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MESA White Paper #59: Three Functional Dimensions Converge On Smart Manufacturing

Date published: April 2018

There are a myriad of new technologies coming into the manufacturing arena, each with attractive value propositions. How does an organization know that they are investing in the right areas to stay competitive? If your organization is confused about where to start or where to focus investments on the journey to become a highly connected, orchestrated and optimized Smart Manufacturing enterprise, you are not alone.

A clear set of goals and a roadmap to Smart Manufacturing is of the utmost importance for each organization, but not easily realized because of the complexity of different organizational perspectives, data models and business processes that converge at manufacturing operations—processes that get products designed, outsourced, built, tested, packaged and delivered to the customer in a consistent manner.

This paper discusses how to organize the convergence of processes supporting Smart Manufacturing into three dimensions: smart factory, digital thread and value chain management. These different dimensions relate to different perspectives and systems coming from engineering, operations and business management disciplines, and help explain why the Smart Manufacturing endeavor requires collaboration among many different stakeholders in the organization.

This three-dimensional model also explains the intersection of several manufacturing improvement initiatives included under the scope of Smart Manufacturing: IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), Model-based Manufacturing and Connected Enterprise.


  1. Conrad Leiva, Chair of the Smart Manufacturing Working Group at MESA International, and VP Product Strategy and Alliances at iBASEt
  1. Jimmy Asher, Vice President of Product Strategy at Savigent Software, Inc.
  2. Mike James, Chair Board of Directors at ATS Global
  3. Stu Johnson, Enterprise Software Product Marketing at Plex Systems
  4. Erik Nistad, Chairman of the International Board of Directors at MESA International
  5. Ian Tooke, Chief Innovation Officer at Grantek