Thanks to the invaluable power of Google Alerts, my inbox fills up every morning with scores of articles, blog posts and news-bites on a variety of technology topics. One area that’s getting more than its fair share of attention is the latest wave of innovation that’s sweeping the manufacturing industry. Whether you call it Smart Manufacturing, Smart Factory, Smart Industry or even Industry 4.0, it’s about bringing intelligence to the operation of manufacturing systems through digital transformation. Today, digital technologies have emerged that can connect devices and networks to make communication easier. These technologies don’t just simplify communication between humans; they can also be used to streamline complex manufacturing systems and processes by allowing devices, sensors, and controls to share information with one another. And, as information becomes easier to obtain and share, manufacturers will be able to leverage advances in information and communication technology to solve problems, maximize the talent of their workforce, and strengthen their competitiveness in global business.
Traditionally, manufacturing companies have been slow to react to the introduction of new and disruptive technologies, but digital transformation may be changing that. From a strategic point of view, digital transformation represents the vision of the connected manufacturing environment where all equipment is online, intelligent and capable of making decisions. The growth in connected devices and platforms, combined with the significant amounts of data from field devices and the rapidly changing technology landscape, will make it a priority for companies to quickly adapt their products and services and move from the physical world to a digital world.
Today, manufacturing is quickly transforming from mass production to an industry characterized by customization. Not only must the right products be delivered to the right place for the right price, the process of how products are designed and delivered must be at a higher level of sophistication.
Here are a few articles that cover this topic well:
Five ways IoT is transforming the manufacturing industry
Top 5 digital transformation trends in manufacturing
Smart industry and smart manufacturing – industrial transformation