How Innovators Overcome Smart Factory Challenges

Brad Done for Manufacturing.net:  Smart factories are the manifestation of what's being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution — a concept that's been in the conceptual-buzz phase for years.

While the last revolution saw the widespread digitization of manufacturing technology, allowing information to be produced, replicated and shared on an unprecedented scale, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, could take manufacturing to a place verging on self-awareness.

What does this look like? Smart components will interact directly with other devices — independent of human micromanagement and oversight. It means our technologies will be capable of building and interpreting a more nuanced understanding of the manufacturing environment. People and machines will have access to real-time virtual representations of all manufacturing functions.

It's a vision that's fast becoming a reality. Experts have expounded on the challenges, but this hasn't prevented early-adopters from making significant headways.  Full Article...

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