Predictions and Manufacturing

It’s normal to be a little skeptical when someone starts claiming that they can see the future and predict what will happen before it actually does. Clairvoyance is something too mystical to seem believable. Predicting the future is reserved for mythological beings such as the Greek Cassandra or Tiresias, not for those of us who stand in line at the grocery store.

Today, when someone claims to be clairvoyant, they get slapped with a lawsuit and are exposed for not really being born in Jamaica. You have to be born an oracle, or a prophet in order to know what’s going to happen before it actually happens. That is, unless you’re in the manufacturing industry.

The manufacturing and packaging industries are on the cusp of the next industrial revolution. This revolution marks the 4th event that will totally reshape how manufacturing is done, and people are calling it Industry 4.0. The first revolution came about through mechanization, the second through the use of electric power, and the third industrial revolution brought automation to industry. Industry 4.0 is will be identified by the full integration of computer technology and the collection, storage, and implementation of information.

Manufacturers are now able to collect incredibly detailed analytics for their machinery. They can see what happened, why it happened, and whether it will happen again. Having this type of information at our disposal makes things such as predictive maintenance possible.

Machinery can be closely monitored and maintenance can be performed before something can cause a failure. Prediction in manufacturing has been around for some time, but it hasn’t been widely used by everyone in the industry. However this will soon change.

This type of prediction in manufacturing isn’t made possible by a rising workforce of Grecian oracles, but by technological advancements in and the application of the Internet of Things.