Customized demand management in the implementation of MES system


Abstract: Combined with the mature waterfall software engineering model of application software, this paper introduces the whole process customization covering every key stage of requirement analysis, system design, system realization, and system testing during the implementation process of MES system, decomposing layer by layer, and implementing step by step. Demand management methods. This set of methods was applied to the implementation of the MES system of several large iron and steel enterprises that the author was responsible for, and achieved good results in the high-quality realization of customized requirements.

In recent years, with the country’s major strategic decisions that "informatization drives industrialization, industrialization promotes informatization, and a new path of industrialization with Chinese characteristics" and "vigorously promote the deep integration of industrialization and informatization", my country’s manufacturing industries are booming through the construction of corporate information In order to enhance the core competitiveness and realize the climax of the transformation of production and management methods from traditional labor-intensive to automation, informatization, and intelligence. MES (Manufacture Execution System) is the core integrated platform responsible for production scheduling optimization, manufacturing process monitoring, full-process quality control, and material tracking and tracing between the management management and the process control layer in the enterprise information architecture. It is also used in metallurgy and petrochemicals. , Automobile, shipbuilding and other manufacturing industries have been widely implemented and applied.

The implementation of MES system has particularity. Depending on the industry and product implemented, the system processes and functional modules may be completely different. Even in the same industry, with different manufacturing processes and processes, and different management practices and systems, the functional processes of the system will vary greatly. In short, the MES system is highly personalized, and it is difficult to form a unified MES software product across industries and production lines.

The current mature MES system implementation mode is developed and implemented based on the MES product platform software combined with customized requirements. The so-called MES product platform software is usually aimed at a specific manufacturing industry, combined with many years of system implementation experience, and formed a set of general functional components adapted to the industry's standard business management process. The platform has a certain degree of versatility and high openness, which can be used as a basis for secondary development. In the implementation of the MES system, the effective management and final realization of customized requirements is a crucial part of the success of the system.

This article mainly combines the most commonly used waterfall engineering mode in software implementation, and introduces the full-process customized demand management method covering each key stage. This set of methods was applied to the implementation of the MES system of several large steel companies that the author was responsible for, and achieved good results in the high-quality realization of customized requirements.

1 Management method
The waterfall software implementation process is adopted to implement customized requirements management methods in the various stages of requirements analysis, system design, system implementation, and system testing. The requirements are decomposed and implemented step by step, and the customized requirements based on the platform software are finally completed. Efficient design and high-quality realization.

1.1 Demand analysis
The project manager and the system designer work together to sort out the customized requirements defined in the requirements survey, and appoint the person in charge of each requirement among the designers based on the core function positioning of the customized requirements. After discussing and designing the overall plan for the main customization requirements in time, the corresponding person in charge will prepare the customized plan document. Issues that need to be further clarified during the plan sorting process are also written in the plan document, so that they can be confirmed during subsequent communication with users and continue to be improved. The customized solution document needs to include requirements description, design principles and prerequisites, system solution description, related code and data items (code and data items to be added), and questions that need further communication.

The project manager and the system designer work together to compile a customized demand management checklist (in Excel format). For cross-system procedural customization requirements, it should be prepared by the project manager. The designers of each subsystem are responsible for the collation and inventory compilation of the customized requirements in the corresponding system. The formation of the list is conducive to complete and effective closed-loop management of customized requirements, and is conducive to the development of the next stage of system design. The list should include: description of requirements, involved subsystems (list of process-based customized requirements), processing status (such as: not carried out, internal discussion, pending user confirmation, confirmed) overall plan description (requirements for the formation of internal plan documents) , To list the document name), responsible person, etc. For example, the customized demand management list formed during the demand stage of "Formosa Hajing Production and Sales Automation System" is shown in Figure 1.

Through multiple rounds of repetition of the above work, continue to supplement and clarify the customized demand list, and improve the relevant customized overall plan documents. In the demand stage, the design plan for the main customized needs has been formed in advance, which is one step forward than the work requirements in the demand stage, and the overall situation is in grasp and confident. It laid a solid foundation for the subsequent design work and also ensured that the project as a whole has no hidden dangers of derailment.

1.2 System design
In the early stage of system design, the project team refined the design on the basis of the customized plan document formed in the demand stage, drew the system function flowchart of the main customized plan, decomposed the function, and designed the corresponding front-end and back-end functional components. The person in charge of customized requirements prepares the corresponding customized design documents. The document should include application scenarios (general description of requirements), premises and schemes (design premises and implementation schemes), system flowcharts, main functional components, issues that need further clarification, etc. In order to clearly indicate the implementation methods of front-end and back-end components and interface functions related to customization, a column of "customization method" should be added to the "function component list". The development method of "customized addition" or "customized modification" can be set for related functional components and interfaces according to the degree of support of the existing product platform. For example, in the customized solution document of "Fujian Fuxin Stainless Steel MES System", we have clarified the realization of each customized functional component as shown in Figure 2.

In the above work, the project team should also continue to track and improve based on the customized management checklist formed in the demand stage to form a customized design checklist. The project manager is responsible for the preparation of the cross-system process custom design checklist, and the system designer is responsible for the preparation of the corresponding system checklist. The customized design list should be more detailed than the demand management list, and record the solutions and related materials (such as meeting memos, customized design documents) corresponding to the customized requirements.

For each update, the update date should be recorded and follow-up arrangements should be clarified. The checklist should include the following content: involved subsystems (cross-system customized design checklist), processing status (such as: not carried out, internal discussion, pending user confirmation, confirmed), concise conclusion (concise description of the realization plan), and related materials , The person in charge, the person who made the request (the user unit that made the request) follow-up arrangements, etc. For example, in the customized design list of "Xiang Steel's 5m wide and heavy plate MES system", we have formed the design list of each customized functional component as shown in Figure 3.

Through multiple rounds of repetition of the above work, we constantly clarify the specific implementation methods of each customized requirement and improve related documents. Finally, at the end of the system design, confirm with the user the detailed implementation process and front-end and back-end functional components of each customized requirement.

1.3 System implementation
Before programming, according to the customized design documents and the overall plan of the project development stage, the project manager organizes the project team to prepare the development plan, and clarifies the development responsibility and planned completion date of each front-end functional component. The "customized method" should be added to the development plan management to indicate the customized attributes of the functional component.

Because system developers are less involved in system design communication, project managers and system designers should work with module developers to compile a list of customized content covered by the module (Excel format) "×××× Module Customization Function Click to organize the list to facilitate its complete customized development. In the list, the relevant customized content is divided into sub-modules, and the function points that need to be customized and developed in the sub-modules are listed. The main content of the list is shown in Table 1.

In the actual customized programming and single test (especially the back-end functional components), the following tasks also require special attention from developers.
(1) Carefully sort out other specific components that may be affected by the customized function points of the component;

(2) Considering the linkage between the customized component and other components of related modules (including forward and reverse operations), which specific programs may need to be synchronized;

(3) For the linkage of customized function points between systems, it is necessary to consider the customized transformation of the interface.

The results of the above sorting should be written into the "××× Module Customized Function Point Sorting List" mentioned earlier, so as to facilitate the memo and the follow-up single test to facilitate verification.

In the development process, in order to help project managers and system designers to track progress, consider establishing a "customized dedicated progress tracking list" for modules with more customized functional processes, which will be updated regularly by the person in charge of the module. The list contains the following contents: customized functions, subsystems (such as quality modules, which can integrate MMS quality management and PES quality inspection management), function points, completion rate (percentage), planned completion date, actual completion date, responsibility People wait.

1.4 System test
When the system development is coming to an end, the project manager will take the lead and participate in the preparation of system test cases. System test cases should cover all production lines covered by the system and the main functional processes of each production line, and on this basis, add customized functional processes based on customized design lists and customized design documents, and then rationally integrate the design to form a complete coverage of all A collection of test cases for standard and customized processes. Each test step in the test case must fully specify the related function points (including related interfaces) that need to be checked during the test of the step. At the same time, a reasonable test plan must be arranged according to the set of test cases.

If time permits, multiple rounds of testing should be considered. In the second round of testing, the original case should not be simply repeated. The weaknesses of the first round of testing should be considered to determine the focus of the second round of testing. At the same time, the project manager should lead the project team to further integrate the first round of test cases, which can increase the complexity of the customized process combination in the case, increase the diversification of test data, and further strengthen the function of the inspection system.

2 Method characteristics
2.1 Implementation of responsibilities layer by layer
Project managers, system designers, and developers collaborated with each other to perform their duties and jointly completed the full life cycle management of customized requirements from proposal to realization. This method clarifies the corresponding responsibilities of the above-mentioned personnel in the implementation phase, and determines the responsibility mechanism to ensure the implementation of customized requirements layer by layer and continuous advancement. The details are shown in Table 2.

2.2 The task is broken down by stages
(1) Demand analysis. Identify and sort out the customized requirements put forward by users, and gradually form a cross-system and customized requirements management list for each system. According to the main customization requirements, the group discusses, forms a customized plan document, analyzes the feasibility of the realization and the overall realization plan, and continuously improves it.

(2) System design. According to the customized demand list, gradually refine the cross-system and customized design management list for each system. On the basis of the customized solution document, the main customized requirements are restructured one by one, the detailed design is formed into a customized design document, and the main customized requirements are decomposed and designed to the front and back functional components. And continue to improve through design communication with users.

(3) System implementation. Combine the customized system design documents to prepare a complete front-end and back-end development plan. Expand customized functional components on the basis of the product platform as planned, or carry out customized transformations.

(4) System testing. Compile a complete system function test case (including customized function process) and test plan. According to the test plan, through multiple rounds of internal tests, system bugs were resolved in time, and system functions were continuously improved.

2.3 The information is refined stage by stage
The core materials of customized requirements management: customized requirements lists and plan documents are organized and formed after requirements are proposed, and then gradually refined in each stage of project implementation to form design lists and design documents, and finally implemented into specific functional components Logically and functionally, it forms a supporting system test case, which constitutes a step-by-step detailed data management of the entire process of customized requirements, ensuring that the customized requirements are truly implemented and will not become a castle in the sky. The entire data management process of customized requirements is shown in Figure 4.

3 main applications
    The implementation method of the above-mentioned customized demand management is fully applied by the team responsible for the author in the following MES system implementation projects.
    (1) Hunan Xiangtan Steel's 5m wide and heavy plate MES system. Xianggang's 5m wide and heavy plate MES system is a management information system supporting the sales, quality, production, and delivery of the 5m wide and heavy plate production line of Xianggang. The system covers the three main production units of steelmaking and continuous casting, thick plate rolling and thick plate finishing. The main customization requirements include: thick plate splitting line production management, steel ingot application and rolling whole process management, residual short billet and steel plate A1 automatic assembly process, residual material disposal overall optimization solution, etc.

    (2) Fujian Fuxin stainless steel MES system. Fujian Fuxin Stainless Steel MES system is a supporting production and marketing information system for Fuxin's first-phase hot-rolled steel coil production line with an annual output of 1 million tons of stainless steel and 500,000 tons of carbon steel. The system covers stainless steel steelmaking and continuous casting, hot rolling and post-rolling pickling, finishing and other production lines. The main customization requirements include: the whole process management of mixed rolling, the management of small order quantity contracts, the overall solution of 400 series warm rolling, the overall solution of processing with supplied materials, etc.

    (3) Formosa Plastics Group's Hajing Iron and Steel production and sales automation system. The integrated production and marketing system of Hajing, in conjunction with the construction of the production line of Hajing Company’s first phase of the first phase of 7.07 million tons of steel billets and 6.82 million tons of finished steel products (including hot rolled coils, wire rods, and bars), covers ironmaking, steelmaking, The hot rolling and wire rod production line has constructed six major subsystems: ERP-Extension, iron zone MES, steel rolling MMS, steel making PES, hot rolling PES and wire rod PES. The main customization requirements include: MSCization of tapping mark process card data, customer-specific WKM full-process management, billet path code overall solution, multiple tapping mark group furnace overall solution, billet quality inspection and release full-process management, etc.

    These projects are based on the product platform software, and the user's customized needs have been well realized. At the same time, it has also achieved a high degree of integration with the existing standard functional processes of the platform software. The system runs smoothly and stably, which provides reliable support for the digitalization, informatization, and integrated management of the enterprise.

4 Conclusion
    The whole process management method of customized demand will also further promote the "mutual feeding" between customization and product platforms. The scientific and efficient implementation of customized requirements can improve and expand the functional processes and functional components of the platform on the basis of the core processes and components of the product platform, and further improve the degree of componentization and the scope of application of the platform. Continuously optimized platform software will also continuously reduce the difficulty and cycle of MES system implementation, and reduce the workload of customized requirements implementation. Therefore, after the implementation of the project, the "feedback" of the product platform is particularly important. This is the source of the continuous improvement of domestic MES independent products in the future, and it is also the direction that we need to focus on while implementing the project.