Could you ever imagine that the manufacturing process will also be controlled by computers? The smartest person in the room might be a human being but there are several other things that a machine can tell us and that we can never figure out on our own. Suppose we are speaking of maintaining and creating aircraft engines.
As human beings, we could only analyze things, work on a preventative maintenance cycle and then wait for all the plans to fail or know how to fix it.
However, times have changed and now there are sensors that offer more data on the software and engine. Thanks to the sensor that data can be analyzed in a sophisticated way and hence we have a clearer idea on how an aircraft engine should be maintained. Scroll down to read more on smart manufacturing.
Smart Manufacturing – What is it?
This is a rather broad concept and is not something that you can implement in the process of production directly. It is an integration of multiple solutions and technologies which when implemented collectively can be called smart manufacturing. These technologies are called enablers that help in optimizing the manufacturing process and increasing overall profits.
Few of the main enablers in the present market situation are.
- Blockchain in manufacturing process.
- Artificial Intelligence.
- Industrial Internet of Things.
- Cyber Security.
- Condition Monitoring.
Companies are investing in the benefits by implementing the above mentioned enablers. These enablers are either accepting data or generating data or doing both.
Smart Manufacturing – How data drives the process
Smart manufacturing is about harnessing data, data that tells us what to do and when to do. As these smart factories are usually built surrounded by data, automatically, cybersecurity plays a noteworthy role in the system of smart manufacturing. Security of data is a vital challenge while implementing these enablers.
The collaborators of smart manufacturing can be segmented into 3 types of companies that can be broadly categorized into the following.
- IT solution providers power the entire concept of IIoT along with asset management. They assist you in monitoring, building control and supervising analytics infrastructures. Few instances include BM, HP, SAS, Microsoft, Intel and Oracle.
- Product and control solution providers include organizations in the development of automation services and products. Examples include Siemens, Honeywell, ABB, Rockwell, Emersion and Schneider.
- Connectivity solution providers are telecom service providers that accelerate the smooth flow of data for proper asset management. Examples include Huawei, Cisco and AT&T.
Influence of Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing
Although the idea of artificial intelligence is pretty old but it is currently finding applications in the manufacturing industry. Within the last 6-7 years, there has been a huge increase in the investment in AI. What are the reasons behind this gaining momentum of AI?
- AI helps in generating large amount of data with cost-effective sensors.
- AI processes data at cost-effective rates.
- AI helps in storing data within low-cost systems.
All these have made it easier for AI to be imbibed into manufacturing shop floors. Previously manufacturing was done by low-cost nations where it was tough to justify the expensive price of AI implementation into manufacturing industries.
However, now with the rise in wages, it is possible to imbibe AI even n countries like China. In fact, China is making noteworthy amount of investment in AI, particular in manufacturing applications.
Future of Blockchain in the manufacturing sector
Blockchain in manufacturing is still at its nascent stage but it is still a much-discussed technology in the manufacturing industry. Taking into account the abilities of blockchain, food, aviation, beverage and medical are few of the industries that benefit from this technology.
Due to few stringent regulations, these industries will need full scrutiny from all suppliers. Blockchain could help in maintaining proper quality control from the development of raw materials. Presently majority of the attention lies on how blockchain is being developed in order to operate the supply chain in the manufacturing ecosystems.
Therefore, if you’re eager to dive into the bandwagon of smart manufacturing, you should take into account all the above listed features of this new trend that is being used to facilitate tasks and curb costs.