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What is Smart Manufacturing and What Does it Mean for Your Business?

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

We have been told “Smart Manufacturing is coming” for many years and buzzwords like the industry 4.0 and smart factory have been tossed around as the next new thing for some time now. In the meantime, we are witnessing major transformations and innovations both in the way of production and in the organization of these structures. Obviously, technology is changing the manufacturing landscape from head to toe.

While these changes are happening, let's first understand what smart manufacturing is and after try to answer what smart manufacturing means for your business.

There are many definitions of smart manufacturing in the literature. MESA International, a well-known, not-for-profit organization of manufacturers producers, industry leaders and solution providers uses the following definition:

“Smart manufacturing is the intelligent, real-time orchestration and synchronization of business, physical and digital processes within factories and across the entire value chain. Resources and processes are automated, integrated, monitored and continuously evaluated based on all available information as close to real-time as possible.”

Smart Manufacturing can be understood as the combination of existing and modern technologies with standards that work creating flexible, self-adapting manufacturing capabilities. Smart manufacturing technologies include big data analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), process virtualization with digital twins, advanced robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and more.

According to the forecasts of the TrendForce agency, the compound annual growth rate of the smart manufacturing market in 2021-2025 is going to be 15.35% furthermore, in 2025 revenues will reach $ 540 billion.

A Smart Approach to Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing has led to what’s being called the Industry 4.0, where manufacturers utilize cloud technology to store and access big data that can be used in manufacturing processes within a factory. This is data that, in the past, manufacturers never had access to or weren’t able to properly analyze the manufacturing process. Today, smart manufacturing allows manufacturers to see the whole picture easily and make better decisions. Here are the some advantages of smart manufacturing:

Automation: Perhaps the most important benefit of all, automation contributes to the manual processes to improve production, quality and even safety. For example, it ensures efficiency in production by taking over processes that cannot be done with human power and preventing possible accidents that may occur in hazardous areas. You can also take a look at our Khenda solution, Sentinel, which prevents work accidents in manufacturing plants.

Reduction in production errors: Data helps smart factories self-monitor and self-optimize. With smart manufacturing, it can be detected and corrected potential manufacturing errors before they become major problems. You can imagine scrap and rework that could have been avoided by catching a problem as soon as possible.

Better decision making: Smart manufacturers see their shop floors, businesses, and plants more, undoubtedly. The combined forces of Big Data, the IOT, and cloud computing put solutions within reach, whatever the problems may be. They can analyze, track and measure their operations, and take proactive or informative action faster.

While talking about smart manufacturing, we couldn't finish our article without mentioning what smart factories are. The smart factory is a concept that expressing the end goal of digitalization in manufacturing. It is commonly used to describe a factory floor that uses industry 4.0 technology to collect and improve data on machines, devices, and production processes. A smart factory can monitor and analyze the entire production process, from machinery to operators who work on the shop floor. That is why, smart factory is more agile, delivering high quality and fast production, providing the business with detailed and up-to-date information.

Summing it Up

Enabled by smart technologies such as the Internet, AI, AR (augmented reality), IoT, big data, etc allows continuous optimization of manufacturing performance, (for instance; maximizing productivity and quality while minimizing costs) improvement in the return on investment, therefore a better competitive advantage and increased market share.

In order to compete and take advantage of shifting customer expectations and growth opportunities, manufacturers should implement smart technologies into their manufacturing plants. That means the sooner you embrace smart manufacturing, the better you will be in the short term. As with most adoptions in manufacturing, your shift to smart manufacturing will be an evolutionary process. You have to be selective about what and how to invest and that's why Khenda offers the perfect solutions for you.

At Khenda, we offer our award-winning AI solutions and develop businesses to digitize manufacturing plants and standard operating processes.

Contact us to request a demo.


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