Efficient production planning

The MES 4.0 manufacturing execution system is the holistic, modular solution for planning and controlling the whole metallurgical process chain and all production facilities as part of upgrades, expansions, or new integrated plants. From the customer's order to the finished product - the customized MES 4.0 concept supports plant operators with flexible production planning, factory-wide real-time material tracking, and continuous performance optimization.

Like all modular software solutions from SMS digital, MES 4.0 employs the methods of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data analysis to monitor all production steps along the entire process chain – that is how you achieve dynamic production.

Production planning with the Manufacturing Execution Suite 4.0

Key features

  • Maximized utilization of plants production capabilities.
  • Reduced stock levels
  • Faster order processing
  • Special handling of urgent orders
  • Better available to promise (ATP) performance
  • Greater amount of hot charging
  • Coordination of the production for superordinate material tracking

Product groups

  • Production Planning

    Every order is unique and must be individually tailored to the company's specific conditions based on the objectives at hand. The Production planning modules contribute to sustainable success in order processing through planning and control. In a first step, all relevant data for customer and production orders are collected. Following, the plant sequencing comprises all production stages in steel making starting with processing in melt shop and ending at the finishing line. Based on the actual resources, capacities available, delivery dates and cost factors equipment utilization are optimized and displayed transparently. Stay on top of the order management until the very last moment, even if in case of unexpected deviations ad-hoc rescheduling is inevitable.


    Technical Order Generator

    Technical Order Generator creates the production orders. The production order is the main data object in production planning and control and describes the requirements with regard to production and testing.

    Capacity Planner

    The capacity and time scheduling function is an independent software solution, which is successfully used as a standard in the steel industry for capacity and delivery date planning.

    Production Sequencer

    Purpose of the module Production Sequencer is the definition of production sequences for the considered equipment – meaning which orders shall be produced in which sequence.

    Short Rescheduler

    The Short Rescheduler supports the operator/planner in case of un-planned production events that will require on the spot changes in the production schedule.

    Melt Shop Pacer

    The Melt Shop Pacer optimizes the metal processing and equipment utilization in the melt shop. The main function is to keep the planned sequence of the caster even when unplanned interruptions in the melt shop occur.

  • Business Planning

    Production demand forecasting is one of the most powerful tools of optimal production planning. Knowing the future demand for products and target quantities enables efficient planning of available resources. Detailed pre-grouping according to different parameters and product dimensions allows a high degree of customer-centricity in predicting future production demand.


    Pre-grouping (Mid-term planning)

    Purpose of the module Pre-grouping (Mid-term planning) is to define groups for similar products to do a pre-sorting of orders for optimum sequence planning based on a time horizon of several weeks ( months).

    Demand Planner

    The Demand Planner enables a more precise ATP calculation based on product characteristics and improves the plant utilization.

  • Supervision

    Not only the core functionalities of production planning are crucial for success. Supporting framework modules help to ensure production success. Detailed management of master data, evaluation of energy consumption and an efficient interface between planning and plant automation are just a few examples of the wide-ranging optimization options.


    Master Data Manager

    The Master Data Manager offers the centralized configuration of master data and the distribution to sub-systems.

    Quality Manager

    The Quality Manager provides central tracking of quality aspects during production as well as the corresponding sampling plans.

    Delay Manager

    The Delay Manager enables a classification of delays and the corresponding analysis.

    Flexible Analysis

    Flexible Analysis optimizes the planning of casting sequences by reducing transition slabs. Therefore, target values for all chemistries of heats are optimized to serve different orders with one chemical composition.

  • Logistics

    The further development of storage management using MES functionalities is increasingly gaining in importance. Horizontal networking in the sense of Industry 4.0 authorizes suppliers and customers to be integrated into the whole process chain. The Yard Manager, Equipment Manager, Consumables Manager and Customer Portal enables optimum vertical networking of the production facilities and units along the whole process chain. The modules support any level of automation, whether semi-automatic, fully automatic or autonomous transport systems. In combination with the unrivaled software, the last percentage points of effectiveness out of every system are extracted.


    Consumables Manager

    Management of input materials required for production like scrap and alloys.

    Yard Manager

    The Yard Manager has been designed for covering all relevant aspects of the yard for final or intermediate products like slabs, ingots, long products, coils, plates or tubes.

  • Business Intelligence

    The process of steel production generates a large amount of signals and data, which mostly remain unused but hide enormous potential for improvement. Combining this data correctly and deriving added value from it remains a key challenge of digitization. Business Intelligence supports the targeted linking and analysis of large volumes of data.By means of various options for visualization and filtering of historical process data, deep insights into the production process are possible, which supports well-founded strategic decisions.


    Business Intelligence - Analysis

    The reporting and analysis application X-Pact® Business Intelligence, as part of the X-Pact® MES 4.0 software, is the modern way of creating information out of data.

    Production Controller

    The Production Controller is the central module to handle the communication, database and HMI for X-Pact® MES 4.0 system.

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