 1 and Level 2 of the Purdue Model. MES systems are "middleware." In fact, it appears that MES as an acronym (Manufacturing Execution Systems) is being phased out, even by MESA, the organization that cares about such things, in favor of other acronyms. One I'm particularly favorable to is "MOM" or "manufacturing operations management."

Walt Boyes
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Nathan Boeger

You can begin by clearly defining your requirements based on your process and user interaction. What are you trying to accomplish?

There is a wide gray gap between MES and SCADA. I don't think you can definitively say that MES packages do X and that SCADA packages do not - or vice versa. Again, it goes back to your specific needs.

Nathan Boeger

Ralph Mackiewicz

Is MESA gonna change their name to MOMMA (Manufacturing Operations Management and Messaging Association)? ;-)

BTW, in the IT world MOM = Message Oriented Middleware. MES would be considered an application that uses middleware (MOM) to integrate with other applications like customer information systems, etc. IMHO, MES would be less confusing.

Ralph Mackiewicz
The SCADA Systems were conventionally more geared towards only Monitoring and Control operations. However modern SCADA systems do come with more advanced features like Data Collection,Reporting and Scripting capabilities to achieve functions like Integration with Production Management Systems etc. So,such systems do support features that overlap with MES atleast to some extent.

If we follow the evolution of the software in the Manufacturing World, it seems that Level 2 and Level 4 products both have tried to extend to the Level 3 - MES Level to provide features related to Manufacturing Operations Management.
We ourselves have done many MES-like projects which involve reporting and enterprise integration at a production line level using SCADA components and custom scripting like VBA and .Net.

When you talk at this level, there are some SCADAs which offer more flexibility to do these jobs. For e.g. Factory SQL/PMI is definitely much open in this regard.

However when we talk at the plant level, where talking with many varied systems is involved including Process Automation Systems, Quality Systems,Enterprise Systems then the full blown MES products with many differnt modules to perform various functions like Production Scheduling, Operations Management are the ones that are implemented by production companies.

Vipul Shah
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Hi Vipul,

Thanks for your input, I need to carry out only a few operations like product tracking, calculating TAKT time, cycle time & downtime. Do you feel that only for these options I should go with an entire MES suite or can a suitable SCADA do it?
Hi Ketan,
The functionality you are looking to accomplish is surely achievable using a SCADA system with some cusotm application developed on top of it using VB or .Net.

One of the options you can look for is the Factory SQL/PMI SCADA system from inductive automation
This system is truly open in the way that it allows you to build production tracking,downtime,reporting functionality into the system.

Vipul shah
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