Becoming a smart factory requires investment, effort and strategy. However, its benefits far outweigh these upfront expenses.
These intelligent systems gather operational data and analyze it to create customized production strategies, leading to reduced machine downtime and maintenance costs as well as higher product quality by eliminating human errors.
Predictive maintenance uses IoT sensors and data analysis software to track equipment performance and alert users when anything falls below par. Predictive data analytics also assists in setting maintenance schedules to reduce production downtime and repair costs, creating more productive working conditions and lower repair costs overall.
Minimizing unexpected failures helps improve staff safety. When equipment breaks down or fails unexpectedly, human operators are less likely to be injured when alerted early and repairs can be scheduled during a scheduled maintenance window.
Predictive maintenance requires an upfront investment, but studies have demonstrated significant returns in terms of maintenance costs, unscheduled downtime, repair downtime, spare parts inventory management costs and overtime premiums incurred directly and indirectly by employers. Furthermore, decreasing malfunction risk increases overall plant reliability and availability resulting in improved product quality and increased profits.
Smart connected factories rely on large amounts of operational data collected via IoT systems that offer real-time visibility of equipment and processes, which can then be analyzed to improve performance or used to build digital factory simulations to predict how products are manufactured.
Step one in making your factory smart connected is collecting and storing data. For ease of access, this should be stored securely in the cloud; benchmarked against industry benchmarks so you can set realistic goals for agents.
Spirit AeroSystems collaborated with Deloitte to transform an 80-year-old plant into a 21st-century smart factory, using an adaptable technology platform that could scale with their changing needs. Get an insider view into how Spirit did this!
As manufacturing moves into the 21st century, Machine Learning (ML) is becoming an essential component of smart factory solutions. Its algorithms sift through massive data sets to detect patterns and trends that would otherwise go undetected; its predictive technology also allows automated systems and processes to learn from past experiences while optimizing and evolving themselves, increasing operational efficiency in turn.
As soon as a production system detects an issue, alerts are immediately sent to operations teams so they can address it before it escalates, thus reducing downtime, delays and any negative impacts to business.
Intelligent automation may provide great benefits, but humans remain key in creating meaningful business solutions. To empower workers, look for solutions offering intuitive augmented reality tools to streamline manual work processes and make them more rewarding – this elevates human role while freeing them up to focus on more challenging tasks.
Smart factory solutions from Faststream Technologies enable you to optimize every aspect of production and distribution. For instance, their AR solution optimizes warehouse management and order fulfillment by connecting machines directly to ERP systems via sensors – eliminating knowledge silos within your company.
AR can assist field technicians in servicing machinery by providing predictive analytics data about its health in real time, visually guiding repairs, and connecting with remote experts for optimization procedures – ultimately leading to faster and more reliable maintenance procedures.
To optimize manufacturing processes, start by conducting an in-depth examination of key areas within your plant. This will enable you to identify which ones need work the most and prioritize digitizing them first. After this assessment has been performed, implement the necessary tools that support team efforts towards your goals; smart factory transformation doesn’t need to happen all at once – every step forward brings us closer towards realizing smart connected factories.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.