MES Solution


A large consumer hard goods manufacturer wanted an MES solution to track downtime events and OEE metrics from the production equipment on the shop floor. In addition, they wanted to track rejected units through their repair stations to understand their First Pass Yield (FPY) metric.

  • Both automatic and manual downtime events needed to be tracked in the system. The automatic events already included the correct downtime reason code information. The manual events needed a way for the operators to select the correct downtime reason code prior to the end of their shift.
  • The client wanted to show the key metrics for success using large, web-based displays throughout the line. These metrics included the following:
    • Current downtime event and length
    • Total downtime for the shift
    • Assembly Yield for the shift
    • First Pass Yield for the shift
    • Shift data for the previous two shifts
  • Data from various systems needed to be assembled so that reasons for defects and First Pass Yield metrics could be visualized.

Proposed Solution

The manufacturer was in search of an MES solution that could meet all their requirements. Most traditional off-the-shelf products met some of the needs but not all. The manufacturer also needed help obtaining and linking machine data to the MES solution. In a joint initiative with the manufacturer, Polaris Automation was able to develop an MES solution for obtaining and visualizing the key metrics. In addition, Polaris Automation was able to provide implementation services to gather the machine data and link it to the new system. A data concentrator was installed to optimize data collection on the plant floor and to control the shift start and stop times. Using this methodology, the network traffic was reduced since the MES solution did not have to talk to individual pieces of equipment. Screens were developed to control shift times, record downtime reason codes, and track defects. Dashboards were also created to display all the metrics in a simple and concise format for display throughout the plant floor.


The MES solution was successfully installed with the following outcomes realized:

  • The new system has been successfully rolled out to twelve additional facilities.
    • $72M in projected savings across all lines over the next seven years
  • The amount of downtime and the reasons for the downtime are now recorded and can be acted upon to improve efficiency of the equipment.
    • 15% incremental return on small recurring downtimes
  • First Pass Yield metrics are now in place providing vision into quality.
    • Reduction of rework/retesting. The client can identify and address issues in the process now that there is a focus on the First Pass Yield
    • Scrap accountability and reduction

“Polaris has partnered with us for many years to develop an MES solution that we own as a company. This is a product that can support our business for many years, and we can change it to accommodate our needs as we see fit. We were not provided with a “canned” solution that we had to fit our process into. It is something that was built for us that meets our needs. Polaris has worked with us as a partner and helped out in all aspects of the project including programming, consulting, hardware acquisition, and engineering support when we requested it.”