The next industrial revolution is underway as technology advances have blurred the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds. The future of industry and manufacturing is digital.
Indeed, for the last 20 years, manufacturing companies have been able to remain competitive by relying on quality procedures and by streamlining their internal organizations through concepts like Lean Startupor Six Sigma. However, today technology is revolutionizing manufacturing processes in every way possible and enterprises must develop new approaches, such as the integration of data with process expertise, to enable proactive and intelligent manufacturing decisions in dynamic environments.
This new manufacturing approach is the basis for the development of “smart factories”, “smart manufacturing”, also referred to as Industry 4.0 in Germany. This is supported by a wide range of technologies that are going through major disruptions, including 3D printing, sensor networks, connected devices, robotics, modeling and simulation tools, augmented reality, data analytics and knowledge management.
Smart Manufacturing is the application of real-time, networked and data-based Manufacturing Intelligence that facilitates dynamic markets, added product value, and high velocity technologies and products with increased expectations for environmental sustainability and zero incidents.
In addition, as more products and elements of a smart factory get connected through highly intelligent systems capable of processing vast amounts of data and enabling real-time automation, a fully digital value chain will be created. This is the 4th industrial revolution enabled by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT).
The term Industrial Internet of Things was coined by GE and refers to the integration of complex physical machinery with networked sensors and software. The industrial Internet draws together fields such as machine learning, big data, the Internet of things and machine-to-machine communication to ingest data from machines, analyze it (often in real-time), and use it to adjust operations.
According to data from CB Insights, funding to Industrial IoT companies has more than quadrupled over the past 5 years, with an 83% funding growth in 2015. IIoT funding also grew 11% quarter-over-quarter to $295M, making Q1’16 the second-highest quarter for funding of all time (the highest was the peak set in Q2’15 of $320M).
As part of its monthly TechMeeting series, the Open Innovation Club will address the topic of Smart Manufacturing in Boston on Tuesday December 6th.
The event will feature presentations by disruptive startups in the smart manufacturing space and a panel discussion with: