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 organizations do business, and in particular, improving organizational resilience.
Most factories are composed of operation technology assets, including machines, equipment lines, and robotic devices, however, these devices are not always connected.
Current trends are focusing on building connected manufacturing factories in order to save time, labor, cost, as well as improve overall plant safety 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
In order to understand the impact of Industry 4.0 solutions, the industry must examine all the factors involved in all aspects of factory operations.
Various industry pressures have led manufacturers to need to implement applications across multiple platforms, making such applications much more difficult to maintain. The high cost of system maintenance has led the manufacturing industry to evolve technology into a more flexible system design.
True transformation can only happen when all unique challenges and pain points are targeted. The way this can be addressed is via three-tiered architecture solution.
Three-tiered architecture solutions
By harnessing a three-tiered architecture solutions, organizations can keep the needs of different workers in mind to implement an efficient smart manufacturing strategy.
Three-tier architecture offers improved scalability and manageability because changes in one tier are transparent to the other tiers. Development of the three-tier system is faster, and the system itself becomes a strategic, flexible tool with infinite possibilities to extend information and resources to more platforms at a lower cost than ever before.
A three-tiered architecture addresses the autonomy and self-sufficiency requirements of each production site and balances the workload in order to improve productivity and safety at multiple levels.
Just to give you an idea of how it works within manufacturing environments, here is an illustration of three-tier architecture that would function within a smart manufacturing system.
1. Edge level – This concerns the predominantly physical area of a factory for production-related activities, and how it is calibrated and mapped out.
2. Plant/factory level – Plant activities are orchestrated and connected. Any metrics related to production and or specific injury types are calibrated here.
3.Enterprise-level – At this level, analysis of all information and information is considered to ensure that everyone involved with the factory is aware of any potential safety issues, or any production shortages to the extent that their responsibilities allowed.
Deploying industry 4.0
Harnessing smart manufacturing solutions can drive flexibility, speed, and resilience within a manufacturing ecosystem, by collecting data, optimizing performance, and improving agility within an organization.
In today’s world, organizations must be trusted to safeguard sensitive information. A resilient organization must manage its information – physical, digital, and intellectual property – throughout its lifecycle, from sourcing of inputs to destruction. This requires the adoption of information security-minded practices that allow stakeholders to gather, store, access, and use information securely and effectively, in order to ensure organizational safety as a whole.