Over several decades, control theory has developed its own set of more or less formal modelling techniques designed to automatically control the dynamic behaviour of complicated manufacturing systems and processes. The emerging Internet society is addressing new enterprise control and management integration (ECMI) challenges for agile business to manufacturing (B2M) purposes which enlarge the traditional setting of Automation Engineering to the systems engineering (SE) approach. In order to cope with the increasing complexity of integrating intelligence/information-intensive manufacturing automation within the networked manufacturing enterprise, Automation Engineering should be integrated into the systems engineering approach to achieve a holistic approach that treats in fine the technical operational manufacturing system emerging from the deployment of an ad hoc combination of formal and informal partial models. This paper emphasises that a Holonic Manufacturing Execution System Engineering (HMESE) approach should be a relevant B2M SE approach along with other relevant scientific, industrial and educational areas dealing with information and intelligence control and management issues in agile automation. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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