How Are Smart Factories Transforming the Manufacturing Sector?
HIWIN is a premier manufacturer of motion control components and systems. We are fully committed to providing product solutions that help develop and maintain a better way of life and working environment for all of mankind. A key application for our products is smart factories.
Overview of Smart Factories
Smart factories are manufacturing facilities that incorporate and implement modern production, information, and communication technologies to create highly efficient and flexible processes. They connect robots and other automation technology with feedback and data collection systems to streamline the completion and management of tasks. When machine learning is added, this combination allows equipment, or the people who manage the equipment, to improve and optimize the manufacturing process. Many industry professionals predict smart factories will be a key element in the next Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).
Smart factories have reliable and predictable production capacities, maximized asset uptime and production efficiency, and automated production and material handling capabilities with minimized production costs.
One of the main challenges is ensuring the facilities are made with high-quality long-life mechanical and electrical components. If critical pieces break down unexpectedly, the efficiencies gained by the technology can be lost to higher maintenance and replacement costs and longer downtime for the facility.
Key Features of Smart Factories
Smart factories have the following characteristics:
- Connected systems. Smart factories have connected systems that allow data to be easily collected and transferred to collaborators when needed.
- Proactive design. Proactive design is key to making an efficient and flexible manufacturing facility. Smart factories often have automated restocking and replenishment systems, predictive anomaly identification and resolution systems, real-time monitoring systems, and other proactive technologies that help identify and resolve issues before they worsen.
- Agile setup. An agile setup ensures a facility can adapt to changes as needed. That’s why smart factories typically have flexible scheduling and changeovers, configurable factory layouts and equipment, and quick implementation capabilities for product changes. They design for today’s requirements and prepare for changes in external and internal environments that could change requirements.
Benefits of Smart Factories
Smart factories can be highly beneficial to manufacturers. For example:
- They can increase asset efficiency and safety by shortening downtime/changeover time and increasing production capacity.
- They can improve product/process quality by lowering the risk of error, scrap rates, and lead times, and raising fill rates and yield.
- They can reduce operational costs by allowing for more predictable inventory requirements and more effective hiring decisions and reducing process variability and latency in response to sourcing needs.
The Importance of Quality Components in Smart Factories
While smart factories offer a variety of benefits, they are nothing without good components. Mechanical and electrical components are key to the operation and performance of smart factories since they are integral to the motion control systems used to automate many tasks. That’s why it is important they are made with durability and reliability in mind. Components with long lifespans and low maintenance requirements serve as a solid basis for a successful automation project.
HIWIN: Your Expert & Partner for Quality Smart Factory Components
If you are an automation integrator looking for quality components for a smart factory project, HIWIN is the ideal source! We offer a wide range of top-rated motion control components as well as standard and customized motion systems. From ball screws and linear guideways to articulated and SCARA robots, we can help you find the right standard or custom motion solution. To learn more about how our products can be leveraged in successful smart factory projects, contact us today.