When it comes to the production floor of a manufacturing facility, most equipment comes with use and care recommendations. However, your shop, like most, probably doesn’t run within that narrow framework. A routine schedule may not take into account actual use and wear. As a result, maintenance engineers and planners often struggle to accurately plan MRO activities. Preventative Maintenance that uses real-time production data can make that effort easier on everyone. Implementing a preventative maintenance plan using informative and actionable insights will lead to better overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and a more detailed understanding of performance and production overall. Additionally, sophisticated preventative maintenance tools make it easy to communicate those data points as they relate to the business’ overall performance.

Since the production environment is dynamic, with conditions and plans constantly changing, you look to Epicor Advanced MES to keep things running smoothly. The MES system’s preventive maintenance module orchestrates MRO activity with production, with the common goal of maximizing uptime and minimizing downtime. The same real-time data that fuels the schedule, real-time views, and other core MES elements also feeds precise information about the actual machine, tool, and auxiliary equipment use. The result— reliability and maintenance engineers armed for greater contributions to margins and on-time delivery.

Transform Preventive Maintenance from Routine and Reactive to Proactive and Deliberate

Condition planning can help to minimize costly repairs and extend the life of assets. You make the rules and Advanced MES alerts your team to take action. Advanced MES’s preventive maintenance module lets you define and automatically initiate activities based on runtime, number of cycles, time, or any combination of these criteria. Every rule automatically sends a maintenance activity to the production schedule when the conditions are met, which eliminates needless maintenance activity and conserves precious resources.

Epicor’s Advanced MES coupled with Preventative Maintenance tools can empower manufacturing businesses, as it:

  • Handles MRO activities like cleaning, changing parts, taking measurements, making adjustments, performing inspections, and others
  • Adjusts production schedule automatically for PM/MRO
  • Applies to machines, tools, auxiliary equipment, and other types of assets
  • Accepts tasks, schedules, and requirements from ERP, MRP, and other maintenance systems

Every time a maintenance event flows into the schedule, you can see exactly how it’s going to affect production and you have the ability to make schedule choices and adjustments. Operators and maintenance staff get the information they need in real-time, with alerts and notifications consistent with your MES system configuration. Additionally, each scheduled maintenance activity can include instructions and documents specific to the machine and current requirements, served up where the work is going to take place.

When the maintenance tech or engineer arrives at the repair site, the system lets the worker login, log out, and document steps and work completed. Your Advanced MES system keeps track of time and captures all of the data that’s critical for future planning and audit.

traceability. Preventive maintenance reports—on past, current, and future activities—help you plan for the right people and the right supplies and parts at the right time without wasting dollars on excess parts, supplies, and hours on the schedule. The preventive maintenance module also helps you create resource utilization reports to examine the cost and time required to maintain any specific machine or tool, any category of machine or tool, or even groups of assets based on shift, customer, crew member, or any other dimension.

Here are just a few capabilities Preventative Maintenance tools from Epicor can provide to manufacturers:

  • Delivers on-the-spot maintenance documents and instructions
  • Provides MRO cost tracking and visibility against assets, work centers, staff, shifts
  • Builds maintenance history with audit trail details— who, what, when, how long
  • Includes pre-defined one-click reports and easy report configuration
  • Allows escalation rules for past due and incomplete activities
  • Allows rules based on runtime, cycles, time, or a combination
  • Generate automatic MRO tasks
  • Provide, real-time alerts and reports

Supercharge Your Preventative Maintenance Deployment with Epicor Data Analytics

The inclusion of Epicor Data Analytics tools as part of your preventative maintenance routine can dramatically improve results. Epicor Data Analytics (EDA) is a cloud-based, easy-to-use solution that can quickly contribute to your business while helping you avoid error-prone approaches such as spreadsheets and manual calculations that often waste time and resources. It also stays up-to-date with the daily stored changes of your production trend monitoring.

EDA provides customizable and interactive dashboards to make it easy to analyze the short-term and long-term data trends related to your production equipment. The dashboards provide visual graphs, charts, and tables, so you can quickly review important information about your production performance and make informed strategic decisions. The EDA grid is where you conduct most of your analysis—and unlike a spreadsheet, you can “drill down” into the data with a simple click to reveal additional details.

EDA is a comprehensive end-to-end service delivered and supported by Epicor. It is fully integrated with Advanced MES using your data to provide a broad understanding of your production performance. As a cloud-based service, EDA minimizes costs for your IT head-count and current system hardware, software, and maintenance budgets. Because you are accessing it in the cloud, you will always have the latest and greatest version of EDA.

With EDA, you have responsive mobile access to your data, so you are never disconnected from your information. “Always connected” means you can respond quickly to the needs of your business and keep your operations highly productive. Use EDA with your maintenance program to help you understand important information like:

  • Mean-time between failures
  • Mean-time to failure
  • Mean-time to repair
  • Maintenance views

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Your Advanced MES real-time display shows you dashboards for the current shift and current job. But what if you want to capture that data for long-term trending analysis? The solution is Epicor Data Analytics (EDA), powered by Phocas™, which helps manufacturing operations turn their accumulated data into actionable insights. It helps them look beyond the long-term or short-term overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) measures to focus on the specific components—plant, department, machine, shift, part, etc.—that are causing losses to the company.

Visualizing Operational Data Trends

From the top floor to the shop floor, it’s important to know how your business is performing at all times. That’s why Epicor built a powerful, out-of-the-box reporting and analytics system that delivers important information in easy-to-digest dials, graphs, and charts.

EDA is a cloud-based, easy-to-use solution that can quickly contribute to your business while helping you avoid error-prone approaches such as spreadsheets and manual calculations that often waste time and resources. It also stays up-to-date with the daily stored changes of your production trend monitoring.

EDA provides customizable and interactive dashboards to make it easy to analyze the short-term and long-term data trends related to your production equipment. The dashboards provide visual graphs, charts, and tables, so you can quickly review important information about your production performance and make informed strategic decisions. The EDA grid is where you conduct most of your analysis—and unlike a spreadsheet, you can “drill down” into the data with a simple click to reveal additional details.

EDA is a comprehensive end-to-end service delivered and supported by Epicor. It is fully integrated with Advanced MES using your data to provide a broad understanding of your production performance. As a cloud-based service, EDA minimizes costs for your IT head-count and current system hardware, software, and maintenance budgets. Because you are accessing it in the cloud, you will always have the latest and greatest version of EDA.

With EDA, you have responsive mobile access to your data, so you are never disconnected from your information. “Always connected” means you can respond quickly to the needs of your business and keep your operations highly productive

Benefits and Key Features of EDA for Advanced MES

Among the many benefits manufacturers experience through the use of EDA for Advanced MES are the ability to:

  • Drive improvements based on data – not opinions
  • Understand OEE trends and target areas for improvement
  • Visually spot anomalies, and drill down into transactional detail to find the source
  • Enable employees to access and tailor visualizations in a self-service capacity
  • Reduce time wasted gathering and organizing production data

Key Features

  • Made for Manufacturers
  • Offers fast implementation
  • Fast, flexible, and easy to learn
  • Integrated with Epicor Advanced MES plus other data sources of your choosing
  • Keeps you connected with mobile access
  • Delivered as a complete, scalable cloud service – no hardware required
  • Does not require Advanced MES user licenses
  • Public internal dashboards feature provides a live display link
  • Does not require Advanced MES user licenses

Content Packs

EDA includes an out-of-the-box connection to Advanced MES, which means fast implementation and fast ROI. Without it, your alternative would be to manually connect to the data schema and determine what data to bring into the analytics solution, which could be a daunting, months-long process. Instead, we provide starter dashboards that you can easily clone and modify. You can also choose our extended content packs that are available and you also have the freedom to build onto the content pack with any additional fields from Advanced MES and augment from any other data sources.

Build your own dashboards or take advantage of prebuilt content packs that include:

  • Key performance indicators
  • Plant comparisons
  • Scrap dashboards
  • Downtime dashboards
  • Mean-time dashboards
  • OEE dashboards
  • Availability dashboards
  • Performance dashboards
  • Mean-time between failures
  • Mean-time to failure
  • Mean-time to repair
  • Schedule views
  • Shift production reports
  • Tool change views
  • Tool requirements views
  • Machine parameter views
  • Material needs views
  • Material used views
  • Maintenance views
  • Operator metrics
  • Top 10 dashboards
  • Cavitation efficiency displays
  • Cycles out of spec dashboards
  • Engineering dashboards
  • Help call metrics
  • Incident log views
  • Utilization metrics
  • Job production views
  • Machine scoreboards
  • Energy usage views

Requirements

Epicor Data Analytics is available for Advanced MES Version 8.2.4 and higher. The lightweight SYNC application and one instance of data are stored on a local server with the majority residing in the cloud. Extra disk space is recommended that is 2.5 to 3 times the disk space of the data being loaded to the cloud. The only items required for subscription purchase are a starter pack of five named users (plus additional named users as desired). The Public Internal Dashboards feature requires a minimum of fifteen EDA named users. All other necessary components, such as Advanced MES content and the SYNC application are included as well as some Epicor ERP content.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Alerts & Notifications automates shop floor communications with automatic messaging and escalation, so supervisors, managers, maintenance crews, and engineers can respond to conditions in the plant immediately. When process conditions need attention, when production stops, or when operators need help, Epicor Advanced MES Alerts and Notifications instantly notify the right people. Functionality dispatches a signal or message that can be seen by just one, a few, or all people that need to be involved.

Automatic Communication Routing

Text messages, loudspeaker announcements, e-mail, flashing lights, and audible sounds are just a few of the ways you can alert people throughout the facility that something or someone needs help. Help call buttons, production status, and process exceptions can all trigger the automatic messaging system, based on rules you specify within the Epicor Advanced MES system. When someone responds to an alert, there’s a quick and easy way for them to log their arrival and actions, so there’s no paperwork to shuffle.

Your Epicor Advanced MES system has the capacity to route and escalate each alert and notification based on what’s happening at any given moment. Does the operator need more material or is there an unexpected breakdown? The request for help screen can include choices for maintenance, material, and moving finished product. You can even provide for levels of urgency, based on operator selection or pre–defined rules. Each time an operator or technician issues a call for help, you can relax with the knowledge that Epicor Advanced MES will carry out the communication and escalation process you prescribed.

Types of MES Alerts and Notifications

  • Help Calls
  • Down Events
  • Parameters Out-Of-Specification (OOS)
  • Machine Communication Failures
  • Job Active
  • Idle
  • Startup
  • End of Job Warning
  • In Production

MES Alerts and Notifications Benefits 

  • Accelerate issue response
  • Minimize downtime with faster response
  • Capture accurate data for process planning
  • Feed operations improvements with accurate time logs and reasons
  • Identify problems early and fix them before they become critical issues
  • Empower your employees

Escalate Communications

Priorities can shift, and people may not be able to respond immediately to an alert. Epicor Advanced MES keeps tabs on all active alerts, and automatically escalates messaging according to the plan you configure. You can even start with a text message or e-mail and reinforce with a shop floor audible a few minutes later. Alerts don’t stop until your Epicor Advanced MES system has exhausted all messaging rules, or someone logs a response to the call, status, or condition. If you configure the system to alert indefinitely until it receives a response entry, then Alerts & Notifications becomes a catalyst for timely response to issues.

Turn Everyday Headaches Into Improvement Opportunities

All the data from help calls, issue alerts, and responses goes directly into the Epicor Advanced MES database with time and date stamps, type of alert, reasons, process values, and more. When it’s time to do some process planning or serious analysis, you have all the information you need to determine what’s working and what’s not. You’ll be able to spot and explore trends, make best practices repeatable, and define new operational strategies.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Production scheduling has an impact on the entire business—from commit-to-order, to resource planning, and even job costing. Plus, your reputation, growth, and ability to conduct business profitably depends on delivering the right quantity of the right product at the right time—and effective production scheduling is essential to success. Epicor Advanced MES includes real-time production scheduling visualization tools that automatically keep pace with what’s happening on the shop floor every minute of every day, so jobs start at the right time, orders finish when they’re supposed to, and your company delivers on commitments.

Real-Time Means “Right Now”

The Advanced MES’ production schedule uses job information to tell the shop what to make, how much, and when. Job information comes from your ERP system, MRP, or is even entered manually. From there, the production schedule comes to life, using current production conditions and equipment constraints to create a clear, accurate production schedule.

Advanced MES constantly keeps the job schedule up-to-date in real-time—every minute of every day. Because the system knows what’s running right now, how many parts or pieces are left in the job, and how fast each machine is running, you don’t have to wait until a job is finished or until someone enters data to find out exactly when a job will finish or when a machine will be available. The information you need is there when you pull it up and refreshes continuously.

Visual and Easy to Understand

Production scheduling with Epicor Advanced MES is visual and intuitive. You can see every machine and every job, and even non-production tasks like scheduled maintenance. Color coding means that with just a quick glance, anyone can see what’s running on time and detect schedule problems and delays. It’s also clear where there’s available capacity to take on more work or make adjustments for greater efficiency or better margins.

Drag and Drop What-if Planning, Worry-Free Precision

Unlike a static whiteboard or spreadsheet, the Advanced MES job schedule is dynamic and interactive, so planning is quick and easy. With role-based permissions, schedulers and engineers can conduct what-if scenario planning, while material handlers and tool room techs can see what work is headed in their direction. Plus, the job schedule in Advanced MES helps ensure accuracy. The system prevents people from scheduling jobs on the wrong machine and it knows when the right tools won’t be available. The system automatically tries to resolve resource conflicts and provides visual cues where problems remain.

Dynamic Scheduling

Dynamic scheduling is one of the most powerful features of the Advanced MES scheduler. When a job is created, the forecasted end date of the job will be based on the standards in the process sheet which include factors such as:

  • Standard Cycle
  • Setup
  • Scrap
  • Downtime
  • Parts per Cycle

Once a job is started on a machine, the standards are set aside for efficiency calculations and the forecasted end date will then be based on the live performance of the job on the machine.

MES Real-Time Production Scheduling Features

  • Intuitive graphical scheduling
  • Real-time notification of job status
  • Drag and drop job allocation
  • Create and schedule individual or family parts
  • Define equipment process parameters
  • Report on capacity, labor, material needs, equipment performance, and more
  • Integration with ERP
  • Handle priorities, capacity, and constraints
  • Helps to eliminate job, machine, and tool conflicts
  • Facilitates on-the-fly schedule changes
  • Simplifies sophisticated scenarios
  • Schedule by start time or finish time
  • Easy to understand color coding
  • Drill down into past performance

Advanced MES Benefits

  • Pinpoint available capacity
  • Identify tool constraints
  • Help increase throughput for revenue growth
  • Impact labor and inventory leveling
  • Provide accurate delivery quotes
  • Improve on-time delivery performance
  • Make real-time decisions

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The concept of a “Smart Factory” has become a reality for manufacturers. In today’s Industry 4.0 world it is critical that we have a system that can capture more information, faster. With the Epicor Kinetic Advanced MES Machine Interface Unit (MIU), you can collect machine and process data in real-time and connect to virtually any machine, without having to rely on equipment that is OPC compliant.

Benefits of the Epicor Kinetic Advanced MES Machine Interface Unit

The Advanced MES Connected Factory Machine Interface Unit (CF-MIU) is an industrial-strength data collection device conceived, developed, and manufactured by Epicor, and was designed along the lines of a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. The term SCADA generally refers to a system that monitors machines, groups of machines, or large cells of manufacturing equipment.

Much of the control is performed automatically by the MIU, however, there are host control functions that permit overriding this autonomous control through supervisory actions or intervention. For example, the MIU can control the output reject chute based upon various conditions and processes. Other benefits include:

  • Continues to collect data during network outages
  • Connects to any machine
  • Control your machine when there are process violations detected
  • Sample at 2000 per second

The MIU is basically ensuring that every part is manufactured according to engineering specs provided at the host. Its main purpose is to collect production and process information from the manufacturing machine, store, and transmit that data in real-time to the server computer.

The MIU has the ability to interface with non-OPC PLCs on the factory floor as well as read its own internal set of analog and digital inputs. The data acquisition begins here through meter readings, level indicators, pressure and temperature status readings, etc., which are then forwarded to the SCADA engine on the MIU. Data is then compiled, formatted, various reduction analysis equations are executed, and outputs are engaged if needed. In real-time, the operator can make supervisory decisions to adjust or override normal process and procedural functions.

Advanced MES Connected Factory Machine Interface Unit Technology

The new CF-MIU takes advantage of the latest technology in computer hardware design and offers advancements from almost every standpoint that allow you to connect your factory floor like never before. Instead of soldering input boards onto the motherboard the new MIU uses plug-n-play input boards that allow the MIU to grow as your needs change. Any interruption in network service is covered by a much larger cache that takes us from storing hours of data to days. 2 USB ports are available for remote network connections such as for a mouse or a keyboard.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.