Plant of the Future: Seeking the ‘next level of perfection’

Will technology make manufacturing better in the next five years?
By Plant Engineering August 24, 2018
Paul Galeski, MAVERICK

Technology in and of itself doesn’t change anything for better or worse. People do. Technology is merely an enabler for improved human performance. As we bring in the next generation of automation workers, they can utilize modern technology to bring new insights and innovations to manufacturing processes. Workers with domain experience are key in taking advantage of technology shifts and applying it to operations. New and improved technology is, by definition, always available. It takes a management team with the foresight and planning to find out how best to leverage the right technology for them, and to employ that technology to help them win against the competition. That’s where a good platform-independent automation solutions provider can help analyze the current conditions and sort through the myriad of options to help each individual company modernize, save, and jump forward in the markets they serve.

Kevin Lewis, Siemens

Kevin Lewis, vice president of Digital Factory, Factory Automation at Siemens. Courtesy: SiemensImprovements and developments in the latest technologies such as AI will allow manufacturers to fully automate the most complex manufacturing processes,and predictive algorithms will provide personnel with the information needed to fix issues before production or safety issues occur. Manufacturers that embrace the digital enterprise will gain a competitive edge.These manufacturers will have a digital twin of their entire value chain,enabling them to perform simulation, test,and optimization in a completely virtual world. And they can resolve problems and optimize their enterprise in the virtual world before ever committing any physical resources in the real world.Additionally, key performance measures and business analytics can be hosted either on an edge computing device or in the cloud that will enable closed-loop feedback to drive continuous improvement into future design requirements.

Carsten Röttchen, Rittal

Though in both approaches the actual process steps are the same, we reduce complexity by system integration with optimized data utilization.That makes the difference for our customers.The processes are much faster and very precise. By means of IIoT tools we will bring our manufacturing system to the next level of perfection. We will do exactly that in the 11 plants all over the world in the next years.With an overall €500 million for a new plant, new products,and machinery,this is the biggest investment in the history of the company.

Lanny Floyd, Electrical Safety Group, Inc.

Improvements and developments in the latest technologies such as AI will allow manufacturers to fully automate the most complex manufacturing processes, and predictive algorithms will provide personnel with the information needed to fix issues before production or safety issues occur. Manufacturers that embrace the digital enterprise will gain a competitive edge. These manufacturers will have a digital twin of their entire value chain, enabling them to perform simulation, test, and optimize.

Want this article on your website? Click here to see how ContentStream® can make that happen.