The Intelligent ‘Smart Factory’ has been created by Industry 4.0. Hailed as the 4th industrial revolution Industry 4.0 is where highly intelligent cyber physical systems are connected and communicate within the ‘Internet of Things’ together driving production. A ‘Smart Factory’ is a very flexible and configurable environment. Factories, machines, products and systems are all connected creating intelligent networks along the entire value chain that can autonomously control each other. The ‘Smart Factory’ not only makes for a very flexible factory, it ensures it efficiency and therefore keeps costs to a minimum making local manufacturing much more attractive. Sensors are everywhere in the ‘Smart Factory’ and connectivity is key in ensuring that everything communicates efficiently and safely.
Predictive maintenance analyses the condition of equipment or machinery to determine when maintenance should be performed, whether it should be immediate, a week or more. This enables an engineer to be available before the equipment breaks down and therefore avoiding costly downtime. Maintenance tasks are performed only when required and not as a matter of routine. Information from the machinery or equipment can be transmitted remotely via sensors, processors and communicated in real-time to a mobile or static device.
Indoor lighting can now be easily controlled either remotely by a smart device or by just walking into an environment where sensors detect movement and turn lights on or off. Within working environments energy savings are made through sensors, controls and software to anaylse the data when and where people work within a building so that lighting can then be optimised as it is required.