The practical side of Smart Manufacturing

MESA is developing a Smart Manufacturing model from a neutral point of view and provide a practical angle for users that is easy to work with.

By John Clemons March 27, 2021

MESA is developing a Smart Manufacturing model, which has prompted some to ask: “Why? Why is MESA doing this? Aren’t there enough models out there already?”

Yes, there are. Many models cover many aspects of Smart Manufacturing. Each approaches Smart Manufacturing from a specific point of view.

Not all those points of view are bad. Those unfamiliar with Smart Manufacturing may not realize that what they see is based on a particular point of view.

Jan-Christoph Galm, a member of MESA’s EMEA Board of Directors, said, “The idea of the new MESA model for Smart Manufacturing is first and foremost to be transparent. It’s to be totally unbiased with no built-in preconceived notions or points of view on what Smart Manufacturing is. It’s to provide an unbiased view of the vision of the Smart Factory.”

Smart manufacturing terms, a usable model

MESA’s model for Smart Manufacturing will provide a framework to help everyone speak the same language and to get a baseline or foundation on what Smart Manufacturing is. It’s a common model and a common language. The people that use it then agree on what’s what with regards to Smart Manufacturing.

According to Galm, “The new MESA model will be practical. It does no one any good for MESA to put out another model that only academicians can use. Or a model that only a very few people can get past the first few pages. The MESA model will be practical, for everyone to use, from the shop floor to the top floor, from operations to engineering to IT to management.”

The MESA Smart Manufacturing model will be high-level and low-level while making it easy to navigate from the highest levels to the lowest levels, and back again so people understand what Smart Manufacturing is all about.

Galm said the new model derives from MESA’s roots. “MESA grew up with Manufacturing Execution Systems or MES, and we haven’t forgotten those roots. The new MESA model will be focused on Smart Manufacturing but just as MES is a key part of Smart Manufacturing, MES will be a key part of the new MESA model. It’ll provide not only an understanding of Smart Manufacturing, but an understanding of MES, the benefits of MES, and how MES fits into Smart Manufacturing.”

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 senior consultant with Maverick Technologies, a Rockwell Automation company.