In previous posts, I have mentioned that I was responsible for factory automation software in Austria's largest industry group in the 80ies. We developed off-line programming systems for multi-axes and mixed-purpose CNC machines as well as robots, systems for production and operation management, the input and output systems, storage, ... and what have you in an automated factory.
The management execution system has many difficult tasks. One is to finding a goal-oriented optimal point between machine utilization, work-in-process and time-in-process.
I'd loved to have Wolfram SystemsModeler available at that time. To get insight into the behavior of your complex factory modeling and simulation is the key. And I am sure discrete manufacturing can benefit from its application, from the control of the machines to the optimization of their interplay.