Today’s manufacturers are under pressure to be more flexible, reduce downtime and costs and increase efficiencies. In addition to making new investments in production and technology, data-driven manufacturing companies are responding to these pressures by leveraging the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI), the industrial internet of things, (IIoT), cloud computing technologies and innovations in smart measurement and quality data management systems—resulting in greater visibility into their operations.
AI is already transforming manufacturing by outperforming humans in its ability to provide insights that inform timely, data-driven decisions and productivity improvements. In some operations, AI looks for conditions like idle equipment or scheduled maintenance in order to make decisions about reassigning parts measurement. AI can also leverage inspection results for decisions about pulling parts from the production line.
IIoT devices feature powerful sensors that can collect real-time, second-by-second production data on the shop floor for use in developing valuable insights for improving the efficiency of operations. Manufacturers are already using IIoT technology to help them massively reduce machine downtime and out-of-spec end products. They can also be used to make automated machine tool adjustments when they are trending toward out of tolerance; confirming whether the piece should be pulled for production and sent for rework or to the scrap bin.
Looking to the future, manufacturing promises to be a much more cloud-based reality so that facilities with multiple locations will be better able to leverage networked data storage, management and off-site analysis.
Because it enables optimizations at every step of the production process, quality measurement is critical for operations in the smart factory. Now, all equipment in the plant is connected to the internet, collecting a diverse range of data that can be used on the production floor. As a result, new smart measuring systems can now provide real-time information to help factories achieve a new vision for quality assurance and transform their operations into agile, dynamic environments.
By building on the power of real-time data visualization, innovations in smart quality measurement are enabling new insights that can benefit the manufacturing floor—and the bottom line.