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Cloud computing, the Internet of Things, Machine Learning, advanced Robotics, and Cyber-Physical systems are technologies becoming widely deployed in manufacturing. The trend towards this kind of advanced manufacturing is being called labels like “Smart Factories” or “Industry 4.0“.
A survey by the Economist finds that 63 percent of manufacturing organizations is now in the midst of a transformation while another 19 percent say that they are currently developing a strategy for initiating a transformation. A similar survey by CapGemini found that three quarters of manufacturers are implementing or planning a smart factory strategy.
Deloitte says that “the smart factory represents a leap forward from more traditional automation to a fully connected and flexible system… A smart factory can integrate data from system-wide physical, operational and human assets to drive manufacturing, maintenance and inventory tracking digitization.”
Gary Coleman, senior advisor at Deloitte Consulting, said that “the Fourth Industrial Revolution is still in its nascent state. But with the swift pace of change and disruption to business and society, the time to join in is now.”