Manufacturing Execution Systems Application Reference List

The following are examples of recent Applied Control Engineering, Inc. (ACE) projects involving Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). For more information, please contact your local ACE representative.


Since 2001, ACE has installed, upgraded, and maintained the real-time performance management system located at AstraZeneca’s Newark, Delaware site. As a Certified Parsec Partner, ACE was pivotal in the original installation of Wonderware’s DTAnalyst™, the upgrade to Parsec’s TrakSYS™, and every TrakSYS™ upgrade since. We have worked to automate OEE data collection and reporting in the plant’s formulation and packaging areas and the plant’s purified water system. Implementation of this system has allowed AstraZeneca to obtain more accurate information on system performance, to promote operator involvement, and to identify the root causes of equipment downtime. At this AstraZeneca site, TrakSYS™ also serves as a central data collection and reporting system for many plant systems. Using the power of TrakSYS™ reporting, ACE has developed and published valuable dashboards for plant management and operations, which provide the plant with easily accessible and readable summary data related to building automation systems, production, and plant utilities. Dashboards are available on desktops, large screen monitors, and mobile devices.

DuPont Performance Polymers

ACE designed and implemented an MES for DuPont's Tralee Park facility called GUPI (Grand Unified Process Interface). GUPI consolidates the functions of a large number of legacy applications and islands of automation into one unified system. It interfaces with SAP and corporate shipping systems as well as with packaging machines, PLCs, and other hardware on the factory floor. Wireless barcode scanners throughout the plant track both parts and tooling. A web-based interface supplemented with a small number of desktop applications allows data entry and provides real-time and historical views of the production process. GUPI keeps a complete history of confirmations, rejects, process steps, location scans, and technician comments for every production job. It maintains a complete set of production conditions for every part, along with the actual conditions used for every production job. For each piece of tooling, it records a complete history of cleanings, repairs, and the jobs on which it was used. This extensive part, job, and tooling history is used to identify and justify future process improvements. GUPI manages technician qualifications and only allows certain actions to be completed if a technician has a current qualification. Also, it manages overtime and out-of-office requests to ensure that manufacturing positions are staffed. The GUPI project started in 2008, and GUPI has been in production use since 2009. Its robust infrastructure and flexible data-driven architecture allow it to evolve to match the plant's continually changing business processes.

Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey implemented a new production line and batching system controlled by a SCADA system. This system interacts with their database through Wonderware System Platform, Rockwell Factory Talk Transaction Manager, Rockwell ControlLogix PAC, and Microsoft SQL. ACE completed all SCADA and PLC programming and commissioned all Ethernet, ControlNet, I/O, and DeviceNet networks associated with the production line and batching system. The SCADA system controls production setup of the line, tags and traces production parts, automatically batches product based on a recipe database, records batching inventory changes, and interacts with a batching quality database. Additionally, ACE integrated bar code scanners and robots into the production line to collect production data and configured the system to interface with network databases. This integration of systems allows Johnson Matthey to retrieve and store production line and batching data and to facilitate robotic interfaces and recipe parameter downloads, providing for a more streamlined process. ACE continues to work to support and improve this SCADA system.

Mars Drinks

ACE worked with Mars Drinks to configure a Kepware OPC server that supplies tag data from nineteen (19) packaging line control systems. ACE then configured a Parsec TrakSYS™ real-time performance monitoring and reporting system to create a Level 3 OEE model. This model gives Mars Drinks the ability to visualize real-time manufacturing analytics, performance management scoreboards, and automated shop floor data. Specifically, equipment downtime metrics, production bottlenecks, and the amount of sellable units can be analyzed. Additionally, operators have gained the ability to document continuous improvement suggestions and line performance details at the operator workstation. ACE implemented the MES through a phased approach and supported Mars Drinks throughout. ACE continues to support this system today.


In order to improve production efficiencies and measure equipment downtime, OEE, quality, and other performance metrics, ACE implemented a Parsec TrakSYS™ system on two (2) of MedImmune’s vaccine packaging lines. Since TrakSYS™ could not be connected to the existing Allen-Bradley and Siemens PLCs directly, Parsec SENSORTrak™ hardware was installed to provide counter data for the remaining equipment, allowing OEE data to be gathered without PLC control. This custom solution permits the generation of standard OEE and downtime reports for each line. In addition, implementation of the TrakSYS™system gives MedImmune access to important performance data and a greater knowledge of plant operations.

Purdue Pharmaceuticals

Purdue Pharmaceuticals required updates to their existing Parsec TrakSYS™ system to accommodate major packaging line upgrades and to modify the system to better fit their needs. New equipment was installed, and ACE enhanced the existing TrakSYS™ configuration by completing a version upgrade and adding tags for the new PLCs. Additionally, ACE modified the configuration to include calculations of OEE for individual line equipment and provided updated documentation. ACE continues to support this system both in-person and remotely.