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Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0

(The City of Chicago - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)


Smart Manufacturing


Smart manufacturing is the use of real-time data and information and communications technology to advance manufacturing intelligence, and to significantly improve productivity, performance, technology adoption, as well as addressing sustainability issues. More specifically, this will require the research, development, and transition to industry of advanced sensing and instrumentation; process monitoring, control, and optimization; advanced hardware and advanced software platforms; and real-time and predictive modeling and simulation technologies.


[I-Scoop]: Smart manufacturing has been defined as the fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs. Smart industry is a synonym for Industry 4.0 or industrial transformation in the fourth industrial revolution within which smart manufacturing de facto fits.

Industry, the manufacturing business, manufacturing companies and even manufacturing processes are in full transformation. This is mainly due to increasing automation, digital transformation, the bridging of digital and physical environments (as enabled by IoT or the Internet of Things), evolving industrial and manufacturing technologies, the intensive usage of data/analytics, industry and manufacturing challenges, human, economic and societal evolutions and demands and the integration of information technology and operational technology (IT and OT).


[Enterprise IoT Insights]: 

Sensors and data analytics underpin smart manufacturing initiatives

Smart manufacturing is a process that utilizes internet-connected machinery to monitor the overall production process. The main goal of smart manufacturing is to identify opportunities for automating manufacturing operations and use data analytics to improve the overall performance of the manufacturing process.

The implementation of smart manufacturing initiatives includes the deployment of embedded sensors in manufacturing machines to collect data on their operational status and performance. Through the analysis of this data, manufacturing engineers and data analysts can look for signs that particular parts may fail, enabling preventive maintenance. Manufacturers can also analyze trends in the data to try to spot steps in their processes where production slows down or is inefficient in their use of materials.

The smart factory concept means the industrial or manufacturing processes will be organized in a different way compared to the traditional standards. In the era of intelligent manufacturing, the entire production chain, including suppliers, logistics and product lifecycle management will be connected across corporate boundaries..........


Industry 4.0


INDUSTRIE 4.0 is the name given to the German strategic initiative to establish Germany as a lead market and provider of advanced manufacturing solutions. It represents a paradigm shift from “centralized” to “decentralized” smart manufacturing and production.

The 4th industrial revolution is powered by robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, Augmented Reality and Cloud technologies, all of which will use wireless 5G technology to allow machine to machine communication. This will become the backbone of manufacturing and related services in the future. 


[German Trade & Invest]: 

Industrie 4.0 - Smart Manufacturing for the Future.  

  • INDUSTRIE 4.0 connects embedded system production technologies and smart production process to pave the way to a new technological age.
  • INDUSTRIE 4.0 represents a paradigm shift from “centralized” to “decentralized” smart manufacturing and production.

“Smart production” becomes the norm in a world where intelligent ICT-based machines, systems and networks are capable of independently exchanging and responding to information to manage industrial production processes.


[Boston Consulting Group]: 

Following nine pillars of technological advancement underpin Industry 4.0: Big Data and Analytics, Autonomous Robots, Simulation, Horizontal and Vertical System Integration, the Industrial Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, the Cloud, Additive Manufacturing, and Augmented Reality.
Many of the nine advances in technology that form the foundation for Industry 4.0 are already used in manufacturing, but with Industry 4.0, they will transform production: isolated, optimized cells will come together as a fully integrated, automated, and optimized production flow, leading to greater efficiencies and changing traditional production relationships among suppliers, producers, and customers—as well as between human and machine.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is profoundly altering everything around us, even the way we live. This revolution promises to create greater efficiencies in all industry sectors and to spectacularly maximize human wellbeing. 

The steam engine propelled the First Industrial Revolution. Then electricity, along with the assembly line and other mass production techniques, brought the second. Next, computer technology and microelectronics drove the Third Industrial Revolution. Now, stunning innovations, which include Internet of Things (IoT), genetic engineering, 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), driverless vehicles, robotics and smart machines, bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. 

As Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, put it, “One of the main features of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is that it does not change what we are doing, it changes us.”



The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the move towards digitisation and involves three key parts:  

  • The Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems: such as sensors having the ability to collect data that can be used by manufacturers and producers.
  • The advancements in big data and powerful analytics:  systems can trawl through the huge sets of data and produce insights that can be acted upon quickly.
  • The communications infrastructure: backing this up is secure enough to be used by heavy industries.

Smart factories, which will be at the heart of Industry 4.0, will take on board information and communication technology for an evolution in the supply chain and production line that brings a much higher level of both automation and digitisation. It means machines using self-optimisation, self-configuration and even artificial intelligence to complete complex tasks in order to deliver vastly superior cost efficiencies and better quality goods or services.



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