Top 10: Smart Factories in the world

Top 10: Smart Factories
Top 10: Smart Factories
Tesla, Ericsson, HP, Intel, Nokia, Siemens, Samsung, General Motors, Boeing & BMW run our Top 10 Smart Factories - here’s why

A smart factory is a digitised and interconnected manufacturing facility, which uses IoT, AI, automation, big data analytics and more in its operations. This ensures that the products produced are made to the best standard, using modern technologies, with the safety of factory employees in mind. This allows products to flow through the supply chain and reach customers quickly. 

Manufacturers such as BMW, Boeing, Ericsson, General Motors, HP, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Siemens and Tesla use smart factories - here’s how. 


10. Ericsson

Revenue: US$26bn

Telecommunications giant Ericsson has rolled out 5G technology across the world, using their unique hardware. The company strongly focuses on Industry 4.0 concepts, including integrating IoT and AI to manufacture connected, intelligent and automated products. 

In 2023, our Technology magazine reported on how Ericsson, Amazon Web Services and Hitachi America R&D had joined together to highlight the ability of already-available 5G, AI and automation solutions, to transform manufacturing and improve productivity, efficiency, environmental impact and safety while reducing costs.


9. Nokia

Revenue: US$26bn

Finnish technology leader Nokia has been working alongside other companies to roll out its 5G network. In Taiwan, the company plans on making 5G available to 80% of the population. Nokia 5G is used in smart stadiums, video surveillance and cloud robotics.

The company utilises smart manufacturing technologies to expand its network infrastructure production, specifically by using automation, IoT and data analytics. Paul Downey, Head of Manufacturing Marketing within Nokia’s Enterprise Campus Edge team, recently spoke with us to discuss how the company is making the connected workforce a reality. 


8. HP

Revenue: US$53bn

HP is another technology company that is powered to change the world with its tech. HP’s Multi Jet Fusion is designed to manufacture parts which can’t be made in other ways, in a range of colours. HP uses smart manufacturing in its factories, from IoT to data analytics and this enables the company to optimise its printing technologies, especially in additive manufacturing.


7. Intel

Revenue: US$63bn

Intel is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and was founded in 1968. The company manufactures computers and semiconductor chips. Over the next few years, Intel plans to invest US$100bn in increasing the domestic production of semiconductors, across factories across Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Ohio, to fill supply chain gaps and protect the US’s economic and national security and AI-driven analytics are a key part of this plan. 


6. Boeing

Revenue: US$75bn

Since 1916, Boeing has manufactured aeroplanes. The Boeing Everett Factory warehouse in Washington is the biggest of its kind in the world. Boeing has 145,000 employees working across 65 countries. Following a recent in-flight accident, Boeing is refocusing its efforts on safety - as well as sustainable aviation fuel

Boeing’s smart factories offer automated equipment, controlled processes and safer work environments for personnel.


5. Tesla

Revenue: US$81bn

Tesla was the first electric vehicle many people had ever heard of and the company is behind many of the best selling EVs — including the Model Y and Model 3, which was the first EV to exceed 1m global sales.

The Tesla Gigafactory, in Berlin, emphasises automation and software-driven manufacturing processes across its smart factory approach. The smart factory manufactures batteries, powertrains and automobiles, with a goal of producing 500,000 units every year.

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4. Siemens

Revenue: US$83bn

From transport to healthcare, manufacturing to infrastructure, Siemens is a technology company focused on building resilient supply chains, smarter buildings, sustainable transportation and a stronger healthcare sector. Siemens provides advanced automation and digitalisation solutions for manufacturing processes. Technologies include industrial IoT platforms and advanced analytics, enabling manufacturers to optimise production, improve efficiency and enhance product quality.

Siemens’ The Smart Factory @ Wichita is a net-zero impact smart building on a smart grid, which transforms digital production and supply networks, allowing manufacturers to experience ‘end-to-end transformations that come to life through hands-on and virtual tools’.

3. BMW

Revenue: US$162bn

BMW manufactures BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles. The company is working towards building 10m EVs by 2030, across its multiple brands. BMW uses IoT-enabled machinery, automation and data analytics to advance its manufacturing efficiency, as well as broaden its customisation options and supply chain security. The cloud also plays a big role.

“Mastering the complex task of producing individualised premium products requires innovative IT and software solutions. The interconnection of production sites and systems as well as the secure integration of partners and suppliers are particularly important,” said Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW. “We have been relying on cloud services since 2016 and are consistently developing new approaches.”

2. General Motors

Revenue: US$171bn

General Motors, known as GM, is the brand behind Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac - as well as Barbie’s famous pink Corvette. CEO Mary Barra was honoured with a Lifetime achievement award from us in June. 

“Diversity is all about the pipeline,” Barra said. “It’s not just about gender, but about all forms of diversity. At GM, when we search for executive candidates, we require a diverse slate.”

The company plans to stop its production of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 and move to an entirely electric line.

GM uses automation in its manufacturing processes, as well as IoT, AI and robotics. This is designed to streamline production lines and enhance manufacturing efficiency.

1. Samsung

Revenue: US$200bn

Samsung manufactures smartphones, tablets, televisions and other electronic devices. The company provides commercial 5G services across the world, in Korea, the USA and Japan. 

At the Samsung Electronics base in Korea, the Samsung Networks Smart Factory is the home of its technology and telecommunications equipment manufacturing, used across its global operators. The smart factory is equipped with a commercial 5G network which is ‘enabling breakthroughs in manufacturing flexibility and productivity’. 

Samsung recently announced that it will invest in new smart manufacturing facilities at its smartphone plant in Noida, Indian.

“We will continue our investment to bring the optimised and/or smart factory to the Noida facilities,” said T M Roh, President and Head of Mobile Experience at Samsung Electronics. “We will continue our investment there. I believe that our investment for the smart factory will bring competitiveness in the production.”

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For more insights into Manufacturing - check out the latest edition of Manufacturing Magazine and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter.

Other magazines that may be of interest - EV magazine.


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