The first introduction
“Says one machine to another…” – what sounds like a little joke is the current big dream of the manufacturing industry. Smart factory is THE keyword in the current industrial revolution – also called Industry 4.0.
Because smart is king. The digital revolution enables people to live in a networked world in which everyday objects come to life and constantly communicate with each other. Not only your mobile phone is “smart” – from cars to voice assistants to refrigerators, there is a constant exchange of data and information that makes your life more pleasant.
Now imagine the enormous potential in production: Machines and computers that are in constant data and information exchange, that regulate and coordinate with each other – producing and processing products as autonomously as possible and without the need for human intervention. Not only manufacturing productivity and efficiency could be increased considerably. Accidents, excess production and environmental pollution could also be reduced.
So, you see: smart factory is the future. But it is also already the present: Many producers, for example the automotive industry, are already successfully implementing smart factory concepts.
Of course, Smart Factory is not as simple as you might think – but it’s not as complicated as you might think. In this chapter you will learn the basics and application areas of Smart Factory.