Creating a Smart Factory to the Power of Four
The digital revolution has been looming over the manufacturing industry for many years. In fact, Industry 4.0 began in 2011, promising to deliver a more responsive, adaptive and connected manufacturing line, from the Internet of Things to Artificial Intelligence.
Manufacturers have always been content with a “satisfactory status quo”, a major problem companies are confronted with, however, is high capital investments and thin profit margins, making cheaper offshore labor more appealing. With high capital investments and thin profit margins an all too real issue, we’re exploring the benefits of investing in a ‘smart factory’ by looking at four success stories.
1. The Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is the interconnectivity of systems on the factory floor such as terminals or sensors. Your factory floor becomes an ‘intelligent’ environment, able to provide visibility regarding the efficiency of factory processes and performance both in real-time and over time. This enables manufacturers to refine and improve operations with relevant and up-to-date data.
Hirotec, a global automotive manufacturer, implemented IoT to improve its ‘downtime’, costing up to $361 a second! The company employed a range of IoT and cloud-based technologies to predict and prevent system failures. As a result, they were able to achieve 100% reduction in manual inspection.
2. Artificial Intelligence
The application of intelligence on the factory floor creates a dynamic setting that can reduce costs, improve quality and increase reliability. The future of manufacturing is customization, by minimizing downtime for retooling and resetting equipment, manufacturers can operate efficiently while staying flexible.
AI is being used by Airbus to create thousands of component designs to reduce production time to seconds. Executing ‘generative design’, AI giant Autodesk is able to vastly reduce the time it takes for manufacturers to test new ideas.
3. The Cloud
The cloud is widely adopted by manufacturers, making it the most popular way to begin your ‘smart factory’ transformation.
Cloud manufacturing is the process of utilizing well established manufacturing resources, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). This way, the information
can be viewed, updated and applied at any time or place. Cloud manufacturing can follow the whole manufacturing process from the designing stage to production to maintenance.
Siemens based in Germany, invested in the “cloud for industry” - MindSphere. This new technology has allowed them to create digital models of their plants using real data. Employees are also able to reprogram factory machinery in just one minute. Siemens has achieved 99.9% level of production quality since utilizing cloud manufacturing.
4. Big Data: Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is a singular part of Big Data. It’s able to make predictions about future outcomes based on historical data, using analytical techniques such as: statistical modelling and machine learning.
US based Biotechnology company worked with Seebo to interrogate predictive analytical data to reduce machine downtime. Seebo was able to analyse historical data to identify the correlation of events and determine what was causing a machine blockage. It was then able to install a prediction alert for the operational team to prevent downtime.
There are many other elements that can make up a ‘smart factory’ depending on the needs of your business, from additive manufacturing to cyber security.
Smart factories can embrace ever-growing customer demands, reduce environmental impacts and help a business improve productivity in an abundance of ways.
Here at TyTek Industries, we’re able to help you with a technological manufacturing solution, be it new or existing and transform your dreams into a reality.
The research has been done; the technology is here - It’s time to take your business to the next level. Contact us today to discuss future proofing your business!