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JUL-AUG 2018

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FAST FORWARD l As real-time data collection, integration, and analysis continue to become increasingly critical to manufacturing business success, MES continues to become more integral to an overall smart manufacturing transformation. l As multiple technologies converge, MES is being recognized as an important component. l Manufacturers have gained a better understanding of the benefits of MES and recognize that many of those benefits remain untapped. 30 INTECH JULY/AUGUST 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG The state of MES in the age of smart manufacturing MES is now (or should be) viewed as a foundational enabler of manufacturing's digital transformation By Patricia Panchak A s we have talked about MES through the years, we have been all over the map. Even now, if you ask half a dozen people the defi - nition of a manufacturing execution system (MES), you will likely get six different answers. As we enter manufacturing's digital age, however, MES—or at least many MES capabilities—are increasingly recognized as critical components in a company's smart manufacturing journey. "I think we're moving into the golden age of MES," asserts John Clem- ons, director of manufacturing IT at MAVERICK Technologies, acknowl- edging that he, and the others on the MESA International board, have been predicting it for "the last 30 years." He explains there are three rea- sons the turning point is at hand: Maturity: In terms of tools and technologies, the MES products have become "better fits" for the market, and much more reliable. Technology synergy: As multiple technologies converge, creating new possibilities for digital manufacturing, MES is being recognized as an im- portant component. When combined with other technologies—cloud, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), data analytics, sensors, etc.—MES delivers more powerful benefits than ever before. Better understanding: Manufacturers have gained a better under- standing of the benefits of MES and, more importantly, are seeing that many of the benefits of MES remain untapped.

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