Creating a “Smart Factory” - exploring potential and identifying key challenges.
Industry 4.0 - sometimes referred to as the fourth Industrial Revolution or the Smart Factory - applies the power of the internet to manufacturing. For producers of plastic parts it promises to be a real game-changer, allowing every processing detail to be attached to a component for immediate recall from anywhere in the world at any time.
However, Industry 4.0 goes far beyond connecting items of production equipment and capturing production data. It consigns today's monitoring and fault diagnosis approach to manufacturing to history, replacing it with an environment within which individual items of equipment become "self-aware" and have the capacity to not only detect but to predict change and respond accordingly. It moves from a focus on the product to the entire product life cycle.
For plastics processors there are, of course, some big challenges. How should a Smart Factory be structured? How does the manufacturing network connect with those of suppliers and customers - and ultimately end-users? What needs to done to ensure system reliability? How can vital production data be secured within this distributed model? How can the huge amounts of information - Big Data - be most effectively analysed? And who owns the data generated - the processor or the customer?
Industry 4.0 for Plastics Processors will take a detailed look at these issues. This brand new one-day conference will bring together expert speakers to explain how Industry 4.0 can be applied in plastics processing, what manufacturers can hope to achieve, how data should be managed, and how production can be secured. It will look at how Smart Factory principles can be applied to existing manufacturing methods, as well as how they may change the plastics processing supply chain. Industry 4.0 for Plastics Processors will be an essential event for anyone considering an Industry 4.0 manufacturing strategy.