Top Technologies Impacting Next Gen MES

Author photo: Janice Abel
ByJanice Abel
Industry Trends

There are many technologies that are impacting the next gen MES.  Manufacturing execution systems (MESs) help manufacturers and other industrial organizations reduce costs while improving operations, collaboration, workflow execution, planning and scheduling, product and material traceability and quality. Specific MES functionality can vary significantly, depending upon the supplier and industry focus. The next Gen MES applications are integrated and collaborative solutions that include embedded or 3rd party advanced analytics including machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).  New solutions also include energy management, and manufacturing intelligence with easier to design visualization.  Today’s MES also includes MES connectivity platforms, edge and cloud computing capabilities and new services.  The Next Gen MES is the nexus technology for the digital transformation and smart manufacturing.

Newer Technologies impacting MES

While there are many new technologies impacting MES, according to a recent ARC supplier survey and study the top technologies impacting next gen MES

with the most impact include:

  • New MES platforms and new services
  • Smart connected technologies
  • Advanced Analytics (AI, ML, etc.)
  • Cloud and edge computing
  • Augmented reality
  • Digital Twin & User Experience

Future of MES is getting Cloudy

MES platforms are typically included with MES solutions and newer platforms include both on-premise and cloud computing platforms and services that connect, aggregate, contextualize and filter data.  Newer data platforms are leading to an increase in cloud services where suppliers and 3rd parties are accessing applications for maintenance, updates and other new optimization services.

Next Gen MES and Digital Twin


Digital Twin Defined

Additionally, cloud solutions enable better enterprise-wide collaboration.  Next-gen MES applications involve IT/OT/ET convergence, predictive analytics, cloud and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) deployments.  Most users are starting to deploy some data to the cloud – frequently historical or aged data, and non-mission critical or non-IP data. The ability to collaborate and enable enterprise manufacturing intelligence is also leading to new remote services.  MES cloud deployment adoption varies by industry application and company because some industries see issues such as bandwidth, latency, IP and security as potential challenges. Once these issues are resolved, with newer technologies such as edge devices, ARC believes that cloud usage for MES will grow even faster.

Newer Technologies Impacting Next Gen MES
Newer Technologies Impacting Next Gen MES


“Recent ARC/Automation World survey shows that—whether implemented in the cloud, in the edge or traditional on-premise—manufacturing execution systems continue to be critical for achieving operational optimization.”


Advanced analytics are being built in or integrated into MES solutions for real-time data analysis and manufacturing intelligence.  Advanced analytics often require a volume of data that works best in the cloud off premise.  However, for some applications, users are investing in edge computing solutions to keep data on-premise.  Users are also investing in machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable faster and better real-time decisions.

The digital twin is a 360° digital representation of a physical asset such as a compressor, motor or an entire plant. The digital twin represents not just the structure, but also the behavior of the physical asset in real life. This digital likeness can be manipulated to simulate operations under different conditions to provide visibility and predictability into behavior.  While the majority of digital twins have been used in design and maintenance, they are starting to be used in manufacturing for seeing where manufacturing problems could occur, for process optimization, etc.

All of these newer technologies, strategies and trends are penetrating new gen MES deployments.  For additional information about the top technologies impacting Next Gen MES and benefits and strategies obtain ARC’s latest MES research from MES Market Research Report and MES Supplier Selection report

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