Business Automation and Software Blog

Why You Need Manufacturing Operations Management: The Automation Pyramid

Posted by Robert Baran on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

Within SYSPRO’s solutions portfolio is a handy solution known as MOM: manufacturing operations management. While most of us don’t find that we want our mom with us at work, MOM is a different solution, and one that you should probably pay more attention to.

If you’re like many businesses, you might be wondering why it’s necessary to add manufacturing operations management. After all, you’ve already made a significant investment in your SYSPRO ERP solution. In order to fully understand why you need MOM, it’s first imperative to understand automation, starting with the Automation Pyramid. Understanding the Automation Pyramid is the foundation of any discussion on manufacturing technology and how the industry is evolving. The more you understand the Automation Pyramid, the better prepared you’ll be for Industry 4.0, cloud adoption, and how manufacturing will be managed in the future. Let’s take a look.

Reflecting the Layers of Automation Through the Automation Pyramid

The Automation Pyramid is a pictorial representation of the layers of automation within a typical factory, comprising five layers of integrated devices and technology.

Layer 5: The Production Floor

The production floor layer, or field, is made up of a wide variety of sensor devices and technologies, including:

  • Measuring instruments: flow meters, level switches, proximity switches, etc.; anything that provides input by measuring variables on the production floor.
  • Actuators: valves, pumps, and other instruments that keep variables such as flow, heat, and pressure within allowable parameters.
  • Communication protocols: allow the Field layer to talk to the next layer.

Layer 4: The Control or PCL

The Control, or PCL (programmable logic controller) layer, is the brain behind your shop floor processes. Devices in the Control level receive input from devices on the Field level and use that input to create output that controls the production process. For example, many manufacturing processes require stringent temperature control. The PCL will then use input from Field-level sensors to monitor the heat around a set point to maintain a constant temperature throughout the production process.

Layer 3: The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems

The next layer up is where you find supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, as well as human-machine interfaces (HMI). In this layer, process data is monitored through user interfaces, and stored in databases. SCADA is typically used to control multiple machines in complex processes, including processes that involve multiple sites.

So what is the difference between the SCADA level and the Control level? Both levels receive input from the shop floor and return outputs to control processes. However, SCADA is often used to refine or reset values at the Control level. For example, if your production process usually heats widgets at 400 degrees, SCADA can be used to change that value to 500 degrees.

Layer 2: The Planning Level (Including MES and MOM)

The Planning level contains the management execution system (MES). SYSPRO MOM, for example, monitors your entire manufacturing process, from raw materials to finished goods. This provides managers with real-time, 360-degree visibility, as well as highly-advanced tools for tracking important shop floor metrics—such as labor and equipment usage and performance—that can be used to optimize production efficiency and reduce or eliminate waste.

Layer 1: The Management Decision-Making Layer

The top layer, Management, is built around your company ERP, which gives company decision makers information from every level of the Automation Pyramid. Whereas MOM/MES monitors and controls a single plant, ERP provides monitoring, reporting, and control for entire corporations.

Distinct, Yet Connected: MOM and ERP

MOM is the most effective tool in the manufacturing arsenal for fine-tuning shop floor production processes. Used to its full extent, SYSPRO MOM can dramatically improve operations management and provide highly granular data to the ERP that can be used to inform upper-level management decisions.

If your SYSPRO ERP experience could benefit from a new connection to MOM, PositiveVision’s SYSPRO partnership and software services can help. Our full-service consulting firm is dedicated to improving the performance of your business through innovative solutions and exceptional customer service.

Ready to give MOM a try? Talk with one of our business management software and computer consultants now.

Topics: manufacturing operations management