Understanding ‘Manufacturing Intelligence’: A Precursor to Interoperable Manufacturing Systems

  • Neil K. HastilowEmail author
  • Robert I. Young
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings of the I-ESA Conferences book series (IESACONF, volume 5)


‘Manufacturing Intelligence (MI)’ is increasingly important for manufacturing industry. Despite the prevalence of the term, there is a lack of clarity regarding the definition of MI. This lack of clarity is a significant hazard to the development of MI capability due to the ambiguity it creates during interoperation. This paper applies structural analysis techniques to assess existing definitions of MI, and then produces an updated, clarified definition based on the latest technology trends and business requirements. Using this approach it has been possible to create model answers to the questions “ What is MI”, “What is its purpose” and “ What does a future state with MI look like”. The lightweight ontology of concepts relevent to MI that was used to generate these answers can be used to provide cross-domain comunication consistancy for interoperation and will provide a strong foundation from which to develop a heavyweight ontological model that can be used to test new MI systems for compliance and create a basis for the functional consistency which is required for interoperability.


Manufacturing intelligence MES Business intelligence 



The author would like to thank the industrial subject matter experts for their time and support, without which this work would not have been possible. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringLoughborough UniversityLoughborough, LeicestershireUK

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