Monday, January 25, 2021

The Practical Side of Smart Manufacturing

Authored by John Clemons, MESA Marketing Committee Chair, based on an interview with Jan-Christoph Galm, MESA EMEA Board Member and member of the MESA Model Sub-Committee.  

MESA, the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association, has embarked on the development of a new model for Smart Manufacturing. Many people have asked me, “Why? Why is MESA doing this? Aren’t there enough models out there already?”

Well, yes, there are. There’s lot of models out there that cover all sorts of aspects of Smart Manufacturing. But they all have one thing in common. They all approach Smart Manufacturing from a specific point of view.

Now, not all those points of view are bad. But an individual point of view may not work for everybody and someone who’s not that familiar with Smart Manufacturing may not realize that what they’re looking at is even based on a particular point of view.

And that’s the big difference between the other models that are out there and what MESA is doing. The new MESA Smart Manufacturing model is being developed from a completely neutral point of view. It is intended to cover the breadth and depth of smart manufacturing but from a completely unbiased and neutral point of view.

Here’s the way Jan-Christoph Galm, a member of MESA’s EMEA Board of Directors explained it. “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.”

Along these lines, the new MESA 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 all about. It’s a common model and a common language. The people that use it then accept it as a common agreement on what’s what with regards to Smart Manufacturing.

According to Jan-Christoph, there’s much more to it than that. “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 new MESA model will be both high level and low level but making it easy to navigate from the highest levels to the lowest levels, and back again. All providing a step-by-step way for people to discuss through the levels and understand what Smart Manufacturing is all about.

Jan-Christoph also emphasizes the roots of MESA with regards to the new model. “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.”

The new MESA model will have something for everybody. It will be intentionally neutral, with no pre-conceived biases or points of view. It will be practical, providing a common vision and a common language for everyone to understand the basics of Smart Manufacturing. And it won’t forget MES, which is still a cornerstone of manufacturing operations and a key part of Smart Manufacturing.

Stay tuned for more on the new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model.


2 comments:

KSN said...

Hi, How would one get a view and possibly input into this process? Regards, Krishna

Unknown said...

Same here - I'm part of the various working groups at MESA, but haven't been able to find out more about the progress on the New Model initiative.
In times where more and more models are being created, it would really be great to have some insights and see where one or the other is leading a different trail of thoughts and perspectives.

Please let us know ...
Regards
Alex