Are Smart Factories The Factories Of The Future?

30th October 2017 03:00

Manufacturing could be changing as we know it.

With the rates of demand rising, the need to produce more products in less time for less money is needed. Exploring ways to do this has ultimately led to technology saving the day once again.  Instead of using real people to press the buttons needed to keep the production line going, we could be seeing connected devices, intelligent insight and automated processes being used.

Manufacturing is set to see a facelift, the appropriately named Industry 4.0, is the 4th industrial revolution. The Industry 4.0 will see intelligent machines that can communicate and learn from one another with little to no human involvement.  Through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IOT) it will drive operational and financial gains through the roof.

So how is this smart technology going to affect the manufacturing sector?

The economic impact would be $630 billion by 2025, a figure which many manufacturing companies would be extremely happy with.

However, the installation and running costs of the technology could work out to be very expensive. New talent would need to be brought in to the workforce to run the technology and train the rest of the team, which would be more expense on top of the initial investment.

The technology also has the potential to be unsafe. The sensitive information of customers and the company could be compromised if there was a technology was hacked, and would the workforce know how to deal with such a breach?  

Some argue that because our 21st century lives are already centred around technology, for example, our phones, laptops and tablets, surely it is just another step in humanity’s progression.

But before we can expect to see factories full of robots running production, there still needs to be actual people to run the technology and keep an eye on what is happening.

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