An article in Automation World (January 6, 2014) titled “From Smart Manufacturing to Manufacturing Smart” (http://www.automationworld.com/sensors-discrete/smart-manufacturing-manufacturing-smart) describes the impact of intelligent manufacturing on economic growth and competitiveness. Smart manufacturing and the powerful data analysis capacity is intended to change the way products are invented, manufactured, shipped and sold. Smart manufacturing is also associated to a network of sensors in the factory floor that will not only increase productivity but also improve worker safety while protecting the environment. Moreover, the use of smart devices will drive a new wave of digitization that will re-invent the manufacturing industry. Will the inter-connectivity of systems grow not only within a firm but also along its business partners to strengthen the links in the supply chain?
In the article, “Collaborative Manufacturing as a Service in the Cloud”, the positive effects of 3-D printing are reviewed. One of the main advantages that the article proposes is that “small volume, “made to order” items that used to be prohibitively expensive are already within financial reach.” Additionally, with the development of cloud services, “participants who formerly had access to only one 3D printing process will be able to automatically outsource to other members that use any of the other processes or materials available.” In closing the article proposes that 3-D printing along with other new technological advances are bringing about a new era for manufacturing where “manufacturing capabilities for machines, plants, and enterprises are interconnecting to form a global grid of manufacturing resources.”
An article in TechRepublic (September 28, 2014) titled “How IoT big data will transform manufacturing automation” (http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-iot-big-data-will-transform-manufacturing-automation) describes the benefits that the internet of things big data analytics provides to the industrial sector through supporting a faster and optimal decision making process. Data analytics facilitates the interconnection of the information systems that defines the manufacturing activities. Companies should understand the importance of finding synergies and alignments in standard and big data management teams to drive and support the fast growing automation of smart manufacturing. This data analytics can also provide companies the opportunity to continuously audit their required compliance with quality standards and regulatory controls. Will data analytics in smart manufacturing improve drastically the current forecasting strategies in order to further capitalize the markets? Will companies use big data analytics to predict customer’s behaviors and automatically adapt their industrial processes through smart manufacturing?