A digital factory is created by digitally mapping the processes, the products and the operating resources required to manufacture the product. The resulting digital data enables much more efficient control of the process and better use of operating resources – right up to predicting a failure of operating resources through predictive monitoring. The digital factory 4.0 enables smart production. This is primarily reflected in three manifestations of the digital factory:
– the integrated product data model
– the digital empowerment of workers
– a data-driven OEE optimization.
For example, digital factory software enables smart manufacturing to be planned in real time – based on the orders to be completed and the machines available at that moment. If a machine breaks down unexpectedly, the digital planning software can immediately create an optimal contingency plan.
An Industry 4.0 digital factory also provides for the integration of suppliers and external processors. For this purpose, the external partners can also be connected to the product data model via appropriate interfaces. Process transparency and planning thus also extend to the external partner companies – they become part of the digital factory. Production, assembly and shipping are digitally recorded and optimized.
Data-driven OEE optimization in particular has enormous potential in the digital factory. This is because, due to digital system integration, potential for OEE optimization measures can not only be determined automatically, but their effect can also be measured immediately. This is a typical field of application in which artificial intelligence will drive Industry 4.0 and the digital factory to a new level of efficiency.
However, all these data-driven services of smart production must also remain comprehensible and manageable for people. So far, no trend can be identified that would mean that even in highly automated, digital factories, people are not still on site at least to monitor and resolve incidents. It is therefore also important to provide people with a meaningful interface for keeping track of the relevant information. This can take the form of a virtual factory in which 3D models display the relevant data in real time, or in the form of dashboards and apps. There are many possibilities; from our point of view, the decisive factor is a package that fits your employees and your requirements.
We will be happy to advise you!