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Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been around for quite a while now and there are literally hundreds of choices out there for MES solutions. As MES covers a very broad and often loose range of added-value topics, it is rare to find any two MES solutions that offer the same scope of functionality, especially given the rapid progress of related IT technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and initiatives such as the “Smart Factory.” It is therefore important to understand the principles and technologies behind MES, so that it will work for your needs and requirements, rather than the other way around.