Factory equipment has been creating data for decades, but today there are dozens of terms to describe it, like these: smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), digital factory, digitalization, operational IT, manufacturing analytics, descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, operational analytics and connected factory.
All of these terms describe three steps that drive toward a common goal:
- Capturing manufacturing data.
- Translating that data into actionable information.
- Using that actionable information to improve operations.
What’s changed dramatically over the past few years is the way data is acquired, the volume of data, and the way it’s used to improve operations.
Speaking specifically about IIoT and Industry 4.0, I often hear feedback like: “Well, that’s just the same stuff we’ve been doing for decades.” And though that’s mostly a valid statement—after all, the end goal of running an efficient organization hasn’t changed—how we are doing it has changed significantly.
Read the full article in AutomationWorld Magazine.