Analysis: Four smart factory trends to watch in 2018

Jessica Twentyman for Internet of Business:  At the tail end of 2017, a new manufacturing plant opened in Sunnyvale, California, that takes the smart factory concept to a new level.

The facility belongs to Quanergy, a company that specializes in making LiDAR [light detection and radar] sensors – the technology that allows autonomous vehicles to sense their surroundings and to steer, brake and avoid collisions.

Quanergy’s new smart factory features a high-capacity, fully automated production line, located in a clean room environment. The line features state-of-the-art semiconductor handling and packaging equipment, including a conveyor system connecting machinery along this line that turns the raw material of silicon wafers into finished LiDAR sensors.

The facility also handles automated calibration and final testing of sensors, according to the company, providing “high quality and reliability in an industry that thus far relied mainly on manual labour to build mechanical LiDARS.”

Smartness, of course, is in the eyes of the beholder – but it’s probably safe to define the ‘smart factory’ as a venue in which connected technologies enable manufacturing operations to become more efficient and more responsive. And we can expect to see more connected technology and smart factories emerge in the manufacturing sector during 2018.  Full Article:

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