The 2020s are predicted to be the decade of transformation for many industries, and manufacturing is no exception. More than ever, companies are looking for ways to make their products more efficient. One of the newest methods? The smart factory.
Smart factory solutions do not only promise increased efficiency, but also greater cybersecurity protection for manufacturers. They can optimize production lines to optimize production by tying up all the necessary components in one place, so every process is communicated with each other seamlessly.
Smart factories will provide significant benefits in terms of efficiency, sustainability, cost savings, and competitive advantages. To learn how you can prepare your company for this coming change, read on!
The 2020s as a Decade of Transformation
In the 2020s, we’ll see a lot of change – from how we work to how we consume. The 2020s may be the decade of transformation for many industries, including manufacturing. In fact, by 2022 it is predicted that there will be nearly 2 billion connected factories all around the world.
It's not hard to imagine the future. All you need to do is take a look at the exponential developments that are happening across various industries today. The world of manufacturing is changing rapidly, and smart factory solutions will revolutionize manufacturing. These days, machines are making more decisions than ever before, and they're gaining the intelligence to do so. This trend will only continue in the coming years, as makers adopt smart factory solutions for increased efficiency and productivity.
The global economy has been on a roller coaster ride for the past few years. Job security and income stability have become increasingly unstable. The future of work is murky. It's predicted that by 2022, smart factory solutions will be the norm as they will provide greater job security and higher incomes.
What is a Smart Factory?
Simply put, a smart factory is a factory that uses technological advancements to operate at an optimal level, thus greatly contributing to the optimization of the industry. This means that they use new and different technologies in their production processes, which suggests that they can make more flexible, modular products because of these automation technologies. Some of the most common features are predictive maintenance, analytics, and IoT platforms. These are used in synchrony with one another to help track production levels, improve efficiency, reduce waste, and create better business practices.
Furthermore, the ability to adapt and optimize operations, as well as store and analyze massive amounts of data in real-time, make it possible for a Smart Factory to reduce production process time and expenses. A flexible, efficient, and autonomous production is achieved by making workers focus more on improving processes and less on repetitive jobs, resulting in a high value.
Benefits of the Smart Factory
Manufacturers using the Smart Factory solutions could leverage robotic and machine learning skills more effectively. Using the right manufacturing software, the machines can work on their own and can even be programmed to do a variety of tasks.
Robotics and ML aid machines in becoming intelligent and intuitive to the point where they can operate on their own. As a result, there is less reliance on humans, more productivity, and fewer mistakes and mishaps. In terms of both time and money involved, manufacturing units are quite useful and effective.
With the help of Smart Factory solutions, you may save money by decreasing waste and optimizing the use of resources. To achieve maximum output, the primary goal of every business is to eliminate waste and improve efficiency throughout the whole system. It is possible to foresee the need for repairs or replacements, as well as the timing of shutdowns, with the use of digital modes.
You can even reduce total costs by adopting digital technologies to automate the production, manufacturing, and shipping operations. A decrease in waste and an increase in profit lower the costs.
Shortening of the Manufacturing Process
The cost of production and manufacturing is directly proportional to the amount of time it takes to produce something.
With the help of integrated technology and modern digital systems, these solutions regulate, manage and simplify operations. AI makes machines smarter. As production batches rise in size, the amount of time it takes to produce each batch decreases significantly.
Streamlining the manufacturing process reduces the time it takes to produce goods, which in turn speeds up the time it takes to respond to customer requests.
In What Ways Can You Make Your Factory a Smart Factory?
The digitalization of traditional industries may be broken down into four steps:
- Viewing digitalization as an opportunity rather than a threat. Companies should consider digitalization as a means of increasing productivity while simultaneously reducing costs, which will be helpful to their business in the long run. Additionally, digitalization is inevitable, it is simply a matter of time before all the factories will shift to being smart factories. Accepting it, and going digital now, will give you an advantage over your competition.
- Establishing strategic plans and objectives to be able to deal with the changes. Knowing exactly how to optimize the internal processes, grow revenue, and reduce cost is the key to success.
- Determining who will lead the project internally. The members of this team should have an extensive understanding of the business and its various operations.
- Reusing and involving the entire workforce is essential; organizations must devise a strategy for either retraining or hiring new people. All employees and internal procedures will be affected by the change, which is complete and encompassing.
Preparing for the Coming Change
The smart factory is a new way to produce goods that will require a new approach for many companies. This includes understanding how the process of data collection and analysis might change, as well as the crucial role you play in this process.
It’s important to consider if your company has the resources and capabilities to be successful with such a dramatic shift. With this in mind, it’s significant to evaluate your company’s current process and how it might be impacted by the introduction of a new system.
Some questions you may need to consider
How would the company gather or generate data on the products, and what implications does this have for security? How can you help in the process, and which experts do you need to hire to make the process as smooth as possible?
What type of information could be collected and analyzed? How can the company achieve it?
How can the company make sure our employees feel comfortable with these changes?
Are there any regulatory issues you should be aware of?
These and all other questions you may have should be answered before you start the process of transitioning to a Smart Factory. Making the change should not be a rash decision to maximize production if your company is not up for it. Rather, slowly consider every aspect and make an informed decision.
Final Thoughts on Smart Factory Solutions
Factories will inevitably become smart soon. If not all, most of them will. The best course of action is to try and prepare your company to follow the path of data-driven business. There are several ways in which you can do it, and the reasons to go smart are plenty. Companies can benefit greatly from Smart Factory Solutions. However, without proper execution, the SME's digital transformation can fall short of expectations.