Smart manufacturing is no longer the stuff of dreams or science fiction. It’s real, and it’s taking place at factories around the world. These factories are more efficient and productive as a result.
What kind of tangible benefits will you see because you’ve put smart factory technology into place? We’ve identified five scenarios that will drive your business forward – read on to learn more.
An Always-on Factory
We’ll go back to the example of science fiction that we mentioned in the opening paragraph. It used to be that you could only imagine a factory run entirely by robots. However, it’s no longer the stuff of dreams – such factories do indeed exist today.
Some smart factories are completely automated. There’s almost no need for human intervention. Because there are few (if any) human employees, factories can run around the clock. Robots don’t need to take breaks or vacations. A factory could conceivably operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Another scenario that smart factories enable is safer factories. There are two reasons for this.
First, as mentioned previously, there are fewer people in a smart factory. Fewer injuries will occur based on the statistics. Second, machines equipped with sensors can tell whether a person is in the vicinity and then take steps to avoid that person. When machines can go out of their way to prevent injuries, you’ll see a safer factory.
Better Quality Control
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, smart manufacturing equipment has built-in sensors. Those sensors collect a great deal of data about raw materials.
Sensors are being trained to identify minute flaws in raw materials or parts needed to complete a product. They can alert human staff that there’s a quality control issue before the product even leaves the factory floor. This development could mark the end of expensive, time-consuming recalls as we know it.
Smart manufacturing enables smarter products. Many products now have sensors built in, which provides manufacturers with vital data about how they’re being used.
A manufacturer could see that the majority of customers are using some functions of a product while ignoring others. The product could be modified so the unnecessary function was eliminated. Thanks to real-time data, that process could take place faster than ever before.
Higher Order Fulfillment
How many of your products arrive damaged? Have you ever had a product lost or stolen during its journey through the supply chain? Thanks to sensors attached to shipping containers or in trucks, you never have to guess whether your shipment has made it to its destination in one piece or not.
These are only five of the scenarios smart manufacturing enables. Smart manufacturing is still emerging – there are definitely other use cases only just waiting to be discovered. That being said, what smart manufacturing has accomplished to this point is impressive. Its power to make organizations more productive and efficient will only grow as the technology develops further in years to come.