Technological advances have driven dramatic increases in industrial productivity since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine powered factories in the nineteenth century, electrification leading to mass production in the early part of the twentieth century and industry becoming automated in the 1970s.
In the decades that followed, however, industrial technological advancements were only incremental, especially compared with the breakthroughs that transformed IT, mobile communications and e-commerce.
It’s not your father’s factory anymore. Manufacturing is in the early stages of a dynamic transformation, one that integrates machines with cyber systems to monitor physical processes and communicate in real time with other systems, machines and humans, both within the factory and across the supply chain.
The goal is to create highly sustainable and efficient “smart factories” combined with better working places that improve productivity and economic performance.
Digitization and intelligentization of manufacturing process are the needs for today’s industry.
The manufacturing industries are currently changing from mass production to customized production.
This new era has been christened “Industry 4.0” to reflect the next iteration of the industrial revolution. A new level of organization and control over the entire value chain of the life cycle of products is on the rise; it is geared towards increasingly individualized customer requirements.
Robots have been in factories for decades, but what if they could talk to one another and interact with products on the assembly line in real-time? What if they could communicate with a whole network of machines and internal and external computers, as well as with humans?
As a result, here’s what production line of the future may look like: