What is Smart Manufacturing? The Principles of the New Industry 4.0

Smart manufacturing marks the beginning of a new industrial era. Synonymous with Industry 4.0, smart factory transforms the production process, making it more automated, integrated and optimized.

Smart manufacturing: what it is and how it works

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines smart manufacturing as “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs.” In other words, smart manufacturing enables accessibility to all information on the production process at any time. In the fourth industrial revolution, the interconnection of machines and systems is fundamental for the development of the industrial sector and the economy.

Smart manufacturing aims to redesign production processes with a smart approach. For this, we need the support of technologies such as IIoT and Big Data. These solutions are capable of promoting dialogue between machines and IT systems, as well as building a more efficient and effective data management infrastructure, so as to guarantee the accessibility and visibility of bigger volumes of data.

Benefits of smart manufacturing

These are some of the main benefits of smart manufacturing for the industry.

Greater productivity

An intelligent production system provides immediate and broader data access throughout the entire supply chain. Being able to access production data in real time, companies can optimize their processes, increasing efficiency and reducing waste and machine downtime. Hence, productivity improves.

Energy efficiency

One of the main goals in Industry 4.0 is to promote energy efficiency. The integration between the devices connected in the system and accessibility data facilitates energy consumption control. As a result, it’s easier to identify and reduce waste.

Gaining competitiveness

Another advantage of smart manufacturing is the opportunity to gain competitiveness in the market. With a faster and more efficient industrial process, production costs drop, allowing companies to make their products more competitive.

In general, the goal of smart manufacturing is to optimize the production process through a connectivity and integration based approach. By taking advantage of digitalization, it will be possible to fully enjoy the advantages and principles of Industry 4.0.

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