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MES technology links plant systems to business applications. As more devices go digital over the Internet, it’s positioned to be the control center for digital manufacturing.

Connected devices are and always have been critical to manufacturing execution systems. As information management systems focused on manufacturing plant-floor data collection and control, they initially evolved in infrastructures of their own to leverage technical — as opposed to business-oriented — hardware and software capable of handling the types of data that emanate from plant equipment, in the short timeframes required — milliseconds and microseconds.

But plant networks for connectingMES to equipment and controllers mostly ran on an Ethernet platform, a structure, it turns out, that is very similar to Internet Protocol. What’s more, today there is little or no distinction between the infrastructure for manufacturing execution systems and ERP, CRM and other business applications.

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