The concepts of “Smart Factory”, “Smart Manufacturing” and “Factory of the Feature” have appeared recently although they do not yet have strictly defined meanings; they are now used interchangeably, although the concept of “Factory of the Future” is more comprehensive and includes not only “Smart Factories” but also virtual and digital enterprises.
Definition of Smart Manufacturing
Smart manufacturing is defined as fully integrated enterprise manufacturing systems that can respond in real time to changing manufacturing conditions, supply chain requirements and meet customer needs. In this definition, “real-time” is central.
These objectives are achieved through the intensive and comprehensive use of information technology and cyber-physical systems at all stages of production and delivery.
Smart manufacturing, together with the Industrial Internet of Things, is at the heart of Industry 4.0. A characteristic feature of Industry 4.0 is fully automated production facilities, where all processes are controlled in real time and taking into account changing external conditions.
Considering that the concept of “smart production” is very vague (sometimes it is understood as active robotization, automation of most production and management processes, and even simply innovation), and the transition to it is carried out in several stages, and attempts are made to divide this concept into three; digital factories, intelligent factories (Smart) and virtual factories.
Digital, smart and virtual factories
Factories of the future are generally divided into three main types: digital, smart or “intelligent, and virtual.
The main task of the Digital Factory is the development of models of manufactured products using digital modeling and design tools. These tools begin to be used at the research and development stage, and end with the creation of a “digital mock-up”, a “digital twin”, a prototype, a small batch release or individual, customized products according to customer requirements.
Main systems and technologies of a digital factory:
1. CAD (computer aided design system)
2. PDM (Product Data Management) is a product data management system.
3. PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) is an application software for product lifecycle management.
4. CNC machines.
5. 3D printers and other additive technologies.
Smart factories aim at mass production of products while maintaining maximum production flexibility. This is achieved thanks to the high level of automation and robotization of the enterprise. Automated control systems for technological and production processes are widely used.
The manufacturing assets of a company equipped with sensors and communications using IPv6 protocol are capable of producing products with little or no human intervention. Big data processing technologies make it possible to cope with dramatically increased information flows from sensors and automated control systems.
Main systems and technologies of a smart factory:
1.APCS is an automated process control system.
2.APS (advanced planning and scheduling): synchronous (advanced) production planning.
3.MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is a production process control system.
4.IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things).
The virtual factory is a network of digital, smart factories that also includes suppliers of materials, components and services. In such a factory, automated business management systems are used to manage global supply chains and distributed production assets. With the right degree of integration, they enable the development and use of a virtual model of all organizational, technological, logistical and other processes that take place not only in the enterprise, but at the level of distributed production assets and global supply chains, right down to after-sales service.
Main systems and technologies of a virtual factory:
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- SCM (Supply Chain Management
Smart Factory Implementation Stages
Around the world, projects are being implemented to build new companies as close as possible to the implementation of the Smart Factory and even Virtual Factory concept. The servicing of products will take place gradually and with maximum utilization of existing production assets. The sequence of the transition depends significantly on the specific characteristics of the company and the availability of new technologies.
Companies must go through the following stages to implement the Smart Factory concept and lay the groundwork for the subsequent transition to the Virtual Factory.
Digitalization of production.
Staffing with mobile platforms, installation of sensors and industrial controllers on equipment. Installation of new equipment, which are already initially equipped with digital interfaces. Identification of physical objects of the company.
The task of collecting sensor data in real time can be solved by connecting all devices and sensors to the IT-Enterprise IIoT platform. The operational exchange of information between employees is provided by the IT-Enterprise.Hubber corporate social network.
Building a digital twin of the enterprise.
Solving the problem of visualizing the actual state of affairs in the enterprise. Developing clear rules by which it is possible to identify deviations from the norm that have occurred during the execution of production and business processes.
Provide, through mobile platforms, synchronization of data from the automated planning system and data received from equipment, prompt adequacy of plans. Ensure the reliability and usefulness of operational information.
Transition to real-time planning tasks based on reliable information about the course of production processes.
Providing an automatic response of the control system to most production situations. In other words, it is a solution that is individually developed for a specific piece of equipment, which is individually configured and thanks to this the system will be able to trigger automatic reactions to production events from production.
The challenge of smart factories
Smart manufacturing presents a challenge for companies in understanding the technologies and implementing new production systems. In many cases a transition in traditional companies can be more difficult than looking to build a new factory where the basis for innovation is present from the design and infrastructure of the building.
If your company is looking to innovate in its manufacturing processes, at VYNMSA we can build the building according to your company’s specifications.
Our industrial buildings comply with the infrastructure required for this type of factory, or we can support you in the construction of your Build to suit project. We are one of the leading industrial real estate developers in Mexico with almost 30 years of experience and more than 450 projects delivered to fully satisfied international clients.
Contact us and start your company’s operations in Mexico with VYNMSA.