Technology across all industries is advancing rapidly, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. In recent years, the manufacturing industry has completely changed because of advances in additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things, and smart manufacturing. Many industry experts talk about smart manufacturing, but what is it exactly? We’ve broken down the basics of smart manufacturing and its importance to modern manufacturers. Read about it below!
What is Smart Manufacturing?
Smart manufacturing is part of the newest stage in manufacturing, known as Industry 4.0. Basically, smart manufacturing describes the practice of using big data, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence to change the way your manufacturing plant operates. With smart manufacturing, machines do real decision-making through calculations based on the data they collect. The idea of smart manufacturing is that you can use big data and analytics to improve your processes and manufacture better. Smart manufacturing involves using machines to figure out problems and solutions that are beyond human capability, allowing you to work more efficiently and smarter.
What Made Smart Manufacturing Possible?
The latest advances in manufacturing technology have made smart manufacturing possible. Cheap, available sensors that are able to retrofit to older machinery in order to grab data from the factory floor have greatly improved data collection abilities. Powerful CPUs, increased amounts of data storage, and big data analytics, often accessible via cloud platforms, have all aided in the use of big data as well. Intelligent devices, machine learning, and the Internet of Things have all led to an increased ability to collect, analyze, and use data on shop floors in order to make appropriate adjustments. Manufacturers can now run their facilities as a digital enterprise, with data collection platforms that can suit any size of operation.
Why Does it Matter?
In short, smart manufacturing is important because it has revolutionized the way manufacturing works. Using smart manufacturing strategies is the best way to make your processes more efficient and provide your employees with the best possible tools. Smart manufacturing makes managing the processes of your plant easier. It breaks down the wall between your day-to-day operations and the overall management of the plant. This increase in ease of management and efficiency is not only good for a smoother operation, but it will also lead to a more cost efficient operation. Those who don’t invest in smart manufacturing will fall behind smart manufacturers, unable to keep up with their improvements and new processes.
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