MES: Industrial Odyssey [Visual Explainer]

The Power of Manufacturing Execution Systems

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished products.

An MES arms manufacturing decision makers with info to optimize operations and improve output.

Real-time Data Tracking

An MES captures important information regarding production process, machine status, and quality metrics to drive decision making.

Process Control

MES tools monitor and control manufacturing processes, ensuring they adhere to relevant regulations and guidelines.

Production Scheduling

MES solutions optimize resources by ensuring goods are manufactured in the most efficient sequences possible.

Quality Management

An MES can alert operators or stop production if quality issues are detected.

Inventory Management

MES supports lean manufacturing with its material and usage tracking throughout the production process.


MES platforms generate valuable information for documentation and reporting on production records, quality metrics, equipment status, and much more.

Popular MES Platforms

There’s a wide variety of MES solutions for specific industries and needs. Some of the most common tools include: Siemens Opcenter, Oodoo, Plex, SAP, Parsec Automation TrakSYS, Pico, Fishbowl, Katana, FactoryTalk, ShiftWorx, HYDRA by MPDV USA, Eyelit, MasterControl, Epicor, Infor, and DELMIAWorks.

1940s-60s: Mainframes

Computerized systems for production became with mainframe computers in the 1940s, mostly for finance and accounting applications before extending into production cost and inventory analysis.

1960s: MRP Systems

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems emerged in the 1960s. The technology converts production plans into lists of required materials for manufacturing.

1980s: MRP II

Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) emerged in the ’80s, expanding the scope of MRP to include human resources (HR), finance, equipment, and energy.

1990: Official Naming

The term MES was coined by ARM Research in 1990.

1992: MESA

The Manufacturing Execution Systems Association, now known as Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association, assembles to define a set of MES application functionalities.

1997: MESA-11 Model

MESA-11 model outlines 11 core functions of MES, including operations, production unit dispatching, product tracking, and quality management.

2000: ANSI-ISA-95 Standard

The International Society of Automation released the ANSI-ISA-95 standard to establish a framework for MES platforms.

2004: c-MES Model

MESA’s Collaborative MES (c-MES) model expands MESA-11 to include other business processes.

2008: Latest MES Model

The latest MESA model emphasizes interconnection between production and strategy in manufacturing.

Today and Beyond

Analysts estimate the MES market’s value at $12.5B-182B USD. Growth predictions range from $20B by 2027 to $36.9B in coming years. Advancements in tech like AI, machine learning, IoT, and more continue to expand MES’s robustness.