The manufacturing execution system, or MES, has long lived in that no man’s land between the real-time, deterministic world of plant-floor automation and the transactional realm of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Indeed, the essential role of the MES has always been to manage production activities in accordance with overall business objectives, and to report back to the enterprise level on the results of those activities.
While the vision is straightforward, implementation has often been complex. Today, however, a new set of business drivers and enabling technologies are finally bringing these worlds together. Manufacturing organizations are looking to implement new, digitally-driven strategies such as mass customization even as operational technologists move to adopt the networking and computing paradigms of their IT counterparts. And they’re moving quickly, according to market intelligence firm IDC.
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