Industry has undergone several revolutions. The first industrial revolution came as a result of being able to harness steam power and later the internal combustion engine. This mechanized a lot of things that were previously only possible with manual labor, ushering in a new era. As major changes in technology have continued, industry has grown and evolved along with them. Today technologies like the industrial internet of things, machine learning, and big data are converging to create industry 4.0.
Assembly lines and the digital revolution further modernized industry, and now the least tapped resource is the interconnectivity we’ve built between communicating with each other and teaching machines to communicate with each other without us. Automation free from human intervention is the next major frontier for industry.
Smart manufacturing requires quality data, smart communication, and smart devices. What this means is that manufacturing equipment can receive information from the IIoT and use the data it has to solve a problem or make a part. Data is the cornerstone of the process, and without high-quality standardized data the move to industry 4.0 can’t happen.
Building data fidelity between suppliers and end users is crucial. On the internal side, high fidelity CAD data includes model-based design intentions and definitions, testing and simulation data, and information about pricing and availability. On the supplier side, this information includes native CAD models, embedded metadata, part numbers, and information about speed, mates, and motion. When this information is readily shareable between industry and client, the process goes much faster and smoother than when human intervention is necessary.
The assembly line revolutionized industry and the internet made things accessible to more people and businesses than ever. Data is the next step in further streamlining the process of conceptualizing and manufacturing, allowing new products to get to market faster with more options for customization than ever before.
Learn more about the technological advances that are leading to industry 4.0 from the infographic below.