The factory of the future

Cascajo Sastre María    7 November, 2018

The process of industrial transformation is a fundamental part of history. We all remember the history of the first industrial revolution with the arrival of steam, the second with electricity and the third with the start of automation. Now, and almost without realizing it, we are fully immersed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also called Industry 4.0 in Europe or Smart Manufacturing in the United States.

This revolution was born with the arrival of Internet of Things to the industrial sector. The development and evolution of this technology applied to industrial processes has led to the birth of a new term: Industrial Internet of Things, whose acronym is IIoT.

It is about creating an ecosystem based on the integration of processes, with machines, applications and people, all interconnected with each other. Therefore, we hear more and more about the factories of the future, including connected factories or factories 4.0. All these terms refer to the implementation of IoT technology in factories and plants to make stock management and production processes more efficient, faster and more accurate.

How do you manage to transform a factory? Connectivity is the key to this whole process. Implementing interconnected devices in factories will allow workers to create new work patterns thanks to the analysis of the information they will receive. The most practical feature of them all, it will allow this information to be updated in real time.

Data is the treasure of the digital age. With it, business owners can obtain information about their business that until now they did not know about. To gather all this information, the logistics sector has the RFID sensors as protagonists. They are sensors that perform radio frequency identification of a label, that is, they use a wireless and remote identification technology from which a device connected to a reader collects information and sends it to a central station using radio waves.

The development and evolution of this technology applied to industrial processes has led to the birth of a new term: Industrial Internet of Things, whose acronym is IIoT.

However, to get the most out of Big Data, you have to know how to interpret all this volume of information. If the workers and managers know how to analyze all this information, they will be able to see in real time what causes a problem and then solve it very quickly. Not just that, but thanks to predictive analytics you might notice a problem before it happens.

The digitization of the factories makes the information accessible to all workers, plant managers and directors thanks to its storage in the cloud. In this way, the data can be consulted at any time and from any site and device. This also favors the transfer of information between departments or business areas.

Among the most notable advantages of these innovative plants are the reduction of production costs and the time for problem detection. In turn, the efficiency, productivity and speed with which the product can reach the end user are increased. In this line, it is worth noting that the connected factories favor sustainability, since through the IoT they can also manage the lighting of the factory, as well as favoring energy efficiency in production processes.

And this is only the beginning. Undoubtedly, technology will continue to advance and evolve so that factories continue to digitize and who knows, maybe we will talk about Industry 5.0 sooner than we think.

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