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Marcelo Gonçalves Penna; Siemens-Chemtech; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Felipe Pereira dos Santos; Siemens-Chemtech; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Luiz Antônio de A. Mello; Siemens-Chemtech; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Luiz Eduardo Ganem Rubião; Siemens-Chemtech; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Recently, ERP systems consolidated their position at e-business developments. On the other hand, the introduction of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), usually driven by the ERP project, fills the gap between corporate systems and plant-floor data. This article presents a few case studies in order to show the underestimated complexity and importance of MES. One of the case studies is a global SAP integration project, including sales, logistics and productive units of a multinational with various activities and several production units. The ERP design was based on specific business rules for each productive unit and processes were naturally different, for instance batch or continuous production. Furthermore, the automation level ranged from 100% automated units to mainly man-operated plants without Information Systems. According to the integration purpose, different SAP modules were applied, like PP-PI, QM, MM, and WM. The MES application is an information centralizing layer of plant-floor data, generally preprocessed and checked, and ERP data. It organizes and relates data based on rules established at the project specification step. This feature supports the development of production management, control and execution functions. Modularized and configurable MES solutions, developed with open standards, provided flexibility and can be adjusted to specifications changes during the ERP implementation. Thus, this kind of system is connected to plant-floor systems faster than closed systems and legacy process monitoring systems can be used. Also, configurable solutions can be quickly adapted to modifications made during the cut-over and ERP start-up. In conclusion, the analysis of different MES applications has shown a structure which fits most of the cases and can be used as a base for specific function modules.