The word itself makes a clear statement, “A factory that is smart”. A wonder of industry 4.0, smart factory is a factory or any production unit which carries out its production all by itself without any assistance of humans.
Concept of Smart Factory
In factories of many manufacturing companies, the operation of automatic machines is also done by trained operators and the other staff on-site is for packaging, supply chain, logistics, and maintenance.
However, in a smart factory, the machines do all the work, without any human involvement. A smart factory is a perfect combination of Information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT).
In a smart factory-
- Power consumption, raw material wastage, etc. can be monitored.
- The availability of raw materials, market’s supply & demand are checked and,
- Production cycles are optimized accordingly.
- The scheduling for maintenance and such can be done by Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems.
- Authorized personnel can monitor all of the factory operations on a simple device like a mobile phone via Internet of Things (IoT) systems.
Mass-producing would be like playing a simulation game where on just some clicks on the phone you can observe and control the production. Of course, it is still not perfect, but in a few years, smart factories will become a trend.
Smart factory and IoT systems
Internet of Things is a system which incorporates various technologies like cognitive computing, AI, embedded sensors, cloud computing, etc. and enables a person to monitor and control a setting like a house, farm or a factory by a simple device like mobile.
As discussed earlier you can already guess that a factory and IoT system is a match made in heaven.
Smart factory and Industry 4.0
As mentioned earlier, the smart factory is a product of industry 4.0 where modern equipment and techniques put together can achieve complete automation.
Unlike earlier industrial revolutions where the tagline was “The More You Produce the Better”, modern production methods focus on maximum production using minimum resources and least industrial waste.
How to do it?
- Monitor every single product produced and,
- Check how much resources are utilized to manufacture it.
- Then, calculate the product’s value,
- Compare it to the value of resources utilized to produce it.
- Don’t forget to calculate the amount of wastage produced in manufacturing.
Sounds extreme, doesn’t it? Don’t you think it’d be best to let the machines do the boring stuff, while you focus on managing, distribution channels and marketing and sales? They are the jobs which must be handled by a human, for now.
Please give us your insights on the topic. We would also answer your questions if any.