MES 3.0

What Is The Production Equipment Model?

When any of the core MES modules (Batch Procedure, OEE, SPC, Settings & Changeover, T&T) are installed, the Production Model becomes available and can be managed by the MES Equipment Manager. The Production Model allows you to define your manufacturing process in a tree view form and provides an organized way to configure, control, and analyze your manufacturing activities. It provides the foundation on which the MES modules are built.

The Production Model is a hierarchy of Sites, Areas, Lines with Cell Groups, Cells, Process Cell(s) with Units, Locations, Storage Zones and Storage Units. Typically, Lines and Cells are used to represent machinery or equipment where a process occurs transforming raw materials into sub-assemblies or finished goods. Storage Zones and Storage Units are typically used to define where to get or store material.

Lines with Cells and Process Cells with Units defined in the Production Model should be considered to be equipment that is bolted to the floor and has conduit running to it. Mobile equipment such as pallets, bins, dies used for pressing, etc. are not defined in the Production Model, but configured in the MES Object Editor as Supplemental Equipment.

Use isProductionModuleStarted

Be aware that creating Gateway Scripts that are triggered before the Production Equipment Model is initialized (during a restart for example) could generate errors and allow situations where MES operations are requested before initialization is complete. A common example is Timers that execute Analysis. The error log states that the Equipment Path does not exist.

Wrap scripts in isProductionModuleStarted to avoid this.

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In this section

Below are the different types of Production Items that can be added to the Production Model.

IconProduction ItemDescriptionModule

EnterpriseThe enterprise is the highest level of the Production Model and typically represents a manufacturing company. You can rename the Enterprise production item to your company's name. You can only have one Enterprise item in the Production Model.All
SiteA site is a fixed geographical production location that is part of an enterprise. Separating your enterprise into multiple production sites allows for comparing OEE, downtime and production information between them.All
AreaAn area is a physical or logical grouping of production lines.All

Process Cell

Represents a production line of any type of manufacturing:

  • Continuous Process
  • Converting Line
  • Discrete Manufacturing
  • Packaging Line

Accessed with a Batch Procedure license.

For more information, see Batch Procedure Framework.

Batch Procedure


A unit represents a piece of equipment and its control modules that are used in a major processing activity.

Each unit usually performs one operation within production that could include multiple stages.

A Unit may:

  • perform a single function machine
  • or combine a multifunctional machine operation within a single machine frame and control system.

For more information, see Batch Procedure Framework.

Batch Procedure

A line represents a stand-alone machine or a collection of multiple cells and/or cell groups that work together to perform a sequence of process steps.

Typically, the product flows from one cell or cell group to the next in sequence until the product, or sub assembly, being produced is complete.

Understanding how production execution is managed will help in determining whether cells should be grouped into a line or be considered stand-alone equipment as lines themselves.



Track & Trace

LocationA location item is the place where a sample is collected. This can be placed under an area or a line.SPC
Cell GroupA cell group contains two or more cells. Typically, these cells occur at the same time in the sequence of the line instead of one after another, causing the cell group to act as a single sub process or step within the production.



Track & Trace

CellThe cell is a single machine, sub process or step required in the manufacture of a product. The product may be a hard product such as used in packaging, adding liquid or powder, etc. Packaging machines are a common example, but a cell applies to processes also.



Track & Trace

Storage ZoneA storage area such as a warehouse. Storage zones are located in areas.Track & Trace
Storage UnitA storage unit located inside of a storage zone. For example, you may have a warehouse with bay 1 to 5.Track & Trace

Configuring the Production Model

The Production Model is configured within the Ignition Designer and is accessed via an MES Equipment Manager placed on a window. From here, your enterprise, site(s), area(s), line(s) and line cell(s), line cell group(s), storage zone(s) and storage unit(s) can be added, renamed and deleted.

It is extremely important to understand production OPC values have an OPC item path that matches the layout of the Production Model and that renaming production items can cause Ignition tags associated with a production item to stop being updated.

Database Disconnection

  • Prior to module start-up, the software checks to see if the connection to the selected MES database is valid. If not valid, the software will wait until the connection becomes valid before beginning module startup.
  • If the database connection becomes invalid during normal operation, the system will handle the disconnection and re-connection events gracefully (without causing an error).

Adding a New Production Item

To add a new Production item, right-click on the parent item in the Production Model and select the appropriate Production item (only valid choices to be created under the selected parent item will be available in the list). 

The Enterprise level (or highest level on the current server) must match the naming in the MES Enterprise Settings on the Ignition Gateway.


When you add a cell to a line that had already run in the past, you will either get a popup and/or an error in the Ignition Designer console that says: "Cannot start OEE run on the equipment (Enterprise\Site\Area\Line 2) because production settings for cell group or cell (New Pal) do not exist."

To configure production settings for the new cell:

  1. Open Material Manager mode in an MES Object Editor.
  2. Select the Material Definition you are attempting to run and press edit.
  3. Optional: In the MES Equipment Manager, navigate to the new cell you have created, and adjust any settings as necessary.
  4. Press Save.
  5. Repeat 1-4 for all materials that run on that line.

Naming Characters Allowed

Names must begin with a letter, digit or underscore. Subsequent characters may also include spaces and dashes. The following characters are not allowed:

ObjectCharacters not allowed
Production Equipment. ? ! # % ^ * ~ [ ] { } + = ` \, @ & ( ) < >
MES Person. ? ! # % ^ * ~ [ ] { } + = ` \/ " $ | < >
All other MES Objects. ? ! # % ^ * ~ [ ] { } + = ` \/ " $ | ,

Renaming a Production Item

To rename a production item, right-click on it and select Rename (or press F2), then enter the new name.

Please note that when you rename a Production item, it actually creates a new instance of a Production item and disables the old production item. This is important to note, as data captured against that production item will not be accessible to the newly-renamed Production item. The best practice is to spend the time to name all Production Items correctly at the beginning of the project.

You will not be allowed to rename a production Line item in run-time in the MES Equipment Manager while an OEE Operation is in progress.

Deleting a Production Item

To remove an existing production item, right-click on the item and select the Delete menu item. A window will appear confirming that you permanently want to delete the production item.

Please note that any line(s), cell(s), cell group(s) and location(s) underneath the Production item will also be permanently removed.

Adding a new Cell Group to the Production Model

Renaming the Equipment

Copying a Production Item

Right Click mouse button and select Copy on any production item to copy that production item.

Right Click mouse button and select Paste to make a copy of that production item in the Production Model.

If you are copying a line, select the line before copying it. When you paste it, select the area in which to the create a copy of that line.

Copying a Production Item

Production Item General Settings

The general settings are accessed by selecting the desired production item and selecting Settings in the General section. 


By default, the production item is disabled (items that are disabled are displayed in red text). It can be enabled by checking the Active setting and saving the project. When disabled, this will stop the Track and Trace, OEE Downtime, SPC, Recipe and scheduling modules from using the area and any other production items that are underneath it. When enabled, the item turns to black text.

DescriptionThis is an optional description and is just for your reference.

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