The smart factory is not a mere concept anymore, it is all about managing a continuous stream of data from production equipment and machines in a connected environment. The smart factory is an actual upgrade from the traditional automation systems into a flexible fully connected environment.
Being in the field of Industrial IoT solutions, we have seen its effect on the manufacturing industry from very close quarters. Nowadays we see more budget being allocated to transform the manufacturing unit into a smart one. One of our clients in the manufacturing industry has their vision cut out for 2020 to make all the shop floor machines connected.
The need of the hour is to keep your factory smart and connected through customized IoT solutions in discrete and process manufacturing. There would be a lot of stakeholders inside a factory and the goal should be to monitor and connect the machines & staffs and deliver valuable insights into the performance and working patterns of the same.
Let’s now look at what all features make a factory smart and connected. The first and foremost requirement for any manufacturing unit is that the solutions should be easily integrated into the existing technology architecture with very less turnaround time. Your factory floor would be filled with new and old machines. Each of these machines may use different protocols to be connected, wired ones like ModBus, CANBus, BACnet and wireless ones like ZigBee and BLE. The real-time data can be pushed to an edge gateway and from there to a popular cloud platform like AWS or IBM Cloud.
Any smart factory would not be complete with a good custom visualization platform. The solution should be specialized in handling big data and compute complex data analytics with the data coming from the connected machines. These visualization tools can be configured according to each unit’s needs and wants. It would be an added advantage if there is also an integrated alert system inside the visualization tool, to notify the managers whenever there is a threshold breach,
Finally, investing in a smart factory is all about creating a safer manufacturing premise and enhance productivity. Let’s make our factories smart and connected.
check this Article for more info on Sensors, PLCs, and Distributed Control Systems: The IoT Hardware Implementation in Manufacturing.