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Batch Management in the Supply Chain
Batch management systems are traditionally composed of two subparts, one assuring the creation and configuration of the recipes, and the other assuring the execution of the recipes, i.e., driving the equipments to make a product. By reducing the total time needed for producing a product, the market can be reached quicker and more money can (hopefully) be earned. Time to market is an important key competitive performance indicator. So, how can time to market be reduced? The execution part of the batch management system must obviously work efficiently, but this alone will not be enough. Personnel, materials, scheduling and maintenance information sent from the ERP system must also be managed in an efficient way. The problem is that traditional batch management systems are not intended to or capable of handling this information. Neither are they intended to handle information concerning warehouses, packaging or material receiving. Rather than extending the batch management system beyond its core role, the importance of the MES system and its capabilities should be stressed. An approach based on the ideas and models presented in ISA S95 is believed to be successful. Dedicated cross industry components manage the functions that are decidedly non-batch. Similar to a traditional batch management system that coordinates and synchronizes the recipe execution, a MES system should do the same for the functions of the components. Applying this approach, the batch management system can truly work in the context of the supply chain!!!
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