How Manufacturing Execution Systems Help AM Companies Scale

How Manufacturing Execution Systems Help AM Companies Scale

Bright AM

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You know exactly what you want when it comes to rebooting your manufacturing execution systems (MES), but you’re not quite sure how to tactfully migrate away from desk-top MS Excel spreadsheet trackers, station-by-station whiteboard monitors, and filing cabinets filled with specs. You also want a manufacturing execution that does all those things, seamlessly, across departments while simultaneously ensuring all your IP CAD/CAM instructions are secured and not the latest reason you fail an audit.

If you don’t want to keep limping along with your current system or have to paste together multiple ones, a new MES can help your Additive Manufacturing company scale and avoid costly mistakes. Here’s how.

Manufacturing Execution Systems Can Track, Trace, Monitor, and Audit

There is no manufacturing process, additive or otherwise, that is not impacted by good communication between departments.

Beginning with the sales team and ending with the accounts payable after a product or part has been delivered, everyone in an AM environment needs to be aligned with the same customer terms and conditions and understand what happens on the shop floor.

The tradespeople also need to respect the process when it comes to an effective, agile MES, one that covers contracting, delivery of 3D files, job creation, schedule preparation, machine integration, workflow production sequencing, quality control inspections on parts, and even field testing, warranty claims, and recalls.

Unfortunately, most MES software is sold as a one-size-fits-all solution meant to cure every tracking issue within the manufacturing execution system and during post-production conformance checks, while also providing real-time updates to end users.

During the shopping or pre-bid phase for new software, you’ll want to know where an issue originated (traceability), reduce scrap or rework and stockpiles through long-term trend analysis (tracking), and deliver an order update for an end user (real-time monitoring).

Bluestreak | Bright AM’s MES solution offers a turnkey software package that includes the most sought-after ERP, MRP, and QMS functions, ones that focus on materials management and reduction, inventory controls and assurances, enterprise resource insights, product lifecycle management, and real-time information management recall ahead of external consumer (and auditor) requests.

But what about long-term compliance and maintaining ISO standards?

MES and QMS Keep AM Operations Compliant (and Secure)

Audits, quality assurance checks, and quality control measures are going to happen regardless of whether you’re using traditional production means, AM, or a hybrid combination of both.

GE has been manufacturing jet engines consistently for Boeing since 1995 and moved to AM in 2015. Their use of Bluestreak | Bright AM MES gives them the ability to track entire production processes around the globe, as well as at satellite vendor locations. Their leads have the assurance, via real-time MES monitoring, that all 3D-printed parts are on time, on spec, and on cost, as well as in compliance with AS9100, ISO, and other accredited institutions. If a quality escape does occur, GE can rapidly root-cause through their trusted Lean Six Sigma processes to find where the defect came from and either retrain the technician, recalibrate the machine, or reach out to the customer for a new spec.

You need to ensure that you’re optimizing each machine and growing batch sizes so ultimately, you can help grow the business.

Bluestreak | Bright AM MES manages nonconformances, offers serialized parts solutions, and moves part quantities (virtually) across all workstations so the production floor runs lean and mean.

Bluestreak | Bright AM Delivers Sales That Scale

In keeping with this theme of growing the business through optimal workflows and part batching, Bluestreak | Bright AM MES can lend still more insights into how to make production less costly through efficient operations.

Manufacturing execution systems, at their core, should not be one-size-fits-all in nature, nor so over-engineered as to be unresponsive to the needs of small-batch manufacturers, as is often the case with legacy or non-standard parts.

This proprietary software of Bluestreak | Bright AM allows small companies to immediately see value and begin to rebuild their bottom-line by recouping losses through reductions in waste, virgin and 1x or 2x material combinations, and statistical insights into captive departments that could benefit from rightsizing, offshoring, or reshoring.

Conclusion

There are a few key features that Bluestreak | Bright AM can offer as your go-to MES solution provider of choice:

  • Effective communication is achieved through a suite that is effectively an MRP, PLM, ERP, MES, QMS, and MIS all in one.
  • Compliance is assured through real-time data analytics, which means audits become seamless.
  • Sales can scale when every department, sales rep, and technician on the floor knows where a part is and when it needs to go out.

Take it from GE and other Bluestreak | Bright AM MES users: Invest in a turnkey solution that monitors AM part movement, improves communication, and ultimately, optimizes production and bottom-line profits.

Bright AM helps service-based manufacturers rid themselves of production floor headaches by giving them real-time traceability of all parts and personnel, allowing them to increase efficiency and reduce scrap and rework.

To find out how Bright AM can help your additive manufacturing business grow, eliminate costly human errors, and lock in your clients, contact us for a free consultation today!