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IoT Powered Smart Factory of the Future

— April 18, 2020

As the IoT technology is emerging and the way robots are functioning and operating, the Future is closer than it appears. 

Since the end of 18th century, there has been different sort of industrial revolution happening around. In 1784, the industries were using water-and-steam powered mechanical manufacturing facilities. This was termed as the first industrial revolution. The second industrial revolution introduced electrically powered mass production, based on the labour division. By the end 1970, for the first time, programable logic controllers were part of practically every factory. This was the third industrial revolution. 

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence is set of multiple codes designed to help humans in the field of problem solving and competitive environments. With the help of AI, smartphone software like Android and other OS are getting smarter. The music Industry is getting smarter. And, the factories are getting smarter. 

What is a Smart Factory?

The terms “smart factory”, “factory of the future”, or “the intelligent factory” all describe the vision of what the factories or the industries will look like after the fourth industrial revolution.

The factory of the future will be based on “Industry 4.0” where the factories will be more intelligent, dynamic and flexible. 

Manufacturing processes will be very different than conventional processes. The production cycle, the supply process, the logistic process will be closely connected to each other. The smart factory of the future will have ability of optimize the process by itself. There will be autonomous decision-making which will help in the efficiency and productivity of the factory. 

Today’s smart factory uses a combination of robots and software based artificial intelligence systems. Today “Industry 4.0” has started to take shape in some automobile factories in Germany.

Robot arm and control box; image by Jarmoluk, via
Robot arm and control box; image by Jarmoluk, via

In the factory of the future, the individual production steps will be connected to each other: 

  • Factory and production planning
  • Product development 
  • Logistics
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Manufacturing execution system
  • Control Technologies
  • Individual Sensors and actuators in the field.

Impact of IoT technology on the Smart Factory of Future

In the success of the smart factory of the future, IoT technology will play a crucial part of the whole process. The IoT vision depends on the communication between technologies to achieve high performance levels. If the communication between the technologies is not up to the requirement, the machines will not work as intended. 

Currently, the field of IoT is an emerging field. There are many ongoing efforts to close the gaps and achieve a high performance data communication. 

There are still many challenges on the way to achieve the efficient way of communication but IoT technology is the key to attend the vision of the smart factory of future.

How will Industry 4.0 change Manufacturing jobs?

Factory workers see the digitalization in manufacturing as a threat. But, if we combine mechanical skill sets with the digital skill sets, we can acquire the right skill sets for the workers. We need to train workers with mechanical knowledge and digital knowledge to get to a new way of thinking. 

Manufacturing companies will now need more programmers, mathematicians, and data analysts. Students of the future need to understand that the factories are not dirty places to work, but the factory of future is the place where highly trained professionals will be working. 

Even the teaching pattern will be changed. The ongoing teaching pattern is not that efficient where we can generate highly trained professionals. Currently, we are on the way to achieve complete automation in the manufacturing field. But as the IoT technology is emerging and the way robots are functioning and operating, the Future is closer than it appears. 

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