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Manufacturing Execution with Dynamics NAV and SHOPFLOOR

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When it comes to manufacturing execution in Dynamics NAV there is not much help in the standard application for the shop floor operators. In the company using standard NAV, the operator will probably receive a piece of paper from someone telling him what to do. Indeed this is not very clever, not satisfying for most  and definitely an expensive way of planning and executing.

Here is a few things to look for in your search for a proper MES-Manufacturing execution application:

The main point which cannot be over-emphasized is overall intuitiveness and user friendliness. A shop floor terminal is to be operated by all operating people whether they have operating capabilities in a PC / tablet / smartphone environment. Find the least computer familiar operator and get his acceptance. Then you probably will get the acceptance from the rest. The operator needs an intuitive system where he is able to see to see what he is doing or shall do right now, what is in the waiting line for him ready to be worked on later, and perhaps what is coming up later.

Modern production execution methods demand moving away from the "old school" method that an operator or a machine works on orders one by one.

Today different jobs from more production orders are bundled together for a specific period of time  - a day, a week etc. and can be manufactured at a specific resource (man, machine, other resource). This method bundling is also called clustering or family production. This bundling is either determined by the operator himself or dictated by machine-automation, for example nested operations (laser cutting, automatic welding, assembly etc.) laid out by machine programming.



Another example is one operator executing more orders on more machines at the same time.

At the end of the day it is important (a must) that the applied  time/cost-resources is reflected correctly to the actual execution conditions and re-distributed back to the individual orders to get accurate item cost calculations after finishing the orders.

Operator self service is vital. What am I supposed to do next? And what do I need to observe before starting? This should be  shown very clearly on the screen.

Paperless is vital. All current information at disposal is on the screen before starting the job - see order comments, process comments, drawings, planner comments, qa measures, etc. And equally important is the opportunity for the operator to write back to the planner about certain issues without walking, e-mailing, etc.

Autonomous operator teams like very much to be able to plan their own weekly schedule without the intervention of foremen and planners. What they need is an overview of which and how many hours they are supposed to work in a specific week before they leave on Friday afternoon.

Operator controlling material issues and put away when finishing production. To rationalise, many companies now hand over the responsibility of issuing and receiving materials to the operator. So instead of a stock foreman or other personnel doing the component issues and finished products receipts jobs, the operator is in charge of issuing components and putting away finished products from and to proper inventory locations.

Integrated or interfaced solutions. There  are many interfaced MES - solutions available for Dynamics NAV out there. My recommendation is to forget about them all. Without a real-time, integrated MES system against your Dynamics NAV with proper standard NAV time and materials transaction processing, you have not gained anything, and are left with an island-solution which basically is nothing. And we have not talked about any kind of new user learning curve demanded because of new and non-NAV functionality. Simply, it does not work.  

Integrated controls. If in the process you have demands on f.ex. filling out a QA form or other process documentation information, look for a system that has this capability, so execution and the proper reporting related to a process can be a part of the process execution (starting and finishing a job) and not as a separate activity on a stand-alone PC-thing.

Planner and operator display screens should more and less work off from the same functionality and logic basis so all people talk the same language. When status and other information is changed this needs to be done in real-time regardless from which side it comes.

Much more can be said. A NAVEKSA SHOPFLOOR solution complies with the above points and much more. And we also do the SHOPFLOOR Planning part. If you are interested please see our video at:

or visit our web site at:


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