The smarter factory
Consider Apple’s Cloud, Amazon’s Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana – they’re all smart technologies that have existed for years collecting data about the people using these devices to provide a better user experience. This begs the question: if the technology has existed for so long, why is it only now being utilised?
It’s with the development of device connectivity or cloud-ready devices that this technology is becoming more available to the industrial world. Right now, cloud technology in these industries is still in its infancy but its adoption is accelerating.
“The population of smart factories will increase productivity by 2022 – creating potential contributions between $500 billion and $1.5 trillion globally”
This technology is definitely a disruption to the industry, but in a good way. It’s providing machine builders, service providers, operators, and management have real-time communication with machines to proactively manage the process, providing real benefits to different parts of the business. They can have full visibility of their manufacturing lines from anywhere in the world, giving them immediate accurate data in real time that would have taken days to gather in the past, with differing degrees of accuracy. Having visibility over your devices also means you can better manage your fleet.
While smart factories, IIoT, machine learning and big data seem futuristic, the reality is that they are here, and development and adoption is accelerating – investment and plans to adopt Industry 4.0 are happening across the globe. China is one example leading the initiative with “Made in China 2025”; the proposal is to encourage every factory in China to be a smart factory by 2025.
While the cloud software and dashboards are important, it’s just one part of it; decision makers should be focused on investing in cloud-ready devices, so they are Industry 4.0 ready. From coding and marking to mobile computing and printing, insignia is embracing a broad spectrum of IIoT technology to provide their customers with cloud solutions that offer better visibility over their devices and improved performance.