The new age of manufacturing unifies employees, customers, products and intellectual properties with revolutionary technologies in what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.
Progressive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), the Factory of the Future, Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence are all making headlines and rapidly transforming the global manufacturing landscape. The ultimate goal and a way to stay ahead of the competition is to automate the processes of monitoring and control in order to boost productivity and efficiency on the factory floor.
However, Intelligent Manufacturing doesn’t stop there, it allows key decision-makers to understand the interrelationships between high-level goals and objectives and on what actions need to take place to achieve them. And not only improvements for the supply chain and factory floor – but also an improved customer experience.
Most organizations in the manufacturing industry have not yet gone through the technology transformation required to succeed in the future. Manufacturers of all sizes can achieve future growth by embracing the digital age.
Driving Industry 4.0
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
IIoT brings together machine-to-machine communication, advanced data analytics, and people through a network of devices that results in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, and deliver valuable information for smarter business decision making. Sensors embedded in automation controls, equipment, mobile tablets or even smart shelves are drivers to manufacturing processes for transformational business outcomes.
Big Data Capabilities
Big data tools like Power BI enable processing of vast streams of data received from connected devices to allow operational visibility, analysis and diagnostics over assets, processes and the entire supply chain. This allows manufacturers to predict events like equipment maintenance, demand planning or capacity fluctuation while analyzing trends and patterns that allow for planning and decision making.
Cloud Managed Services
Cloud Managed Services is a service made available to users on demand through the internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers rather than being provided from an organization’s own on premise server or data center. It enables ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
Intelligent Machines and Advanced Robotics
Intelligent machines and equipment can achieve a high level of autonomy while communicating with other manufacturing and IT systems. Technology today enables them to learn on their own and produce successful results, recognizing product configurations and diagnostic information, allowing them to make decisions and solve problems without employee intervention. Robots have enhanced sensors, agility and intelligence to perform tasks without being pre-programmed as they can learn from experience. Embedded sensors notify them of their environment and ensure meeting safety standards for employees around them.
Our next blogs on Manufacturing Operational Excellence will focus on the manufacturing metrics that matter the most. We will break down the main metrics that contribute to operational excellence and how to calculate them. Until then, feel free to read through the trends that will be defining Intelligent Manufacturing in 2019.