Recently, the emerging technologies e.g., Internet of Things (IoT) , wireless sensor networks, big data, cloud computing, embedded system, and mobile Internet are being introduced into the manufacturing environment, which ushers in a fourth industrial revolution. Consequently, a strategic initiative called “Industrie 4.0” was proposed and was adopted as part of the “High-Tech Strategy 2020 Action Plan” of the German government. This article mainly focusses on constructing a general architecture of the smart factory and exploring the operational mechanism that organizes the involved technical components. The smart factory helps to implement the sustainable production mode to cope with the global challenges. It can lead to novel business modes and even affect our lifestyle.
With the application of Internet of Things and services to manufacturing, the fourth stage of industrialization, referred to as Industrie 4.0, is believed to be approaching. For Industrie 4.0 to come true, it is essential to implement the horizontal integration of inter-corporation value network, the end-to-end integration of engineering value chain, and the vertical integration of factory inside. In this paper, we focus on the vertical integration to implement flexible and reconfigurable smart factory. We first propose a brief framework that incorporates industrial wireless networks, cloud, and fixed or mobile terminals with smart artifacts such as machines, products, and conveyors. Then, we elaborate the operational mechanism from the perspective of control engineering, that is, the smart artifacts form a self-organized system which is assisted with the feedback and coordination blocks that are implemented on the cloud and based on the big data analytics. In addition, we outline the main technical features and beneficial outcomes and present a detailed design scheme. We conclude that the smart factory of Industrie 4.0 is achievable by extensively applying the existing enabling technologies while actively coping with the technical challenges.
Implementing Smart Factory of Industrie 4.0: An Outlook
Shiyong Wang, Jiafu Wan, Di Li, Chunhua Zhang
First Published January 19, 2016
International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks