To meet the demands of a fast-paced and ever-evolving global marketplace that demands products at an unprecedented rate, companies across industries are increasingly turning to "Smart Manufacturing" to help them optimize their entire manufacturing process and consequently increase overall profits. Implementation of smart manufacturing technologies helps businesses address the challenges of customization, complexity, and globalization, while also allowing them to adapt and cater to the dynamic expectations of their customers.
"Smart Manufacturing" can be defined as - the complete integration of collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real-time to meet the changing demands and conditions in the smart factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs. Smart manufacturing is all about harnessing data, and using it intelligently - which helps companies understand "what to do" and "when to do it".
Let's take a look at some of the innovative technologies that are at the forefront of the smart manufacturing revolution.
Migrating to the cloud for computing and data storage helps companies outsource the cost and effort of managing the collected data and memory needed for always staying in tune with emerging technology. While migrating your company's systems to the cloud, it is very important to ensure that cybersecurity is maintained with the proper steps.
Creating a platform to connect and optimize all the gathered data helps companies get the most out of this data and make business decisions accordingly. For example, inventory control drones rely heavily on these systems & platforms, sending and receiving data from them, which helps companies manage product data in real-time. An effective and efficient system must be built to be able to closely interact with emerging technologies.
Sensors & ID mechanisms like RFID tags drastically reduce the number of manual steps required to complete the quality assurance process at every stage of the supply chain and add in-depth SKU-level visibility. For successful implementation of these systems, you need to put in place systems that have high processing speeds and memory capacity, capable of storing the huge quantity of new data that the sensors provide.
Predictive analytics means using mass amounts of collected data to anticipate problems and enhance forecasting. For example, companies can predict and prepare for shortages that will occur at a future date and take the necessary steps to minimize the impact of such events on their customers. Prescriptive analytics allows organizations to not only analyze possible issues but also suggest helpful next steps to the supply chain manager.
This is a broad term used to describe sensor-enabled equipment and systems that are in constant communication with each other. A smart factory is built on this innovative technology, where sensors on various factory equipment can all be programmed to deliver relevant data to a central system.
Modern-day robotics systems are connected with the sensor network within the manufacturing floor of smart factories, and they change their action according to the data they receive from sensors. Artificial intelligence is also being implemented into robotics systems, making them autonomous and self-teaching. Through the implementation of AI, robotics systems are able to change their actions on a real-time basis.
Blockchain is essentially a decentralized ledger that manufacturers can use to record transactions from across their network and maintain quality control. Blockchain in manufacturing is still in a nascent stage and the current focus is on the development of blockchain technologies for supply chain function across manufacturing ecosystems.
Driverless vehicles & drones increase productivity by reducing the number of resources needed for routine tasks. Self-driving vehicles can be used to expedite pick-and-pack processes, inventory control, or forklift operations. Smart factories that use these tools must alter their design or map their systems in a way to safely integrate these driverless vehicles with minimal disruption to labor operations.
3D printing allows manufacturers to reduce the steps and materials needed for making small parts by enabling them to build a product in one step. Since it is a relatively new technology, it requires a certain amount of investment to integrate it with existing production processes and also needs the right talent capable of implementing it effectively.
Though artificial intelligence is hardly a new concept, recent developments in technology that have allowed for the generation of huge amounts of data with low-cost sensors, the ability to store data in low-cost systems, and process this data at affordable rates has seen a drastic increase in the use of AI for manufacturing.
Web Synergies helps organizations across industries optimize their operations through innovative technology solutions like those discussed above. We specialize in providing high-value, tailor-made solutions that are designed to suit your specific needs, while also giving utmost importance to cybersecurity.
Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help.