What it Means for Conventional Firms to Leap into Smart Factories
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What it Means for Conventional Firms to Leap into Smart Factories

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Thursday, November 28, 2019

Smart FactoriesAccording to research, while over 98 percent of business leaders understand the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), many are not sure what it means for their business. The event results in IoT not being implemented suitably or being employed only at a basic level instead of as a fully transforming process.

FREMONT, CA: Smart factories and digital transformation have been around for a while, but only advanced businesses apply them to practice. The thought of machine-to-machine interaction has raised initial excitement and expectations, but mid and small-sized firms are seen asking; how do they start adopting the technologies in their factories?

According to research, while over 98 percent of business leaders understand the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), many are not sure what it means for their business. The event results in IoT not being implemented suitably or being employed only at a basic level instead of as a fully transforming process.

However, when one looks at production plantSmart Factorys that have grasped the core of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), it boils down to the communication ability between the business environment and shop floor. Practically, it covers how machine data is carried from equipment to standard business purposes in the back office—MES, ERP, and CRM systems, and what outcomes are drawn from the information and how they are applied back to the production process. Mostly, the success of digital transformation depends on the potential of an organization to make sense of figures from the machines and to turn them into a competitive gain.

Factory equipment can provide the most accurate real-time information about production processes, but how can people start taking advantage of it and apply the knowledge to their day-to-day job? Firms need to know the applications of smart devices—if it is about maintenance and ensuring that every component is up and running. Or is it about predictive maintenance: resolving the breakdown before it occurs based on the aggregate data from much similar equipment and early signs of the issue?

Additionally, the employment of smart devices can also be about the business side of the production: human operators making decisions based on the reports from the machines in the ERP and MES systems. Therefore, embracing Industry 4.0 dictates not only a device upgrade but an overall thinking paradigm shift.

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