Learn how smart manufacturing is opening doors for larger possibilities in business and technology.
Technology is so fast-paced that every other day something new comes up. To deal with such a system complexity, increase information visibility, improve production performance, and gain competitive advantages in the global market, the modern manufacturing industry is investing in new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, cloud computing, and smart manufacturing. These advancements are fast allowing a new age of smart manufacturing, i.e., a cyber-physical system that intimately integrates physical manufacturing firms with virtual enterprises in cyberspace. Realizing the full potential of cyber-physical systems is heavily reliant on the development of new approaches for data-enabled engineering breakthroughs on the Internet of Manufacturing Things (IoMT).
Manufacturing vs Smart Manufacturing
Smart manufacturing is a wide notion that cannot be directly utilized in a manufacturing process. Smart manufacturing is a concept that refers to a collection of technologies and solutions that, when combined, form a manufacturing ecosystem. These technologies and solutions are referred to as “enablers,” since they aid in the optimization of the whole production process and, as a result, boost total profits.
To effectively provide high-quality goods and satisfy consumers, smart manufacturing is redefining the whole manufacturing business by building on the solid 4.0 framework and merging it with cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Digital Twins, Predictive and Prescriptive analytics. This prompts the obvious question: what is all the uproar about smart manufacturing, and why is the future so precariously poised? With all of the promise that comes with it, businesses are naturally ecstatic. They see a means to boost productivity and produce a more trained workforce, and they believe that their investment will pay off handsomely. How so? Smart manufacturing provides real-time data and insights that help businesses make better and faster decisions.
According to research, 4.0 is the foundation for integrating physical and digital manufacturing and realizing the full potential of smart manufacturing. The value chain is becoming increasingly interconnected. Thus, if Industrial revolution 4.0 was about shifting from reactive to predictive mode, smart manufacturing takes it a step further.
Industrial internet of things
The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a network in which every item, equipment, and/or process is linked through data transmission technologies. Sensors are incorporated or connected in every machine and piece of industrial equipment, and these sensors often generate the necessary data. Through data transmission technologies, this is then transported to cloud/software systems. This massive volume of data has a wealth of information that, when analyzed, can assist in finding specific flaws in the manufacturing process. After the data has been analyzed, it is forwarded to the production systems as feedback for any necessary corrections.
However, implementing IIoT in existing and/or older organizations is difficult, but it is possible in freshly built industrial facilities. This is because results can only be obtained if the smart manufacturing idea is used from the beginning of the production facility design process.
Factories are still catching up to Industry 4.0, investing in resources and technologies such as:
- Robotics and automation include collaborative robots in addition to the well-known Amazon warehouse robot. “Cobots” are programmed to operate alongside humans, who “teach” them what to do and in what sequence. The stages are then optimized using cobots to improve the results. In every industry, from automobiles and plastics to food and consumer products, automation is continually advancing.
- Additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing — the 3D printing market is estimated to reach $35 billion by 2025, give or take a few billion, depending on who you ask.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) is a potentially massive network of computers, equipment, and systems that “speak” to one another through the Internet by exchanging data. The smart home is an example of IoT in action, with connected appliances, HVAC systems, and security systems that can all be managed remotely from your device. (Or the voice orders of your three-year-old.).
The US Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, a national coalition of manufacturing businesses, research universities, and government labs, has come up with some astounding economic predictions for smart manufacturing:
- Factory safety incidents have decreased by 25%.
- An increase in the energy efficiency of 25% is possible.
- Water usage is reduced by 40%, and total operational efficiency is improved by 10%.
- Reduced time to market by 10%
A manufacturing company’s strategy and organizational culture must be substantially transformed in order to fully use its new direct customer relationship and make the entire transition to an IIoT-enabled, customer-centric, and service-oriented organization. These cutting-edge technologies have the potential to enhance current production settings that are plagued by complexity, capacity, and speed. Organizations will be better able to respond to changing market needs by incorporating smart manufacturing technology into their normal production processes. Manufacturers will be able to better identify risks and estimate the impact on product quality and the bottom line if data is at the center of operations.