Benefits of developing a Smart Manufacturing model

Smart Manufacturing is changing the overall economic landscape, but no one quite knows how it's all supposed to come together. A good Smart Manufacturing model can help change that.

By John Clemons March 20, 2021

Many in manufacturing says we’re in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, and Smart Manufacturing is transforming manufacturing back into an economic powerhouse. What most people see is wave after wave of new technology with no real idea how any of it is supposed to fit together.

MESA has started developing a new Smart Manufacturing model, with the purpose of providing a simple and easy-to-use framework for making sense out of everything that’s part of Smart Manufacturing.

Dennis Brandl, a member of the MESA team building this model, said, “Most people don’t understand how it all fits together. It’s really just a vast state of turbulence with just about every country having its own model for Smart Manufacturing. MESA is cutting through all this fluff to provide a comprehensive Smart Manufacturing model that people can actually use to understand what Smart Manufacturing is all about.”

[subhead]Manufacturing lifecycle

The new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model will provide a way to look at a company’s manufacturing operations and get a view of the lifecycle of manufacturing. The lifecycles concept is key to the new model. Whether it’s a product lifecycle, an asset lifecycle, or a lifecycle for the manufacturing personnel, this idea of lifecycles is a key to understanding the complete picture of the manufacturing operations and how Smart Manufacturing fits into the picture.

Brandl explains more of the purpose of the Smart Manufacturing model. “It’s fundamentally going to be a way of looking at the problem space to make sure you don’t miss anything. It’s intended to cover everything you need to be concerned with in this space. It will help people decide what to do by helping them ask the hard questions and determine if they really have the answers they need.”

The new MESA Smart Manufacturing model can be thought of as a checklist at the highest level to ensure no one misses any of the key concepts of Smart Manufacturing.

Manufacturing companies can use the new model to make sure they’re dealing with all the issues, especially the ones they haven’t thought of yet. And solution providers can use the new model to make sure they’re providing customers with everything they need.

John Clemons is a MESA marketing committee chair. This article originally appeared on MESA International’s blog. MESA International is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, web content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology,

Original content can be found at

Author Bio: John Clemons ( is a solutions consultant, LifecycleIQ Services at Rockwell Automation. He has been working in the field of manufacturing IT for more than 30 years.