As the times are changing at an incredible speed, so is the technology that is involved in a particular moment. Like everything in the past, when the technology gets integrated into a certain industry it is to be expected that the industry would prosper several times faster than if it remained with the old technology level. For the manufacturing business model, the smart factories were the newest addition that promised to change the game from the ground up.
The practice was dubbed the manufacturing industry 4.0 as it had access to digital technologies. The digital technologies that belonged here were the internet of things, the data analytics artificial intelligence, robotics& advanced robotics, cloud computing, and the newest addition to every 4.0 manufacturing business the 3D printing technology. Whoever adapted fast, had an upper hand on the competition.
The expected benefits of the industry rose significantly and in a short time. The manufacturing experts expected that the produced goods would be accelerated by up to x13 times and even the quality of the products was expected to rise about x12 times. Comparing to the last big improvement in the industry which was in 1990, this was a big deal. Everything was affected even transportation and the inventory system. Meanwhile, the overall productivity and labor expenses improvements were predicted to be accelerated from anywhere of 5-10 times.
Across many segments, the manufacturers were expecting to harness the full potential of these 4.0 smart factories and the biggest boon would be on the productivity and overall quality.
Components of the smart factories
The basic components to every smart factory was
As we all understand these were not new concepts, but the way they functioned and integrated with each other was something new and wonderful. Software integration and data analysis was a key part in the integration of smart factories and reducing overall wasted resources.
The Employee’s Place in the Smart Factory
The lower need for employees to assist in certain functions lowered the health risk of many employees. Risk assessment in various departments became a real thing and there was a definitive less need for employees. That’s not to say that the company and machines could run itself, the employees were a much-needed factor, but only the skilled ones would remain employed in such a setting. However, the managerial department got expanded as with artificial intelligence and robotics the need for human interaction was lessened. As smart factories are pawing their way to the future the clear positive side is mostly benefiting the consumer as more personalized products could now be made without big changes in the business model.