Smart Factory isn’t the name of some high profile university, or some hip slang for your brain. Smart Factory is just another name for smarter manufacturing. A smart factory makes use of automation, motion-control, robots, IoT — anything that gives an advantage over old factories. With smarter manufacturing you get higher efficiency, accuracy, productivity, and cost advantages. The hallmark of Smart Factory is the creation of cyber-physical systems (CPS). A cyber-physical system is essentially a network of computing elements that move and control physical components.
Think of Smart Factory like your smartphone. Older cell phones, endearingly called dumb phones, aren’t capable of doing anything close to what a smart phone can do. You can’t access the internet, respond to emails, check your Twitter, transfer money, or fact check yourself before a meeting. All that you can do with older phones is call people, send texts, and do the occasional number crunching with the calculator function. Smart phones made old cell phones obsolete.
Smart phones made the entire world more mobile. Instead of depending on a desktop that’s fixed to a single location, business transactions and social interactions that rely on the internet can be done from your car during gridlock traffic. It’s this connectivity that changed the way that business and social media is conducted.
Smart Factory is going to have that same impact on industry. It’s estimated that the Smart Factory market will reach almost $67 billion by the year 2020.
As the Internet of Things becomes more sophisticated and connected, smarter manufacturing will become more and more important. Real-time status and performance updates, along with intercommunication between components are already being implemented in factories, but if an entire factory is set on a cyber-physical system, the IoT will immediately enhance a factory’s capabilities.
Smart Factory is the next big thing in manufacturing. To think otherwise is to claim that your flip phone is still better than any smartphone on the market.
In the meantime, we can keep your legacy Indramat components and your new Indradrive components humming happily. Call us for factory repair and field services.