Steps toward the smart factory
steps towards smart factory is really a bold decision not everyone has courage
towards to do. There are various variants of smart factory; one has to choose
wisely depending on the company profile. It creates opportunities to explore
more things. The journey towards smart factory starts with defining needs,
planning, and executable actions.
is an old saying “Think big, start small and scale fast”
starting to talk about procedure to implementation, let’s talk something basic;
“investment”. Investment should be focused into a single asset.
Once an asset is identified it should be explored and find ways to maximize its
performance. The reason behind this is mostly identifying the source of value
creation and then building infrastructure around it. Then as series of single
asset should be connected to form a network which can be production line ; which then connected to form a global network.
A manufacturer should build a strategy for specific problems, since each
problem is different and its need to be addressed in different ways through
smart factory. Planning is commissioned by the following steps
the digital planning with actual plants
1. DIGITAL PLANNING
planning starts with customer needs and with these needs, planning how a
factory should look starts with a design phase. The primary objectives are
process and hardware which is identified based on the customer requirements. Planning
is like heart of the entire factory. So intense research should be carried out
before developing. According to economist gurus, 75% of investments are
directed to early stages of planning process. All the decisions made after
start of the project accumulates for final outcome, so if a wrong decision is
made at start then the entire foundation collapses. So wise decisions should be
taken before jumping into actions.
first steps for data planning are creation of “common database”. Since planning is always a time consuming process
and step by step procedure, it should be accelerated as quickly as possible. There
are many ways to accelerate it; one of the methods is Parallel process where planning is done in parallel. To realize this
stage, factories should create a common database where data is stored centrally
which can be accessed across various departments; and can also be modified for
their specific needs. For example a factory is build according to blueprints; and
there is a 7 tons crane which moves across the factory floor, then comes the Heating,
Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) department which drills and inserts
tubes across roof tops for ventilation, this created a problem because crane and
tube might collide which created major accident because of this miscommunication
various department should come together and plan.
Devices, machines equipments, algorithms, storage, safety, purchase should be planned
and readily available. The production line should be created based on past data
or with instincts. Common Interfaces should be created since most of the
equipment is interchangeable. Software’s should be created which created a
perfect interface between human and works.
2. VIRTUAL INAUGURATE
planning is done its time for implementation. Before implementing it’s
necessary to commission the factory in virtual environment. Manufactures don’t want
problems after commission so for the same reasons virtual commission is recommended
where rigorous test is done. Data is collected as much as possible and
constantly improved the outcome of a factory. For example Siemens plant
simulations run a virtual factory in a computer, using this software we can find
throughput times, bottle-necks machines, order times harmonization, etc
3. INCORPORATION OF THE DIGITAL PLANNING
WITH ACTUAL PLANTS
planning and virtual commission is done, it’s time to merging plans with
factories. Once incorporated; next step is to run it as long as possible
without human intervention. When there is a breakdown which causes factory to
standstill, necessary steps should be taken before there is any damage to both humans
and machines. For this reason each checkpoints of machines are
permanently monitored with smart sensors, surveillance of factory floors which
are then feed to central control room. Based on this information, technicians can
initiate necessary task before it’s too late. Since there is always a threat
from outside on network, valuable information is stored in paper format.
work is carried out regularly based on the data available from central control
room. Thanks to isometric view of software’s, problems which occurred somewhere
deep can be identified with pinpoint accuracy. The longer the plant is operational,
the greater the data which will be more reliable in finding the deviations from
actual to proposed plans.
are some of the benefits of smart factory
is really good, cause of autonomous.
Placing orders is
reduced because of predictive methods.
parts is easy and less messy.