Do you imagine the future factory? Then imagine a factory with implemented: sensors, controllers, big data, cloud computing, internet and etc.
The factory of the future is a revolution highlighting machines capable of producing intelligent and thus reduce production costs and increase productivity. According to the IEC report " Factory of the future", the target of Intelligent Manufacturing is to improve product innovation ability, gain quick market response ability and enhance automatic, intelligent, flexible and highly efficient production processes and approaches across national manufacturing industries.
Undoubtedly, the factory of the future will increase global competitiveness. For example, the factory of the future allows:
- A more flexible production that allows adapting to the demand in real time
- Advanced traceability, which allows us to know where and when the product was made, also how
- Machines capable of sending calls for fast problem solving
- A scenario of the production cycle whereby the production is customer-driven and capable of customising the product (for example size, colour, type of packaging).
Digital and connected future factory
The Future Digital Factory is based on several types of technologies and they are connected to each other. Information and Communication Technologies, helping us to integrate and connect other types of technologies.
T1- Information and Communication Technologies, accessible to the industrial environmental. It paves the way for the connected and digital factory. Also, it includes:
- Ongoing communication, instant and composed of information relating to the production process (for example design, manufacturing, logistics and maintenance) and manufactured goods;
- Simulation of product, process, workstation and logistics chain;
- The self-diagnostic and self-adaptation of processes and production equipment and continuous monitoring of products.
T2- The new agile manufacturing processes, allowing to react very quickly to changes in demand (for example quantity, quality, product evolution, adaptation to specific needs). As a result, we can quickly reorganise it. Assignment of operators, reorganisation of the workshop, interoperability of equipment, flexible and interactive relationship with the suppliers' network.
T3- Intelligent Machines: production equipment capable of integrating intelligent components and using them to fulfil a given function.
T4- New materials: materials in increasingly complex. Each of the constituents materials brings its specific advantage in the final product (for example lightness, conductivity, strength, hardness etc.).
T5- Control, monitoring, traceability:
- Miniaturised sensors, energy efficient, autonomous decision-making …
- The new signal processing and digital imaging techniques.
The digital future factory is constantly evolving with Andon remote controls, enabling better visibility of calls and real-time information related to the production line.