In a recent article on the website, Shanghai Daily, smart manufacturing and its impact on industry is discussed. Internet-connected sensors, a major facet of the emerging internet of things, is allowing for more efficient machines, lower costs, and more accuracy. Maintenance sensors are now able to monitor machines and robots through sound and provide quick and accurate diagnostics. New scanners are able to read color codes and store large amounts of information. Large industrial upgrades to enormous machines, are now identified by small sensors. In what other ways may these sensors be put to use? How can color coding be used in other functions? Will color coding replace bar and QR codes?
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?