Rockwell Automation Study Reveals Significant Performance Advantages for Plants That Use Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) |

Rockwell Automation Study Reveals Significant Performance Advantages for Plants That Use Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

May 182004
Rockwell Automation Study Reveals Significant Performance Advantages for Plants That Use Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)
Analysis of survey data shows plants using MES achieve a 400 percent improvement in profitability.

MILWAUKEE, May 18, 2004 - A new study of the nation's top-performing factories has found that those using manufacturing execution systems (MES) have a considerable performance advantage over those that don't use MES, including a 400 percent improvement in profitability over a three-year period.

The study, sponsored by Rockwell Automation and conducted by Industry Directions, a manufacturing and supply chain analyst and consulting firm, analyzed survey data from 106 plants and found that regardless of size, industry or process type, plants using MES outperformed and improved faster than those not using MES in a number of key areas, including profitability, productivity, and the ability to improve on specific cost and customer service metrics.

"We've always believed that production facilities that effectively deploy MES enjoy performance advantages over other plants - and these findings clearly indicate that they do," said John McDermott, senior vice president, Rockwell Automation Global Manufacturing Solutions. "As many companies implementing Six Sigma and other business initiatives have discovered, one of the keys to improvement is having accurate, real-time data to identify the root cause of problems. MES can provide access to detailed production data in a context that helps companies make sound business decisions."

The study focused on survey data submitted by companies that were judged to be among the top-performing plants in North America in an annual industry-wide competition over a five-year period (between 1998 and 2002). The database included all responses to the 237 questions on which these companies were judged. Of the 106 companies in the study group, 58 use MES and 48 do not.

The analysis showed that plants using MES have higher productivity and have improved operational productivity more rapidly than others over the previous three years. Productivity growth ranged from 70 percent to as much as 600 percent for plants using MES. In addition, plants with MES were able to reduce costs more dramatically than plants not using MES, including a 57 percent greater reduction in energy costs.

The study also found that plants with MES have a higher process capability (11 percent better) and larger yield gains (15 percent greater). Furthermore, plants using MES have greater reductions in both manufacturing and order-to-ship cycle times and are more advanced in developing a true build-to-order model to meet just-in-time demands.

Other key findings include:

New employees require less training in plants that use MES, and training for all production personnel rely more on on-the-job training and less on classrooms.
Plants using MES work fewer overtime hours per week, which indicates higher productivity.
MES capabilities, including access to real-time data on product and process parameters, result in higher average machine availability and fewer maintenance problems.

For more information or a copy of the summary report, visit

Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) is a world-leading provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions that help customers meet their manufacturing productivity objectives. The company brings together leading brands in industrial automation for Complete Automation solutions, including Allen-Bradley controls and engineered services and Rockwell Software factory management software, Dodge mechanical power transmission products, and Reliance Electric motors and drives. The company also is a leading provider of contact management technologies and applications that help companies more efficiently manage interaction with their own customers. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., USA, the company employs about 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

For more information on the Rockwell Automation MES study, please visit

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