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  • July 31, 2020
  • CAP
Certified Automation Professionals (CAPs) are responsible for the direction, design, and deployment of systems and equipment for manufacturing and control systems.

CAP question
Which statement BEST describes the rationale for an MES?
A. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) must have information from plant floor controllers.
B. To compete in a global economy, there must be the capability to conduct business using online means.
C. Equipment control cannot function unless it is integrated with ERP.
D. Automation effectiveness is not based solely on equipment control capability.

CAP answer

The answer is D, “Automation effectiveness is not based solely on equipment control capability.” Automation effectiveness must encompass not only the effectiveness of equipment control, but also the effectiveness of the use of raw materials, plant production capacity, product storage and transfer capacity, operations resource planning, and production cost factors, to name a few. The technical resources to coordinate these components of automation effectiveness cannot be found at the equipment control level.

To optimize these activities, a manufacturing execution system (MES) should be considered that is configured to specifically coordinate these activities in the plant. A well-performing equipment control function is critical to the supply and receipt of data from higher-level coordinating applications, such as MES.

Reference: Sands, Nicholas P. & Verhappen, Ian, A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge, Third Edition, ISA Press, 2019.

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