MES is said to improve control of day-to-day changes in demand and product mix.

Sponsored by Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee and conducted by manufacturing and supply-chain analyst firm Industry Directions, Newburyport, Mass., the study analyzed data from 106 plants and found that regardless of size, industry, or process type, plants using MES outperformed those not using it in profitability, productivity, and the ability to improve on specific cost and customer-service issues.

Other benefits of MES include less training for new employees, as well as more on-the-job training rather than classroom instruction. Also, MES capabilities, including access to real-time data on product and process parameters, result in higher average machine availability and fewer maintenance problems.