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Top 5 Smart Factory Trends in 2018

Efficiency, effectiveness, and economical. The 3 Es have guided the manufacturing industry for hundred of years and bringing about massive transformational changes. As hi-tech solution and automation pave the way in the modern economy, problems like worker fatigue and quality control will diminish. The smart factory, however, represents a leap forward from automation to a fully connected flexible system. The Industry 4.0 revolution along with IoT will enable factories to use a constant stream of data from interconnected operations and production systems to learn and adapt to new demands. The smart factory can integrate data across all the systems to drive maintenance, Request Proposalmanufacturing, digitization of operations, and inventory tracking. So what are the trends picking up in the smart factory across the world?

Industrial robotics

A new wave of factory automation is underway. Industrial robots are entering the manufacturing scene and creating value for companies. It is not uncommon to see robots outnumbering production workers in most of the smart factories today. The availability of collaborative robots has considerably reduced the overall costs and increased manufacturing flexibility for the companies.

Predictive maintenance

An unexpected breakdown can be very costly for a manufacturer and add to that the losses caused by the downtime. Smart factories enable predictive maintenance to be practiced that can alert manufacturers when parts that are prone to breakage. Many smart factories are now using IoT sensors to predict faults before they happen. The technology also has the capability to locate nearest service technician and map out the best route for the person to reach the premises.

Increasing use of AI

Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic in many industries. In a smart factory though, it plays a key role, by helping manufacturers predict demand patterns and optimally allocate resources. AI basically eliminates human guesswork and brings in cold and hard perspective of data into the equation. New cloud-based smart factory apps have emerged recently which comes embedded with AI and enables sophisticated decision science to be used to perform day-to-day work tasks.

Additive manufacturing

A lot has changed with the introduction of 3D printers. The parts once ridiculously expensive to manufacture can be done within minutes for few dollars with a 3D printer. In a smart factory, 3D printers are increasingly being used to make not only the prototypes but the final products as well. Such additive manufacturing creates an object by adding the material layer by layer as opposed to the subtractive manufacturing of drilling, cutting, and hammering materials away. Additive manufacturing opens up possibilities for mass customization from individual automobile parts to a pair of shoe.

Data visualization

Today data is easily available to managers. But how will they make sense of numbers to address issues and bottlenecks? Many inefficiencies often go unnoticed which have a dramatic effect on productivity. Graphical representation of data can help executives gain insights into challenges that lie in the production line. Data visualization assists even lower level employees to understand whats going on, and empower them to take decisions which can improve operational efficiency in a smart factory.

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Is IoT Flawless? Top Challenges in IoT that are Affecting its Future

Much of the world has been excited with the prospects of IoT and how it can change their life for good. It can literally change the way we shop, travel, and offer different consumer services. Such a giant interconnected network of devices and sensors paves way for advanced data sharing and communications. Imagine a scenario where you regularly top up your fridge with supplies and groceries. After regular consumption, you are out of milk, the refrigerator that’s connected to IoT notifies to your smartphone, and your smartphone directly places an order for milk. Within some time, the milk arrives at your door without you even breaking a sweat. The future looks promising for IoT with many more applications not only in the household sector but also in the industrial area. However, few challenges or issues need to be tackled to successfully embrace the future of IoT.

Challenges in IoT

Security

IoT has already garnered serious attention from tech firms and government agencies across the world for security reasons. Since all household devices are interconnected to IoT, it can be disastrous to consumers if their baby monitors, cars, cameras, or security systems are hacked. Such an act of hacking can cause severe damage to the society. Poorly designed devices can expose the user to data theft, leaving vulnerabilities exposed. Additionally, IoT deployments also consist of identical or near identical devices, and the sheer amount of such devices in totality can leave the question of security lingering. Adding security protocols will be costly and time-consuming, and the users will then need to consider the tradeoffs between cost and security with IoT deployment.Request Free Proposal

Privacy

There are certain things that are personal to an individual and they would like to keep it that way. However, since IoT is interconnected and each device shares information across the network, privacy can be of concern. Privacy is one of the biggest challenges in IoT. One would not like others to know information such as where they drove their car to, whom they call, what kind of media have they stored in their phone, and personal things they buy off the market. Additionally, since IoT relies on sensor data to enable automation, there is a feat that sensors and tracking device may actually spy on people. They can actually know what TV show a particular individual is watching and secretly transmit the data to a cloud service for processing. Such data collection and distribution exposes companies to legal and regulatory challenges.

Standards

Numerous companies are investing in IoT to develop devices that are compatible. It is then enabled by multiple network carriers, all of whom may have different protocols and standards. Achieving a standard is one of the biggest challenges in IoT as it can limit the potential of devices to communicate effectively throughout the network irrespective of device, manufacturer, and service provider. The absence of standards can enable strange behavior by IoT devices. Developers should design products that operate in disruptive ways on the internet, and poorly designed devices may not facilitate the smooth workings of IoT network. Standardization should flow not only in terms of design but also configuration tools, methods, interfaces, and protocols such as IPv6.

Regulations

Since IoT has a lot of scope to be abused and misused by unintended parties, regulations will be set by government authorities to curb such problems. Privacy and security issues will pose questions for the IoT technologies, and thoughtful consideration from law enforcement authorities is required to help control such issues but not hamper the development of the technology. Additionally, legal issues arise when the data is shared between two countries, surveillance and civil rights issues, security breaches, privacy lapses, and unintended uses.

For more information on the challenges in IoT and how it hampers the growth of technology:

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How Augmented Reality Can Change the Face of the Manufacturing Industry?

Manufacturing industries across the globe are increasingly adopting all the latest disruptive technologies of the 21st centuries including IoT, VR, automation, robotics, and big data analytics. Augmented reality is no exception to this statement. The outrageous success of Pokémon GO fueled the widespread acceptance of the augmented reality technology within numerous industries. The ability of this technology to augment digital information onto physical elements and objects has limitless possibilities in the manufacturing industry. It can also cut down operating costs and production downtime in addition to ensuring a smooth flow of operation.

Augmented reality in the Manufacturing Industry 

Helps with Complex Assembly
The manufacturing process has grown complex over time, requiring the assembly of hundreds and thousands of components in precise sequence. Missing any small component or the sequence could severely compromise the product’s quality. Augmented reality eliminates the use of documents such as instructions and dynamically projects all information on the field of view all the times.Contact US

Cut Down on Maintenance Time
Today, companies have to rely on the availability of the technicians for any maintenance tasks. Augmented reality can enable any person to do mechanical tasks by guiding them through 3D models to carry out the maintenance tasks. Additionally, it also eliminates the need for any maintenance manuals and displays the machine’s status in real time for timely maintenance.

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Challenges in the Agriculture Chemicals Market – Is Going Digital the Answer?

As farmers turn to technology, agriculture chemicals manufacturers are bracing up to meet the new challenges in the agriculture industry. Especially when it comes to the agrichemical supply chains, the industry is still struggling with synchronizing the entire work process and meeting the ever-growing demands for the chemicals cost-effectively.

Is going digital the ‘panacea’ for problems in the agriculture chemicals supply chain?

Supply chain disruptions and changes in customer needs are the two major pain points faced by manufacturers of agrichemicals. Along with this, providing end-to-end services is another area which calls for focused planning of players in the agrichemical market.

By switching to digitization and investing in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) technology, industry experts believe that the loopholes in the supply chain can be easily tackled. IIOT and predictive analytics facilitate better redressal of the supply chain woes. As predictive analytics makes use of machine learning to decipher patterns in the unstructured data, it becomes easier for market players to respond to changing demands from the customers in an automated manner.

Secondly, by aligning business and digital strategies, agri-chemical companies can gain better ROI. At the moment, majority manufacturers are using digital technology on the front end alone. The result is a decrease in production costs, increase in yields, and sustainable growth. Such improvements in the work process is advantageous for farmers as well as players in the agrichemical industry.

However, to gain long-term results, experts recommend the use of digital technology in strengthening the back-end mechanism as well. The supply chain is the major back-end mechanism which needs to be highly agile to deal with the fluctuating demands from the customers’ end. A digitally-enabled supply chain is sure to leverage the changing market dynamics to the company’s advantage.

Lastly, it will be wrong to assume that adoption of digital technology alone is sufficient to add value to the business. Manufacturers of agrichemicals must realize that it is essential to build a platform which is a synergy of the local resources, regional culture, and digital operations. On its own, digitization is not going to bring in any huge change in the functioning of the businesses. What is needed is an intelligent placement of digital solutions in the organizational structure, so that an element of flexibility is added to the entire work process.

Infiniti’s take on digitization of the agriculture chemicals market

The agriculture chemical industry is undergoing one of the most exciting changes in the past one decade. Digital disruption has in fact added more dynamics in the supply chain and opened up avenues for increased innovation as well as competition.

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