Smart manufacturing includes several key technologies to improve efficiency, productivity, and performance, such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Cloud and edge computing, 3D printing, Cobots, and 5G.
One of the key technologies in smart manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), works by using Internet-connected machinery for monitoring the production process and identifying opportunities for automating operations to improve manufacturing performance.
Sensors are mainly used in digitally connected tools, machines, and other industrial instruments, or even the IIoT, to streamline manufacturing operations. IIoT combines information technology with operation technology, which includes industrial processes and control systems.
In the manufacturing industry, IIoT is seamlessly connecting the future within the manufacturing facilities to work together as one. Device sensors and predictive maintenance are also allowed in IIoT technology to decrease operation costs and optimise production efficiency.
The data and communication infrastructure in smart manufacturing provided by IIoT allows the integration of physical and digital systems in the entire value chain.
Sensors, actuators, cameras, and RFID tags on IIoT devices monitor and control various aspects of the production process.
In Smart manufacturing sectors, several types of data can be stored and processed using IIoT in the cloud or at the edge by using analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to generate insights and optimize decisions.
The major examples of IIoT devices in the smart manufacturing industry are:
- Sensors are used to collect real-time data from various machines and equipment on the factory floor for valuable insights and performance and to monitor the condition of the manufacturing processes.
- RFID Tags (Radio Frequency Identification) are used in tracking and identifying products, materials, and assets in the manufacturing process to monitor their location and movement in real time.
- Smart Metres are used for monitoring and managing energy consumption in real-time and identifying opportunities for energy efficiency and cost savings.
- Connected machines are equipped on the factory floor with IIoT connectivity to allow proper communication and sharing of data. It also enables real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and optimising production processes.
- Wearable devices such as smart glasses or smart watches can access real-time information, instructions, and alerts to improve work productivity, safety, and efficiency.
- Industrial robots communicate with other machines and systems and enable seamless integration and coordination in the manufacturing process.
- Edge computing devices are used in the process of analysing data locally for faster response times, reduced latency, and real-time decision-making abilities.