Is it time to join the Smart Manufacturing revolution?

Smart Manufacturing is Driving Success in Factories & Processes

Smart manufacturing represents the integration of three key productivity factors: automation, operations information and advanced analytics. You can’t achieve smart manufacturing without embracing modern technology. Automation has been tied to manufacturing for over 80 years. Industrial automation of factories and processes will save man-hours, energy and material costs. Automated machines also improve quality, accuracy and precision. If you are facing challenges with older legacy equipment and the opportunities afforded by new technologies, you might be asking yourself “Is it time to join the smart manufacturing revolution?”

What is Smart Manufacturing?

Smart Manufacturing

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) states, “Smart manufacturing is the ability to solve existing and future problems via an open infrastructure that allows solutions to be implemented at the speed of business while creating advantaged value.” Smart manufacturing, as a concept, is all about agility and efficiency driving success in your processes and your factories. SMLC also considers non-hardware and non-software factors, such as a next-generation workforce and global competitiveness. You can learn more about SMLC here

Why Forward-Thinking Users Are Moving Towards Smart Manufacturing

Many manufacturers are asking themselves questions like these:

  • How do we keep up with changing consumer demand?
  • What are other companies doing to be more responsive?
  • What visibility and information options exist out there for manufacturers?
  • How do we improve productivity? Or, reduce downtime?
  • How can I reduce operating costs?

Already, innovative companies have started building smart factories designed to answer these questions. Manufacturers will always need to deliver quality products and will always be driven to reduce costs. The key here is doing so through innovation and fundamentally changed production processes. For some industries, smart manufacturing solutions may look completely different that those commonly in place today.

Smart manufacturing does not represent a “cheap labor, cheap parts” solution. Rather, entirely new ways of operating industrial plants through the intersection of human innovation and integrated technology. Rockwell Automation recently had a cover story in TIME Magazine on this exact topic. It can be found here (a 6-page PDF).

Smart Manufacturing

Modern Technology, Analytics & Globalization

Securely converging plant-level and enterprise networks is no small effort. Here are three things to consider as you move towards smart manufacturing:

1. IoT & IIoT: The IoT (Internet of Things) and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) give us the ability to connect and interconnect many smart devices. Sensors, switches, phones, tablets – all working together. This improves machine function, allows increased data collection, and ultimately allows better visibility into processes. Discover how to bring the IIoT to life with this 5-step guide.

2. Analytics: Smart manufacturing can’t make your decisions for you. It does, however, enable a lot of useful data. And not just more data but intelligence, software, reporting and dashboards to all enable better and faster decision making. Get the details about operational intelligence here.

3. Globalization: An ever-increasing global marketplace is driving manufacturers along with government agencies to create and validate new approaches and technologies that can enhance productivity and performance. The Connected Enterprise & Globalization: Getting Started (eBook)

Working closely with Rockwell Automation, Horizon Solutions brings experience and understanding of manufacturing, industrial operations and information technology to your plant floor. Our team can help bring both IT and OT together into a secure and collaborative architecture. We can help you uncover data and transform it into actionable information. Is it time to join the smart manufacturing revolution? The answer is YES.

Do you have specific questions about equipment, machinery, sensors, and devices? Or maybe you have general questions about modern automation systems. There are a lot of questions about smart manufacturing. Please let us know in the comments below.

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