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The topic

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.

The practical relevance – for this you will need the knowledge and skills

Smart Factory is an essential part of Industry 4.0. The basics and areas of application learned here will help you to have a future-proof voice in the field of modern production technology and are able to help shape it.

Learning objectives and competences at a glance

This learning unit gives you an overview of the basics, processes, application areas and problems of the smart factory. You will get to know the most important terms on the topic, learn how smart factory is anchored in Industry 4.0 and which components are available. You will also gain an insight into the areas of application and possible problems and learn why these are so important for the future of industry. The role of humans in an automated environment will also be explained.

Learning Objectives

Being able to understand the basics, the sense and the decisive factors of smart factory.

Being able to distinguish and understand the operational and technological components of smart factory.

Being able to understand the areas of application and current problems.

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