Authored by John Clemons, MESA Marketing Committee Chair, based on an interview with Julie Fraser, long-time MESA Member and subject matter expert part of the MESA Model Sub-Committee.
MESA, the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association, is collectively taking a step back from the maelstrom that is Smart Manufacturing and working to make some sense of the chaos. They’re developing a new model specifically for Smart Manufacturing that will craft a new framework for Smart Manufacturing and help everyone get a much better feel for all the various aspects that make up the world of Smart Manufacturing.
I got a chance to talk with Julie Fraser, one of the subject matter experts working directly on the new MESA model, and one of the people that helped create the original MESA MES model that helped put MESA on the map.
Julie had this to say about the new MESA Smart Manufacturing model. “The problem space of Smart Manufacturing is just way too big to easily understand. There’s just so many facets to it that it’s almost impossible for one person to understand it all. That’s where MESA and our new model comes in.”
“The idea is for MESA to create a framework to help people understand the big picture of Smart Manufacturing and specifically the context for any kind of initiative they are undertaking. This will allow them to assess their efforts and better understand their priorities, creating a more unified approach and direction for them, since all of Smart Manufacturing is so intertwined.”
The new MESA model will be focused on lifecycles and common capabilities – which is nothing more than a simple yet comprehensive way to organize your approach to Smart Manufacturing. The idea is to put these elements into the new “possible”, the context of Smart Manufacturing.
There’s lots of models out there and that’s why MESA is working so hard to make sure the new model is pragmatic and usable. Maybe more than anything else, to ensure it is accessible to everyone working in this space so they can talk to each other and actually communicate.
I asked Julie what she thought the success criteria would be for the new MESA model. She had this to say. “The original MESA MES model has been used by just about everyone in the MES space around the world since it was created. Our intention at MESA is to build a model for Smart Manufacturing that will be used by everyone. It will help people communicate across diverse disciplines. It will provide alignment with business strategy, with busines and manufacturing processes, and with people across the entire enterprise. It will be pragmatic and extremely helpful to everybody.”
The new MESA model for Smart Manufacturing is really needed as a way think about all the various aspects in a logical fashion. Without a model like this, people are just overwhelmed. There’s no framework, no common language, no common baseline of understanding. That makes it hard to talk about things logically and especially hard to talk with people in other disciplines.
Julie explained it this way. “It’s like the parable about the blind men and the elephant. They each described the small part of the elephant that they touched, but none of them could see the whole elephant. The purpose of the new MESA model is to show people the whole elephant of Smart Manufacturing.”
It’s very ambitious for sure. But MESA has had a lot of success in developing models going all the way to the original MESA MES model. MESA has a core team of about a dozen people working on this new model. Teams are meeting and working pretty much every week, already producing draft concepts for the model components. MESA intends this model to be nothing less than groundbreaking and hopes the model will be used by virtually everyone around the world who works in the Smart Manufacturing space.
Stay tuned for more on the new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model.