MES for Industry 4.0

Critical Manufacturing MES provides manufacturers in demanding discrete industries a platform for Industry 4.0 success. It delivers reliable access to detailed and timely operational information with full context and intelligence for fast, confident decisions and profitable action.

Whether plants use traditional technologies or Industry 4.0 distributed intelligence, the Critical Manufacturing MES is ready to foster progress and improvement. Users can readily configure, distribute and use workflows and screens.

The most complete modular solution

Inherently designed to accommodate the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), mobile devices, automation, sensors, Critical Manufacturing MES is truly an Industry 4.0 hub. This Augmented MES offers not only advanced analytics and continuous improvement tools, but also a manufacturing digital twin, and quick, intuitive looks at performance.

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Critical Manufacturing MES is comprehensive and modular, deep and radically configurable, allowing you to upgrade to Industry 4.0 with confidence. Built by a seasoned team of high tech industry Manufacturing IT professionals, it supports current and new processes, products and employees in ways unimaginable for users of older products.

Augmented MES: See what's new in V7

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The 30+ modular product capabilities are fully interoperable and organized in the following seven functionality areas:

Advanced modules provide graphical online visibility and multi-source data extraction, reporting, performance management, and data manipulation and aggregation.


Dashboards are a highly visual mechanism to display data. Dashboards are created by combining and configuring different widgets such as reports, queries, resource lists, charts. The system provides several widgets out of the box, but it’s possible to create and add new widgets to the dashboards framework. Widgets can also communicate with each other so that an event in one widget can trigger an update in another widget.


Critical Manufacturing MES reporting is based on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and it comes with a set of predefined reports. Reports can be based off the Operational Data Store (ODS), the Data Warehouse (DWH) or any other data accessible source. Reports can be modified, created and publishing using the Microsoft Report Builder graphical designed. Reports are accessed through the unified user interface. Reports offer drill-down and charting capabilities and they can be exported to a variety of formats (Excel, PDF, Word, Tiff and HTML).

BI Cards

BI Cards allow for monitoring production in a single common view with real-time information.


Data Mining provides access to sophisticated data mining algorithms with the objective of finding patterns and relationships within large amounts of data. This is an extremely powerful functionality that allows answering questions such as:

  • How are different input variables related with a given output?
  • Does a particular machine or parameter have a particular positive or negative effect on yield or performance?

The Data Warehouse provides Cubes that organize data (measures or indicators) across predefined dimensions, such as Facility, Area, Step and Time. Critical Manufacturing MES provides three cubes: Material; Resource and Data Collection. OLAP Data Analysis provides the tools for interactive slicing and dicing of data, using familiar visual tools such as Excel.


Provides real-time 3D visual insight into the shop-floor, allowing to view historical overview of production, or to zoom in to process details within your factory in real-time. fabLive enables to create a digital twin of factory assets and production with deep analytical capabilities and reports and allows to interact with user defined and configured graphical interfaces (GUIs) as you move through the plant. Updates are delivered using a publish/subscribe mechanism. The shapes and colors are customizable and it’s possible to link an object to a dashboard in order to provide for context sensitive additional information, for example, the equipment history, materials at the equipment. »» Read more


Augmented Reality expands the physical world of the plant, superimposing layers of digital information from the complete MES onto a live camera image of the real product, process, line or facility area. »» Read more


Alarm Management provides a mechanism to send asynchronous notifications about events that require user attention. It’s possible to define the scope of the notification (who should receive it, until when is the notification valid) and to track who has cleared which notification. The Alarm may include hyperlinks to entity instances.


Allows to visualize real time factory layout and dashboards remotely or "on the go” with mobile devices. Interact with user defined and configured graphical interfaces (GUI's) as you move through the plant.


Scheduling allows creating schedules for people and resources using multiple weighted criteria, while simultaneously enforcing correct process sequences while optimizing production throughput.

Learn more about SCHEDULING

Critical Manufacturing MES ensures a modular, yet fully integrated management of shop-floor resources. Navigation within the facility is performed using the fabExplorer which ensures easy access to each material, resource or step.


Material Tracking provides a hierarchical material model and it includes all the necessary logic to track and trace the materials – including consumables, work-in-progress (WIP) and finished goods - while recording its complete history and genealogy. It integrates with different other modules such as Resource Tracking, Container Management, Data Collection, SPC, Exception Management, Recipe Management and Advanced Layout and Printing. Container Management provides tracking of positional containers integrated with Material.


Resource Tracking provides resource management operations for Process, Storage, Consumable Feeds, Load Ports and Durable resource types. It supports hierarchical resource structures and it integrates with Material Tracking, Maintenance Management, Data Collection and SPC.


Durables Management ensures that the right tools (such as Reticles, Stencils) are tracked in the system and used for the right context (product, process, step). Furthermore, the system records their utilization for each process and it’s possible to define maintenance cycles for the Durables so that they may be refurbished or cleaned based on time or based on a certain number of cycles.


Consumables Management provides accurate tracking of all consumables to limit waste and reduce cost. It allows maintaining optimum consumables level in production. It integrates with Recipe Management, Maintenance Management, Exceptions and Data Collection modules.


Routing consists of hierarchical flows and can contain other flows to promote re-usability. Flows can contain alternate flows or steps, optional steps and can be non-sequential that means that its operations can be performed in any order. Dispatching supports both pull (what’s next for equipment?) and push (what’s next for material?). At each Step and Resource it’s possible to configure a set of sorting rules which are used to create a sorted dispatch list. The dispatch list is presented automatically to the user.


Data Collection allows quantitative and qualitative data to be collected either at a certain processing context (e.g.: at Track-In or Track-Out) or at any time using an ad-hoc data collection. Data can be collected manually or automatically, in one snapshot or over a long period of time. Flexible limits can be applied for each data collection based on the context. It integrates with Exception Management, SPC and Maintenance Management.


Provides access the most accurate, authorized BOM, ensuring that the right material, configuration, processes and documents and are used in manufacturing.


Operators can access and view all types of documents from interactive work instructions, diagrams, pictures and media at assembly workstations or mobile device. Ensure that all steps are performed in sequence and the required data is recorded. Reduce shop floor errors and rework.


Provides access to complete product genealogy with forward/backward traceability for all products, components, materials and sub materials across hierarchical flows. Data can be collected at any level: batch, lot, sub-lot, unit ID or serial number level.


Checklists are re-usable objects that are used in an integrated fashion in Material Tracking, Maintenance Management and Exception Management. Checklists can contain Checklist Items of four types: Manual Tasks, Manual Actions, Automatic Actions and Signatures. Checklist Items can be sequential or floating and can also be marked as optional. Checklist Items contain detailed instructions and can also contain parameters.


Advanced Layout and Printing provides the ability to design and print labels and lot travelers. The label can be authored with an integrated visual design and it can contain dynamic elements (lot name, product id, etc.) which are resolved during runtime. Lot travelers can be defined for each step and they will be automatically assembled for a particular material in order to generate a lot traveler for the material flow. Customers can also define other types of dynamic documents, such as invoices and waybills.


Master data management handles the creation and management of the factory complete model. Critical changes are controlled through versioning and change control. Change control works through Change Sets which can bundle a set of changes of different objects to be approved together. It’s possible both to check the version history as well as to revert to a particular object version. Approval cycles can follow user-defined workflows. The system also provides a Master Data Loader utility to load configuration and runtime data from an Excel file.

Critical Manufacturing MES allows product life-cycle management, process control and quality improvement to ensure the plant and its operations remain compliant.


Sampling provides access to two functionalities which can be used in combination or separately:

  • Material Time and Counter Based Sampling – to determine whether a particular material should go to a metrology step or not
  • In-Step Sub-Material Sampling – to select which Sub-Materials to measure at a certain metrology step


Accelerate NPI, test process changes and configure experimental processes for special work requests. Modify process steps and instructions, enforce specific splits and merges, pre-define workflow steps, execute different sequences, change processing parameters and data collection for detailed engineering analysis. »» Read more


The Document Management module provides functionality for creating and maintaining change controlled documents. Emails can be sent when new versions are submitted or published and direct links to the documents are provided. The published documents can be organized and browsed in a document folder structure. It’s also possible to associate documents with material and resource context so that the documents are displayed automatically at the right context in the application.


Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a module that can be used stand-alone or integrated with the Material Tracking and Data Collection module. SPC is also integrated with Maintenance Management. An SPC Chart can also be configured to open an Exception Protocol automatically or trigger an action when a Western Electric or other user-defined SPC rule is violated, such as putting the lot on hold or putting the equipment down. The spec limits can be defined directly at the SPC Chart or can be taken automatically from the Product definition.


Exception Management allows the definition, tracking and management of Exceptions which can be opened manually (ad-hoc) or automatically in case that Data Collection limits or SPC rules are violated. Material can be prevented from moving from the current Step or from being shipped to another facility if it’s associated with an open Protocol. Exception Management protocols follow a user-defined workflow with well-defined states, checklists and parameters.


Allows to identify and document events that affect product quality from any production source across the enterprise. Isolate non-conformant materials, investigate root causes, and route according to disposition decisions.


Allows to funnel all real time quality related incidents into a single system. Eliminate risk by systematically analyzing incidents using a collaborative, flexible process. Adapt to industry needs and enforce product or process changes.

Critical Manufacturing MES has a range of functionalities to optimize and increase the efficiency of shop-floor operations.


Maintenance Management is a module which is integrated with Material, Resource and Container tracking to schedule, track and perform maintenance activities on equipment and containers. These activities can be time based, usage based, time and usage based or ad-hoc (on-demand). Each activity defines a checklist to be performed, the list of spare parts, the data to be collected and a set of SPC charts where data must be posted.


Warehouse Management is a module that allows the management of requests from and to the Warehouse and the Shop Floor. The warehouse management supports four types of requests: cost center materials, BOM materials, spare parts and material returns.


Labor Management enables the management of the Employee Qualifications and Certifications; the management of Resource Personnel Requirements and enforces that only the right users with the right Certifications can perform certain operations on Material and Equipment; Employee Attendance; and the exchange of information between shifts using the Shift Logbook.


Allows to ensure that operators are certified to perform a specific task or operate equipment to avoid risk of non-compliance. Define the required training and certifications, including scope and expiration. Easily configure training and certification for a wide range of operational roles.


Allows to log and transfer critical "pass down” information from one shift to the next.


Costing provides a mechanism to define the different cost structures, based on time, usage, labor and materials and to absorb the costs into the materials as they are processed. The system also provides reports for Material cost history and product cost forecast.


Order Management provides the functionality to track the different customer orders and to fulfill the orders either by assigning work-in-process material, finished goods or creating material for the order.

Meta-data based integration and productivity platform for ERP and equipment integration.


Allows to transfer updates to and receive updates from the ERP system, keeping production orders, inventory status, master data and maintenance information in sync. ERP integration provides bidirectional communication - synchronous and asynchronous - between an ERP system such as SAP and Critical Manufacturing MES. There’s also a buffer mechanism built in to store and forward requests to ERP in the case that the ERP is not available. It allows to ensure production can continue in the event of ERP downtime. The system provides special support for SAP making it easy to receive and process IDocs and to call BAPIs. The following list contains some examples of productive ERP integrations:

  • Receiving master data from ERP
  • Receiving production orders from ERP
  • Receiving warehouse transfers from ERP
  • Making warehouse transfer request to ERP
  • Updating production orders in ERP, including state, time, scrap and consumption information
  • Updating maintenance orders in ERP
  • Receiving Employee data from ERP


Flexible PLM integration for tight alignment between virtual design and physical production allows for collaborative feedback loops between design engineering and production to reduce ramp-up time, accelerate new product introduction and increase quality.


Meta-data based integration and productivity platform for ERP and equipment integration.

  • Visualize all automation workflows in one place.
  • Easily drag and drop equipment and IoT devices into a model of your shop floor creating a network of entities.
  • Define equipment and device connections using SECS/GEM with semiconductor equipment or OPC/OPC UA with PLCs.
  • Map services and messages to speak via MQTT or AMQP over Bluetooth with intelligent devices.
  • Use shared files or databases to speak with LIMS or other applications.
  • Deploy to production with a single click.


Ensures that formulation and dispensing operations are followed precisely and provides complete and strict adherence with safety regulations and recipes. »» Read more


Recipe management provides a hierarchical recipe object so that a recipe can re-use recipe modules. A recipe can contain multiple parameters which can be static or dynamic and it contain a recipe body. Recipe management is integrated with Material Tracking so that the right recipe is resolved and instantiated for the material context. Used in conjunction with equipment integration, it’s possible to upload and download recipes to and from the equipment.


Mapping enables collecting, editing and visualizing two-dimensional material maps (such as wafermaps) with multiple layers. It provides a possibility to link materials with maps and to have the material quantities synchronized with the map quantities.

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Why Critical Manufacturing MES

Critical Manufacturing MES leverages more than one hundred years of manufacturing experience together with the latest available Microsoft and mobile technologies such as HTML5 and Angular.

Be ready for Industry 4.0 and its new process, technologies and millennial employees

Leverage a 3D Manufacturing Digital Twin to see what’s important and act on it

Show each group of system users what they need in ways that they love

Make production a transparent and innovative part of your enterprise and supply chain

Foster constant improvement by designing and executing experiments seamlessly