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    SYSCON PlantStar Blog

    MES Deep Dive: Part Counting

    May 12, 2020 8:15:00 AM / by David Klatch

    MES Benefits

    Portrait of a group of panel judges holding score signs

    Why count parts?

    One of the most valuable features of an MES system is accurate part counting. By collecting data about the parts made by your machines, you gain valuable insight into the health of your operations. You can answer questions such as "Which machines are producing the most defective parts?" and "How much material is being wasted by inefficient machinery?". The ability to answer these types of questions gives you the power to maximize resources, save time, and save money!

    Categorizing Parts

    SYSCON PlantStar has all the functionality you need to keep accurate part counts with Production Monitoring. Whether it's as parts are coming off the machine or even after a Job has ended, you can verify and modify your part counts in any situation. Parts can be categorized in 3 ways: Good, Reject, or Unconfirmed. A Good part is a part that meets specifications. A Reject part is a part that does not meet specifications for any number of reasons. The reasons a part can be rejected are defined by you in the system. An Unconfirmed part is a part that has not been evaluated to be Good or Reject yet and will require someone to inspect the part and categorize it as Good or Reject.  Let's take a closer look at what these categorizations mean in practice when using an MES system.

    There are two ways you can control accurate part counting in SYSCON PlantStar, the default way which comes out of the box with no configuration needed, and the Unconfirmed parts way which requires some configuration.

    Default Part Counting

    The default way of counting parts is to count a part as Good as soon as it is made, regardless of it has any defects. In order for a part that has defects to be considered Reject, you will have to inspect the part after it is made and enter into the system that it is Reject.

    Unconfirmed Part Counting

    The Unconfirmed parts way of counting parts is to consider a part Unconfirmed as soon as it is made. In other words the part is not considered Good or Reject. You will have to inspect the part after it is made in order to confirm the part as Good or Reject.

    Unconfirmed Parts

    Parts are counted as Unconfirmed by default. They will have to be inspected and entered into PlantStar as Good or Reject after they are made. On the interface you can view how many parts are unconfirmed on the Job Summary page shown above.

    Good Parts Entry and Reject Parts Entry

    For the default and Unconfirmed ways of counting parts, you have to enter rejected parts into the system. For Unconfirmed parts counting, you have to enter good parts into the system. How do you do this? For rejected parts, you can either use a Signal to enter the rejected parts or you can enter them into the Data Collection Module interface on the Rejects tab in the Reasons sub tab. For good parts, you will need to use a Signal to enter the good parts.

    Fixing Part Counts

    After a Job has ended, you can view the breakdown of part counts for that job and even modify the number of parts or the categorization of parts if the count is too high, too low, or parts were categorized as Good MES System or Reject incorrectly. This can be done from the APU interface on the Job browse page in the Edit Job History modal.

    Fixing Part Counts

    From the Edit Parts History menu you can see the breakdown of the parts made for an ended job. You can also modify the counts here if any corrections need to be made.


    Keeping accurate part counts is an essential component in keeping your operations efficient and saving you time and money. It is used for many things within SYSCON PlantStar including OEE, job scheduling, material tracking, and more. If you want to find out more about how part counting can improve your business, please contact us for demo right away!

    Schedule a full-system demo today!

    Topics: manufacturing solutions, defect collection, MES hardware, Industry 4.0