Automotive Design and Production

APR 2018

Automotive Design & Production is the one media brand invested in delivering your message in print, online, via email, and in-person to the right automotive industry professionals at the right time.

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www.ADandP.media AD&P ∕ APRIL 2018 SMART FACTORY Market analysts International Data Corp. ( idc.com ) reported in December that worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT)—intelligent equipment, processes and services that communicate with each other and with people over the internet—is expected to reach $772.5 billion in 2018, up 14.6 percent over the $674 billion spent in 2017. IoT hardware will be the largest technology category in 2018 with $239 billion going largely toward modules and sensors along with some spending on infrastructure and security. Services will be the second largest technology category, followed by software and connectivity. Chasing the vision of the "smart factory," the industry expected to spend the most on IoT solutions in 2018—with an expected spend of $189 billion—in manufacturing. Terms such as smart factory, Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have become inescapable buzzwords, invoked by every developer of manufacturing-related equipment and software. Many discussions of smart factories begin with prognosticators sharing visions of how the global manu- facturing industry will be transformed. These descriptions often rope in burgeoning technologies such as additive manufacturing, 3D visual simulation and collaborative robotics. Are these requirements? Just what are the compo- nents of a smart factory? What makes a factory smart? TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION A useful way to understand the smart factory is to start with a comparatively simple technology at its heart: The inexpensive electronic sensor. In the pre-sensor world, to machine a part, the machine operator programs a CNC lathe or mill and the machine does its best to follow the instructions and removes metal. The communication is all one way, from the operator to the machine. Did the machine accurately follow orders? Barring an obvious disaster such as a crash, the manufacturer won't know unless he inspects the part after the operation is completed—which takes time and costs money. Enter the sensor. Modern sensors strategically placed in the machining center can allow two-way communication: The sensors allow the machine to record or communicate information about its own status and the status of the operation while it works. Vibration measurement, temperature variation, motor current analysis and other factors can be shared over a network for monitoring and analysis. The status of the machine, and how that status affects the operation, can be assessed quickly—even in real time. The smart-factory world of digital manufacturing is coming, and manufacturing-technology developers are eager to help you be ready. Autodesk Fusion Production software lets manufacturers digitize their production by combining production planning, job tracking and machine monitoring into a single tool. 33

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