What is the smart factory

A smart factory is a company that has switched to automated and intelligent systems, which operate autonomously and in contact with the surrounding environment

We often hear about Industry 4.0, especially in recent months. This is an ongoing process of change that is sweeping through companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and is leading to the adoption in factories of automated and intelligent processing systems.

The fourth industrial revolution, as this important historical phase is identified, is a term that defines the transition toward manufacturing digitization, as it came over the centuries, when industry was hit by other revolutions. Companies, in fact, open the doors of the plants to robotic machines and especially able to make decisions autonomously, interacting with the surrounding environment. One speaks in this case of Cyber-Physical System. CPSs are computer systems that allow machines to communicate and operate in close contact with the real world.

The smart factory

The entry of Cyber-Physical Systems means that companies are relying on intelligent processing techniques, where humans are still necessary, but not as fundamental as they used to be. CPS systems, in fact, allow factories to be more autonomous and efficient. In the next few years, as many experts suggest, manufacturing processes will rely mostly on these tools. 2018, in particular, will be the breakthrough year. And not only for large companies, but also for small and medium-sized enterprises. The smart factory is just that: a smart company.

Enterprise 4.0: IoT objects and data analysis

In Industry 4.0, two elements will be crucial: IoT objects, always-connected devices of the Internet of Things, and Big Data. Two sides of the same coin and strongly linked with CPS systems. Replacing traditional machines with Internet of Things objects will allow companies to keep all business processes under control in real time and to collect data to be used in multiple ways. Big Data, in fact, allows predictive analysis, i.e. making predictions and simulations. And, therefore, to face possible future problems.