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MES as the Focal Point of Industry 4.0


Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are prerequisites for Industry 4.0 and a pivotal point for digitized production. At the end of January, the MES DACH Association invited participants to the 6th conference, “MES in Focus”. The host this year was WAGO in Minden.

“MES in Focus” called, and the MES world came. Discussions involved the most recent trends in the sector and education on topics like digitization and Industry 4.0. Over two eventful days, around 100 participants, including 65 end-users, provided evaluations about the high user benefits that MES solutions can help to attain in modern manufacturing. This was the sixth event, and this time, it was hosted at WAGO’s modern Communication Center, which was built in 2016 for educating trainees and customers.

Eleven Technical Presentations, One Pivotal Point

Ronald Heinze, board member of the MES DACH Association, opened the conference in Minden and introduced important MES foundational concepts to the capacity crowd, with examples from several sectors. The symposium focused on the motto, “MES as Pivotal Point for Industry 4.0”. Eleven presentations related to specific applications provided a well-rounded view of MES – from automation to the ERP levels. The enormous significance that MES can play in Industry 4.0 received specific emphasis. MES experts from companies like SYNCOS GmbH and ORBIS AG presented MES solutions for the different challenges that a smart factory might face. Stefan Hoppe, vice president of the OPC Foundation, reported on the newest developments regarding OPC UA as the preferred framework solution for digitizing production environments from the sensor level up to the IT cloud.

WAGO Enhances Cybersecurity

Rainer Schmutte, Sales Manager Automation at WAGO, presented a look into the future with digital solutions for specific user challenges. These solutions were developed by WAGO. “WAGO automation is the interface between various areas in manufacturing. Individual functions from MDC, ODC, and CAQ can be aggregated and used simultaneously,” states Schmutte, emphasizing the efficiency of MES applications from his company. For example, WAGO solutions can be easily integrated via optocouplers or the 750 Series. “We offer customers more than just individual components; we would rather provide complete distribution boxes for machine connections, including integrated automation.” The sales manager heavily emphasized cybersecurity in production facilities during his presentation: WAGO is among the global leaders in connecting automation and IoT. “WAGO has demonstrated why it is important to pay attention to security in production areas now – and into the future. Our PFC series has proven particularly reliable,” according to Schmutte.

Internal Insights

During a tour through the main production facility at WAGO in Minden, visitors got a direct look at state-of-the-art production methods. The participants gained insight into the production of splicing connectors and in plastics processing, which are among the most advanced in Europe. “We demonstrated that our production facilities represent a true benchmark,” states Schmutte.

Networking between participants was encouraged through targeted support. An interesting program supported the exchange of experiences, for example, during dinner at the GOP imperial palace in Bad Oeynhausen. The conclusion after two exciting days of MES was that the conference was a complete success: Bring on the 7th.

Foto: WAGO