The MOM vs MES Debate: Which Is Better?

The manufacturing industry has changed a lot over the past few decades and, in the process, it has created an acronym mess that still leaves a lot of software manufacturers and users confused. Software developers started to throw around acronyms that were eventually twisted to meet the needs of the developers and not their customers. After a while, business processes and control software started to get confused and manufacturing companies were caught in the middle.

At the core of this process versus control software fiasco is MES software and MOM operations management methods. There is a lot of confusing information about the two, and in some cases developers will even use the two acronyms interchangeably. To help out in this mish-mash of letters and words, it is a good idea to separate MES and MOM and see exactly what they have to offer.

So…What is MES?

MES stands for Manufacturing Execution System. In the 1980s, Purdue University software engineers offered a form of software they referred to as Computer Integrated Manufacturing, or CIM. This type of software was used to create controls for industrial equipment and it was developed long before the standards that are in place today.

In the 1990s, the CIM software evolved into MES software and started to get mass produced all over the world. The problem was that MES did not have any kind of standard and that meant nothing but confusion for end users. In most cases, MES software was proprietary and was very expensive to develop. Once MES software was developed for a piece of industrial equipment, the company had to continue to pay to update the software.

After a while, MES software developed a horrible reputation in the manufacturing industry. The introduction of standards and advanced enterprise systems helped to create manufacturing controls that were more compatible and less costly.

And What About MOM?

MOM stands for Manufacturing Operations Management. It is a monitoring process that manufacturers use to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in their manufacturing process. While there is software that can be used to help facilitate a MOM system, it is not software that is used as a control for manufacturing equipment.

What is the Problem?

The issue with MES versus MOM is that many MES software developers started to ride the MOM bandwagon and repackage their software as a MOM type of product. Instead of analyzing and improving the manufacturing process, these former MES titles were simply creating the same costly and ineffective solutions that had been used in previous years.

What Can Companies Do?

A MOM system is a critically important monitoring process that can:

  • Collect data on real-time manufacturing events and use that data to streamline the manufacturing process.
  • Bring global manufacturing processes into harmony and develop a cost-effective and higher quality system.
  • Develop a scalable manufacturing platform that can grow along with the business.
  • Standardize the way in which a manufacturing company develops, manufactures and delivers product.

In short, a MOM system can offer a long list of significant financial benefits, while a MES system tends to do the exact opposite. Before a manufacturing company gets involved in any kind of monitoring system, it needs to make sure that it is using a MOM process and not the costly MES mistake.

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