SMARTFACTORY Smart factory is a small step towards INDUSTRY 4.0 which was initiatedby German government in an aim to computerize traditional manufacturingprocess. It represents a huge jump towards future from a conventional automated system to a fully functionalconnected system.

And also it replaces pyramid flow of information Automation has always been a part of the manufacturing process fordecades. We have seen various kind of automation (simple or complicated) acrossfactory floors. However, the word “automation” means single, discrete process.

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Inorder to create a smart factory we need to merge this discrete process intocontinuous process, we can achieve this with the help of cyber-physical systemscalled Internet of Things (IoT).With recent advancement in Machine learning,sophisticated cyber-physical systems have been developed which combine physicalmachines with business models. Where machines, products and process areconnected to network so they interact with one another and data flow betweenthem is continuous.

Using these data/information entire production process canbe controlled according to the customer demand. It’s more like combiningBusiness sides with manufacturing side, This in turn improves customer’srelationship with companies. WHAT MAKES SMARTFACTORY SO SPECIAL?Smart Factory caught center of attention at HANNOVER MESSE. What makesit so special is that’s its just not automation but beyond that.

Smartfactories are designed to operate autonomous but they can also connect to aglobal network.  The ultimate goal of smartfactory is to be flexible as much as possible, ability to transform and adaptitself to the changing environment – like changing customer needs, expansion ofbusiness to new market, production of new products, process and services. Smartfactory provides feasible solution for some of the issues. It has the abilityto learn and meet changing requirements from data in real time. And can alsomake a decision which helps companies to avoid operational downtime, failures,delays, cost and other losses.There are various parameters involved in building a smart factory one ofthem is “connected”.

Smart factoriesrequire the machines and materials to be connected in order to generate thedata which can be used to make real-time decisions. Data generation from newmachine is easy because most of them are advanced but in factories there doexists older model machine as a backup or rarely used. Data generation fromthese machines is not that easy but doable, smart sensors are equipped in andaround machines so the data generation is continuous, this data both from newand older machines are verified and updated. Combining data’s from operations, business, suppliers and customersenables us to provide efficient supply-chain processes, and thereby increasingsupply network value.Second feature in smart factory is optimizationwhich allows process to be executed with minimal human intervention and morereliable.

The autonomous work(job) flows, harmonization of work in progressproducts or finished products or raw materials,  improved job tracking and setting up, and howmuch energy consumed in the smart factory can increase quality, and reducecosts and also throwaway(waste). Transparency plays a vital role in smart factory. It’s alwaysbetter to capture Real-time data from processes or work in progress and convertthe captured data into actionable insights, either for humans or autonomousdecision making. A transparent network can provide a clear vision of what ishappening across the factory floor and ensure the company by providing accurateinformation using aids such as real-time updates on production and real time productionpositioning, etc.Dedicated system, employees and computers can anticipate when thedowntime occurs and can act accordingly in preference to taking actions afterproblem arises. This feature can include identifying problems, filling up inventoryor stocks, identifying and controlling quality related problems and checkingsafety and maintenance concerns.

The benefits of the smart factory to forecast futureoutcomes based on historical data and real-time data can improve throughputtime, tak time, quality, and avoid problems related to safety. Responsive flexibilityallows the smart factory to adapt according to changing product demands withlittle human intervention. An advanced smart factory has the capacity to changeits configuration (machines and other devices) and flow of material dependingon the customer demand .Additionally; flexibility can improve throughput timeand can become more flexible schedulingThese features provide manufacturers greater visibility across their factoryfloors, and allow them to navigate some of the problems faced by moretraditional factories.

The goal of a smart factory is to improve productquality, productivity and responsiveness to suppliers and customer demand andservices.