SMART with the help of cyber-physical systems called Internet

SMART
FACTORY

Smart factory is a small step towards INDUSTRY 4.0 which was initiated
by German government in an aim to computerize traditional manufacturing
process. It represents a huge jump towards 
future from a conventional automated system to a fully functional
connected system. And also it replaces pyramid flow of information

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Automation has always been a part of the manufacturing process for
decades. We have seen various kind of automation (simple or complicated) across
factory floors. However, the word “automation” means single, discrete process. In
order to create a smart factory we need to merge this discrete process into
continuous process, we can achieve this with the help of cyber-physical systems
called Internet of Things (IoT).With recent advancement in Machine learning,
sophisticated cyber-physical systems have been developed which combine physical
machines with business models. Where machines, products and process are
connected to network so they interact with one another and data flow between
them is continuous. Using these data/information entire production process can
be controlled according to the customer demand. It’s more like combining
Business sides with manufacturing side, This in turn improves customer’s
relationship with companies.

 

WHAT MAKES SMART
FACTORY SO SPECIAL?

Smart Factory caught center of attention at HANNOVER MESSE. What makes
it so special is that’s its just not automation but beyond that. Smart
factories are designed to operate autonomous but they can also connect to a
global network.

 The ultimate goal of smart
factory is to be flexible as much as possible, ability to transform and adapt
itself to the changing environment – like changing customer needs, expansion of
business to new market, production of new products, process and services. Smart
factory provides feasible solution for some of the issues. It has the ability
to learn and meet changing requirements from data in real time. And can also
make a decision which helps companies to avoid operational downtime, failures,
delays, cost and other losses.

There are various parameters involved in building a smart factory one of
them is “connected”. Smart factories
require the machines and materials to be connected in order to generate the
data which can be used to make real-time decisions. Data generation from new
machine is easy because most of them are advanced but in factories there do
exists older model machine as a backup or rarely used. Data generation from
these machines is not that easy but doable, smart sensors are equipped in and
around machines so the data generation is continuous, this data both from new
and older machines are verified and updated.  Combining data’s from operations, business,
suppliers and customers enables us to provide efficient supply-chain processes,
and thereby increasing supply network value.

Second feature in smart factory is optimization
which allows process to be executed with minimal human intervention and more
reliable. The autonomous work(job) flows, harmonization of work in progress products
or finished products or raw materials,  improved job tracking and setting up, and how
much energy consumed in the smart factory can increase quality, and reduce
costs and also throwaway(waste).

 

Transparency plays a vital role in smart factory. It’s always
better to capture Real-time data from processes or work in progress and convert
the captured data into actionable insights, either for humans or autonomous
decision making. A transparent network can provide a clear vision of what is
happening across the factory floor and ensure the company by providing accurate
information using aids such as real-time updates on production and real time production
positioning, etc.

Dedicated system, employees and computers can anticipate when the
downtime occurs and can act accordingly in preference to taking actions after
problem arises. This feature can include identifying problems, filling up inventory
or stocks, identifying and controlling quality related problems and checking
safety and maintenance concerns. The benefits of the smart factory to forecast future
outcomes based on historical data and real-time data can improve throughput
time, tak time, quality, and avoid problems related to safety.

Responsive flexibility
allows the smart factory to adapt according to changing product demands with
little human intervention. An advanced smart factory has the capacity to change
its configuration (machines and other devices) and flow of material depending
on the customer demand .Additionally; flexibility can improve throughput time
and can become more flexible scheduling

These features provide manufacturers greater visibility across their factory
floors, and allow them to navigate some of the problems faced by more
traditional factories. The goal of a smart factory is to improve product
quality, productivity and responsiveness to suppliers and customer demand and
services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY SMART FACTORY IS NEEDED NOW?

We all know automation
has be around for so long but, why all of sudden, investors are interested in
smart factory. It’s because of the advantages its provide than traditional one

•        
Provides competitive edge over competitors.

•        
Improves supply-chain network.

•        
Decentralization control of production

•        
Capacity to provide cutting edge product design.

•        
Integration of shop floor network to management.

 

Competitive
edge over competitors

 Smart factories has always been a dream for
many companies due to mass data storage, network bandwidth cost, computing
power, artificial intelligence, machine self awareness, etc. the wait is over
due to recent developments and reduction in prices. Its has become a reality
where companies has invested in smart factory and those who has made an
investment has a advantage over competitors in these areas which will
eventually improve company profit.

Improves
supply-chain network

Since globalization has
become a key factor for trading and purchasing of products, companies has found
a way to reduce the cost of products by shifting manufacturing plant into host
country/concern continent .These shifts are integrated with demand from the
local, international customers, low labour cost, resources  and supply chain . Due to these changes companies
has found a solutions to logistics, reactiveness and agile.

Capacity to
provide cutting edge product design.

Its goes by saying “no
two products are same”, this goes same for the customers who are interested in
one type of product while others are interested in another type of product. For
this very same reason there exists modular machines, these machines are popular
because they share same structure but with little tweaks new type of setup can
be produced  which will in turn help new
product (we don’t have to build machine from scratch ). In smart factory, machine
learning can decide which type of setup is needed for what type of product, so
the final product is build faster than the conventional method.

Integration of
shop floor network to management.

One of the tedious
jobs is integration of shop floor to management. This procedure is like a
lifeline of the whole factory. It provided a hustle free communication from
workers to the top management.  Factory is
not just made up of white collar employee but there also exists both skilled
and unskilled labours who keep production running. So this is vital
communication for smooth operation.

Benefits of
the smart factory

Smart factory program
should orient itself toward the company goals. It addresses wide range of categories
such as Energy efficiency, quality, material, labour and maintenance costs,
safety. These categories, among others, may increase benefits to the company such
as low product ordering times, increased market share, and better
profitability, product quality, and labour force stability. Regardless of whether,
it’s the ability to demonstrate how successful the smart factory is going to be
if investments are made and creating confidence in investors for future
investments.