January 24, 2017 – The term “Smart Manufacturing” indicates the technologies that enable the digitization of manufacturing enterprises. Often we refer to a broader technology sector, called “Internet of Things“, which includes all the technological solutions necessary to gather data from the world of objects, to process them and obtain information.
Smart Manufacturing and the Internet of Things are two overlapping, but not coincident, sets, i.e. the Internet of Things does not apply only to the Industrial field and Smart Manufacturing includes some technologies not strictly related to the perimeter of the Internet of Things.
Smart Manufacturing spread can enable the realization of the objectives of effectiveness and efficiency, in terms of increased revenue and reduced costs, thus enabling an improvement in competitiveness that will enable industrial enterprises to expand their business volume and consequently have positive effects on employment.
In order to develop a business plan to evaluate the profitability of investment in Smart Manufacturing, keep in mind that such investments are, in the first instance, necessary for the implementation of an enabling infrastructure, i.e. the common basis for a set of services and use cases; therefore, it could be more difficult to demonstrate the profitability of investment if we focus, from time to time, on a single service or use case.
Basic brick of each Smart Manufacturing project is the realization of a converged network to support industrial automation.
With a converged IP network infrastructure, the increase of labour productivity and production speed can be achieved thanks to the dissemination of technologies in support of mobile communications among people and of sensors to manage the tracking and localization of objects and people.
The digitization process can make an important contribution to the improvement of the operating times of the plants, enabling the rapid and precise identification of the underlying causes of any problem on the production line.
The real-time analysis of data collected from the machines and from industrial plants may allow the dynamic adoption of operating profiles to minimize the risks of payment of penalties for overloads. In general, thanks to a careful analysis of machines and processes, you can achieve significant reductions in energy consumption.
Smart Manufacturing can also facilitate and simplify the introduction of new products and processes. Video communication and collaborative technologies generally contribute to a more rapid and effective design of new products. The availability of analytical data allows you to minimize the risk of re-working compared to a finished product that, for whatever reason, does not comply with the desired specifications and design. The definition of a well-established and tested technology practice helps to speed up the start-up phase of new production facilities.