What is MOM compared to other types of systems

What is MOM compared to other types of systems - a few words of explanation for beginners

Digitisation and automation of processes in all areas is our daily reality, although studies still indicate that manufacturers need education in this area, they often lack professional advice and knowledge to make decisions.

This is probably due not so much to a lack of information, but to overload of information, which is difficult to systematize and, from the very wide market offer, to choose a product that meets their expectations and fits the specifics of the business.

Therefore, let's take a look at the solutions the manufacturer has to choose from and consider what problems they solve. According to the ISA 95 / IEC 62264 standard, production support systems are divided into 4 levels.

Level 1 is the machines and the systems that control them. Without them there would be no production, unless we are talking about entirely manual work.

Level 2 is SCADA automation systems, supervising the course of the technological or production process, and PLCs, i.e. universal microprocessor devices designed to control the operation of machines and other technological equipment. Their main functions include collection of current data (measurements), their visualisation, process control, alerting and data collecting. A characteristic feature of these systems is the granularity of time down to the level of seconds or even sub-seconds. The systems are primarily used by machine operators and technologists - those who directly supervise production.

Level 3 are MOM (Manufacturing Operations Management) class systems. This software is dedicated to manufacturing companies and allows the management of the entire production process - planning and scheduling production processes, defining production technologies in such a way as to be able to plan and schedule them later and monitoring the execution of production tasks and steps. MOM systems also cover other production-related processes, e.g. management of production resources (materials, energy, people, robots machines), quality assurance of the manufactured products or maintenance. They may also include pricing elements to enable quoting and ongoing costing for individual products or customer orders. As the dynamics of change in production can be very high, these systems require a high granularity of time - down to minutes and seconds. MOMs are used by a wide range of users, from production managers and supervisors, to planners and schedulers, technologists, machine operators, quality controllers, packaging operators, warehouse workers and other shop floor staff.

 Level 4 are ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. These are universal, integrated systems that support the management of the entire company regardless of the industry in which it operates. Although their precursor was MRP (Material Resources Planning) systems, today's ERPs are usually built around the financial and accounting requirements of companies. After all, financial performance measures the efficiency of operations in all areas of the company. Market needs have led to these systems being developed with various industry-specific modules and functionalities, such as dedicated solutions for managing production, warehousing, customer relations (CRM), investments or billing. These systems reflect data over a period of months, weeks or, at most, days. Its users are primarily office workers - managers, employees from departments such as accounting, human resources, planners, controlling, sales, customer service, warehouse. Staff on the shop floor will make little direct use of the ERP system.

Source: ISA 95 / IEC62264

Where is MES (Manufacturing Execution System) in all this systematics? MES is actually a part of an MOM system on Level 3. MES systems focus on the execution of manufacturing operations - they collect and process data from workstations and production lines in real time, and enable better control of the entire process. However, they do not take into account other, more strategic aspects of manufacturing processes such as planning and scheduling, human resource management (dispatching), supply chain management, which MOM-type systems provide. MES reports are also oriented towards production execution, whereas reports from MOM systems provide more complete information such as OEE or OLE. In other words, MOM systems, compared to MES, cover a wider range of operational processes and aim to holistically integrate all aspects of production operations management.

For this reason, MES systems are often complemented by other modules, such as APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling), WMS (Warehouse Management System) or PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). As a result of integrating several or more subsystems with the MES, systems can be created that have MOM-type functionality and are sold as MOM, but are not fully MOMs. In production, where time is measured in minutes and seconds, integrated clusters of subsystems cannot handle all processes properly andprecisely because of the limitations caused bytheir integration. On the other hand, such functionalities can also be integrated within an ERP framework, which further introduces chaos into the systematics of the systems.


Depending on the manufacturers’ needs, they choose from these systems the one that is able to meet them. According to the ISA standard, the full automation of a manufacturing enterprise will be ensured by a combination of all 4 levels of systems, working together at the points of contact. Only the largest entities, i.e. corporations, can afford this type of solution due to both the cost of implementation and subsequent maintenance.

For middle and small entities, this degree of digitalization is not often essential, but when embarking on a digital transformation of processes, they should consider where their greatest business value is generated and where the greatest inefficiencies exist. Typically, the answer lies in Level 3 - it is the optimization of processes and the analysis of strictly production-related data that can have the highest impact on a company's profitability and provide the boost for growth.

Source: PWC Digital Factory Transformation Survey 2022

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