What is Smart Manufacturing?
Currently an upheaval in the manufacturing industry is being referred to as the next industrial revolution. This trend in manufacturing incorporates technology that enhances the performance, intelligence and autonomy of a process, facility or company. This trend is referred to differently across the globe largely due to the extent that regional governments are involved. In North America you hear of Smart Manufacturing, in Europe you find Industrie 4.0, and in Asia you see Made in China 2020 all being offered as a way to brand this latest form of industrial revolution. Regardless of what we call it, smart manufacturing is an enhanced process of production with the objective of optimizing concept generation, product transaction, and manufacturing. Smart manufacturing is made possible by merging operation technology and information technology into an integrated real-time process that usually consists of capturing data, modeling, simulating, analyzing, controlling and planning. Smart manufacturing systems help to optimize processes, prevent undesirable events, increase safety, decrease product time to market, enhance supply chain interaction, and inform facility and corporate personnel with appropriate metrics and analysis.