Best Practices kicks off the New Year with a bunch of acronyms: MES, QMS and PLM.
Germany-based Rehau Automotive is replacing its legacy systems on those areas with Siemens products in all 15 plants around the world.
And what is the Siemens system called? MOM. That stands for manufacturing operations management, not the woman who gave birth to you, dear reader!
This is a major move, dubbed a "lighthouse project" for Rehau Automotive and a unique moment in the company's history, according to Helmut Ansorge, a member of Rehau Automotive's executive board.
Rehau Automotive makes a wide range of plastic products, including bumpers, fenders, water and air management modules and sealing systems. It's part of Rehau AG + Co., the big (and family-owned) company also known for its plastic construction products like pipe and tubing, and windows and doors. Rehau's motto is "Unlimited Polymer Solutions."
But, as this story of Best Practices shows, even a large, multinational manufacturing company, can evolve over time to the point its plants don't communicate well with each other. That can happen on the people side and on the electronic communication side. That certainly doesn't foster Industry 4.0.
"Over the last decade, we developed homegrown, individual solutions for every site," Ansorge said. "As time went on, the complexity of these legacy systems made it difficult for us to keep growing and maintain our competitive edge. This new integrated software system will give us the ability to standardize all processes and logistics in a lean way in order to develop and deliver the highest-quality products across a network of 15 plants."
OK, here are the definitions of those alphabet-soup acronyms at the top of the story. MES is manufacturing execution system. QMS is quality management system. And PLM is product lifecycle management. In short, everything is about connecting together a factory, or in Rehau Automotive's case, a network of them.