The manufacturing sector is facing significant challenges impacting operations and growth, including a shortage of skilled labor, rising costs, global supply chain disruptions and cybersecurity threats. To overcome these barriers, manufacturers are investing in Industry 4.0 with advancements such as automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital twins.
Learn why manufacturers continue to explore and adopt private cellular networks.
Connected manufacturing: A guide to Industry 4.0 transformation with private cellular technology
Getting flexible with layouts
Cellular-equipped factory layouts can be reconfigured instantly to adapt to changing requirements and products. That means manufacturers can meet customer demand of more customized products. This is vital, as a 2018 study from Protolabs revealed that 86% of consumers say customization appeals to them.
AMRs: workhorse of smart factories
Autonomous Mobile Robots offer many benefits, such as freeing up forklift operators to do other factory tasks, and improving worker safety since robots can easily maneuver through hazardous environments. Plus, they handle materials much more accurately, so can eliminate up to 30% of typical scrap.
The digital twin is born
By creating a digital replica of physical assets, digital twins let manufacturers streamline the production environment without physically changing anything. Manufacturers can produce useable insights for both process and factory, letting them plan for future states with “what-if” scenarios, while giving them the full control to implement change.
Cobots rising, quality rising
Collaborative robots, or cobots, work side by side with operators to conduct both manufacturing tasks and quality inspections. Using cobots means factories can inspect every product part - not just samples - and in less time, so can help raise overall product quality.
Reality check: inspections with AR
Another benefit of augmented reality within a manufacturing environment is the impact on quality inspections. It provides human inspectors with visualizations that increase accuracy and reduce time spent checking, and uses real-time hazard and maintenance sensing to ensure product quality remains high.
Your best asset for maintenance
Asset condition monitoring allows predictive maintenance, which uses data collected by sensors to reveal exactly when maintenance is needed. This intelligent tracking of machines reduces factory downtime and enables a more sustainable use of machinery by expanding their lifespan.