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Let’s truly add systems to industrial engineering



Timothy A. Sprock, Leon McGinnis


The ISE community can provide leadership in the design and decision-making required to support the scale, complexity and degree of automation expected of modern ISE systems, but only by adapting our legacy knowledge and tools to the required systems perspective. MBSE is one potential path for that adaptation. The MBSE approach to a collaborative ISE future starts with discipline-wide agreement on how to define our systems. Constructing standard reference models requires searching for and institutionalizing reusable, unambiguous "patterns" of system modeling. An ISE discipline built on a foundation of standards-based, domain-specific reference models is one way to bring our legacy knowledge and tools into the systems arena. It enables two-way collaboration between stakeholders (industry) and solutions providers (academics and software vendors). Collaborative platforms for sharing data in a consistent, predictable, usable format (standard schema and semantics) and for solutions conforming to the standard will enable contributions to be interoperable and easily deployed into production environments. Lessons learned in research could be validated on real data and quickly translated into deployable, commercial solutions. The research community must develop new methods and tools in the context of MBISE. Finally, tool vendors must produce a new generation of modeling and analysis tools for practitioners. Other engineering disciplines sense the available opportunities to design smart production and logistics systems. Do industrial and systems engineers see themselves as system designers, implementers and optimizers, or analytics providers? Answering this question about our role relative to "product systems" engineers requires an open discussion about the future of our profession and how we'll get there.
ISE Magazine


Sprock, T. and McGinnis, L. (2017), Let’s truly add systems to industrial engineering, ISE Magazine, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created October 2, 2017, Updated October 13, 2017