The aerospace and defense industry stands at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, whose core themes include interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. With these and other technologies, aerospace and defense companies seek to increase efficiency and optimize production.
But to achieve their goals and meet their targets, they need full visibility into their manufacturing processes, which is where manufacturing operation management (MOM) tools come in. This article explains what MOM tools are and how they help aerospace and defense companies. Finally, it lists the top 20 best MOM tools for aerospace and defense and describes their characteristics.
What Is Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM)?
Manufacturing operation management (MOM) is the evolution of a manufacturing execution system (MES), an information system that connects, monitors and controls complex manufacturing systems and data flows on the factory floor. MOM extends the ideas behind MES to all factory departments, including manufacturing, quality, warehouse, and maintenance to meet the complex needs of all companies that embrace the Industry 4.0 principles.
MOM is concerned with the planning, management, and execution of orders, traceability of production lots, connectivity with ERP systems, quality management, and manufacturing intelligence, among other things. There are multiple different types of MOM software, but they all share certain common characteristics and features, such as their ability to provide real-time information, metrics for situational or historical analysis or assist with compliance.
Main Features of Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) Tools
MOM tools come with a broad range of features and capabilities, such as:
- Production monitoring: Helps eliminate manual data collection by capturing data directly from machines. The captured data can then be presented in an easy-to-digest, visual manner.
- Quality management: With real-time data, MOM tools enable companies to respond to production conditions in a timely manner and drive continuous improvements to eliminate waste, increase uptime, and reduce costs.
- Alerts and notifications: Faster response and resolution is essential for minimizing downtime. MOM tools can send alerts via text messages, loudspeakers, email, or flashing lights, just to name a few possible options.
- Advanced analytics: Manual data analysis is not only time consuming, but it also yields poor results. Advanced analytics have the power to bring data to life and help all stakeholders make better decisions.
- Maintenance management: Successful aerospace and defense companies have learned a long time ago that maintenance has to be proactive—not reactive. MOM tools enable preventative maintenance programs that improve equipment reliability and boost longevity.
Of course, we could also name material genealogy, work order management, product definition management, detailed scheduling, plant floor data collection, and others.
Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) in Aerospace & Defense
MOM tools have their place in all complex discrete industries, such as aerospace and defense, medical devices, electronics, and industrial equipment.
They help reduce scrap and waste, increase uptime, make it easier to get rid of just-in-case inventory, allow companies to react sooner to changing markets and make more informed decisions about production, improve quality, reduce cycle times, and much more.
Aerospace and defense companies seeking to face the Industry 4.0 digital transformation head-on should look for a MOM tool with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic processes, real-time data collection, and the ability to leverage existing systems.
How to Select a Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) Tool?
The MOM market is quite mature and there are many excellent MOM tools to choose from, which can, in some ways, make it difficult to narrow down the long list of possible options to just one.
When selecting a MOM tool, it’s always a good idea to start with a list of requirements sorted according to their priority. Always select a MOM tool that can satisfy all top requirements.
Before making the final decision, research what other companies have to say about the vendor. How does the vendor respond to problems? Does the vendor act in the best interest of its customers? Questions like these can help rule out vendors that care only about their bottom line.
Last but not least, make sure to select a MOM tool that can accommodate your workflows to make its integration as smooth as possible.
Top 20 Best Manufacturing Operation Management (MOM) Tools
To come up with this list of the top 20 best manufacturing operation management tools, we evaluated countless different solutions from vendors large and small, comparing their strengths and weaknesses.
42Q started in 2016, but it has already established itself as a strong player in highly regulated industries thanks to its cloud-based MOM solution that offers advantages in efficiency and cost relative to legacy, on-premise solutions and provides users with global visibility of production, metrics and data analytics for multiple locations. Other advantages of a cloud-based manufacturing solution include faster, lower risk deployments, lower costs, and the ability to dynamically scale on demand without any limitations.
2. ABB Ability
Initially a merger between Asea and Boveri, AA is a European technology company that offers a modular and modern MOM solution, called ABB Ability, with extended capabilities in areas such as quality and warehouse management. With this solution, ABB wants to help companies react more flexibly and more quickly to market requirements and handle complex work processes more efficiently. The company understands that each and every industry comes with its own unique set of challenges, and its solutions reflect this.
With FactoryLogix, Aegis is redefying manufacturing operation management and merging it with both state-of-the-art technology and its extensive experience to help companies save time, eliminate chaos, increase efficiency and competitiveness, save money, and support any form of manufacturing without expensive customization. FactoryLogix provides end-to-end support for manufacturing processes, including scheduling, warehouse, MSD, and PLC control and data acquisition, offering comprehensive capabilities for manufacturers in all industries, including aerospace and defense.
Wonderware is a mature manufacturing operation management tool whose purpose is to maximize profitability, quality, and compliance of manufacturing operations. With its help, companies can easily streamline order flow and product execution, evaluate and analyze yield, quality, and plant resource utilization, or track the transformation of products from raw materials to finished goods. Its model-driven approach makes it simple to standardize operational processes and achieve admirable cost savings in complex multi-site operations.
Critical Manufacturing MOM solution is a great low-cost entry with comprehensive out-of-the-box functionality. It revolves around Industry 4.0 and is designed to Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), mobile devices, automation, sensors, and other Industry 4.0 components. Its modular architecture makes it deeply configurable and future-proof.
Founded in 2005, Nysus Solutions is a passionate company whose MOM solution simplifies high complexity assembly processes through automated work instructions and integrated poka yoke systems. The Nysus Solutions Assembly Manufacturing Execution System tracks the entire manufacturing process from start to finish, directly integrating to all makes and models of programmable logic controllers and providing product traceability with multiple tracking methods, including bar codes, 2D etched bar codes, and RFID tags.
Mattec is a manufacturing execution software solution that drives results with its extensive capabilities, which include production monitoring, process monitoring, quality management, alerts and notifications, production scheduling, advanced analytics, maintenance management, and energy monitoring. Mattec success stories include companies such as Rexam Corporation, Johnson Controls, or Estra, all of which have been able to use this powerful tool to analyze issues and demonstrate measurable performance improvements.
A major player both in the discrete and batch MOM market, GE Digital Predix is a suite of solutions designed to transform manufacturing businesses through insights and intelligence powered by data integration, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machine learning, and predictive analytics. It can unlock unprecedented efficiency for lean manufacturing, reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate production speed by bringing together the digital world with the physical world of manufacturing. Its users can expect to experience 10-20% reduction in unplanned downtime, 20% inventory reduction, and +20% recovered capacity.
This family-owned MES supplier boasts a team of industry experts who are responsible for one of the best MOM solutions for the aerospace and defense industry. iBASEt MES is ready to transform the operations of complex, highly regulated discrete manufacturers by connecting operations and sustainment management in a seamless flow of data across the value chain and product lifecycle. In addition to aerospace and defense, it also serves a number of other industries, including electronics, industrial equipment, medical devices, nuclear products, and shipbuilding.
Ignition provides an unlimited licensing model and a low-cost platform. It’s perfectly suited to developers and VARs that are frustrated by the complexity, price, and licensing of more traditional MOM solutions. The benefits of using Ignition include unlimited tags and clients at no extra cost, MES, SCADA, reporting, and more on a single platform, Web-launch clients to any devices with a web browser, and powerful partnerships with Sepasoft.
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