Smart Factory is a flexible system which embraces new digital technologies, Machine Learning, Predictive Algorithms and makes it possible to gather and analyze data across machines and business systems, enabling faster, more flexible and more efficient processes to produce best quality standard/customized products at reduced costs. Self-optimization, self-adaptation and learning from new conditions in real or near-real time, autonomously run entire production processes are some of key highlights of Smart Factory.
Data of the product is the most important constituent of Smart Factory which helps minimization of waste. Sensors, data and analytics are deployed to make a factory smart and creates a “Digital Twin” of the factory.
Smart Factory is a step ahead from traditional automation in factories as it is fully connected, and uses constant stream of data to learn and adapt to new demands.
Concept of Smart Factories goes beyond the boundaries of the factories as it also connects to a global network of similar production systems ensuring full integration of Supply Chain.
Smart Factory continuously evolves and grows according to changing business needs:
Changing Customer Demand, so as to take into account adjustments in production scheduling/sequencing
Expansion in new markets, so as to factor increased capacity requirements / machines
New products or services
More productive and responsive approaches to operations and maintenance, ensuring timely maintenance and preventing machine breakdown (Simulate far in advance maintenance operations in digital twin of the factory to save time)
Incorporation of new processes and technologies
Real or near real time integration with production
Many of the manufacturing facilities are already using the components of smart factory in areas such as Advanced Planning and Scheduling using real time production and inventory data but a true Smart Factory is more than this, as it moves ahead of the shop floor system and influences the enterprise and broader ecosystem.