Smart factory : transformation towards the intelligent factory
In the supply chain, the evolution and transformation of tools are pushing companies to strengthen themselves through automation and digitalization. Today, it is necessary to know how to use the Internet to understand data that we get from it and no longer limit ourselves to a minimal use of it. Previously, it was stored locally and analyzed once the problem occurred, but factories must now anticipate and become intelligent.
Smart Manufacturing is an approach that aims to progressively integrate technological tools and connected machines into the production process and the rest of the Supply Chain. The objective is to automate operations to improve productivity and the overall company performance.
The factory becomes smart when it goes through the process of digitizing its tools and operating methods. Most of operations are now controlled by machines with integrated sensors and proactive management software that rely on the use of artificial intelligence, Big Data or even the Internet of Things to advance decisions by anticipating problems.
The latest uses of digital technology in production control and warehouse organization define the concept of the smart factory.
Smart factory tends towards a system of organization that allows it to be agile and flexible to foresee a level of production according to the demand and to correspond to the needs of the Supply Chain without making mistakes, to avoid technical shutdowns of machines, and to consult the worker as little as possible.
The machines of the smart factory are no longer limited to simple and rigid actions. Now they can integrate into their environment by being versatile. Cobots or collaborative robots are easier to handle than traditional robots and replace workers for uniform and repetitive tasks: extracting and inserting pallets into shelves, moving merchandise in the warehouse, picking orders, etc.
Intelligent sensors and robots offer many advantages to the operation of the factory. Order adjustments based on stock levels are fast since we have a complete view of data in real time. This accelerates delivery times to the customer, whose satisfaction is greater.
With the automation of warehouse tasks, the smart factory contributes to the improvement of the health and safety of the worker by avoiding dangerous tasks. Even if new risks are to be considered, such as collision with machines, work accidents and musculoskeletal disorders are reduced.
Processes are accelerated and optimized so that there are as few errors and maintenance interventions as possible, this leaves time to think about products, customer needs and new opportunities. The smart factory is therefore a real time and organization saver.
To achieve these results here are some tools:
As said above, Big Data is necessary to strengthen the productivity of the company. It is therefore important that such data is retrieved, processed, and analyzed to be considered as key elements in decision making.
To monitor the activity of its Supply Chain, spot errors and gain in prediction, data is a real gold mine. To remain relevant despite the large amount of data, you must know how to collect and keep the right data. This includes data from your entire Supply Chain (article and customer references, information on your logistics network, etc.), data that is already available to you, and exogenous data (external to the company, which belongs to your environment all the same).
The collected data must be diagnosed to proceed to the Supply Chain analyses by creating KPIs to be precise and consider the maximum of criteria. This data is increasingly relevant and necessary for the implementation of new technologies in your plant, to make it intelligent.
Monstock is a solution that allows you to digitize and automate your processes in the warehouse and factory. Monstock supports you in your technological adaptation projects and connects to more than 3000 digital solutions through its connectors to automate your processes and be productive.
For more information, contact the Monstock team.