IBM: optimising factory operations with smart Manufacturing
Manufacturing Global takes a look at how smart manufacturing is reimagining the industry and the ways in which IBM can help factories optimise their operations.
“The focus of every industrial revolution has been increasing the productivity of production systems. The fourth industrial revolution is here, and it’s seeking to improve both production and management systems,” commented IBM in a recent white paper.
To achieve these improvements within manufacturing digital transformation is being driven by smart manufacturing to create new opportunities and achieve new levels of productivity and specialisation.
By harnessing the power of data, industrial internet of things (IoT) and analytics, manufacturers are achieving new capabilities including predictive maintenance and quality. As a result smart manufacturing is reimagining the way in which organisations do business.
IBM explains that most factories are composed of operation technology assets, these include machines, equipment lines and robotic devices, however these devices are not always connected.
Current trends are focusing on building a more IT-based factory to save time, labour, cost and maintenance. As a result industrial IoT platforms are on the rise as new innovative concepts harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) analytics, big data and cognitive manufacturing emerge.
Targeting pain points
IBM further explains that in order to understand the impact of Industry 4.0 solutions, the industry must examine the key people involved in all aspects of factory operations.
True transformation can only happen when all unique challenges and pain points are targeted.
Three tiered architecture solutions
By harnessing IBM’s three tiered architecture solutions, organisations can keep the needs of different workers in mind to implement an efficient smart manufacturing strategy.
IBM’s three tiered architecture addresses autonomy and self-sufficiency requirements of each production sire and balances the workload.
Edge level - the predominantly physical area of a factory for product related activities
Plant/factory level - plant and local activities are orchestrated and connected
Enterprise level - analysis of all information and information storage
Deploying industry 4.0
Harnessing smart manufacturing solutions can drive flexibility, speed and resilience within a manufacturing ecosystem, by collecting data, optimising performance and improving agility within an organisation.
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