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Series: upcoming challenges for smart manufacturing #04

Celtic-Plus Chairman Jacques Magen

Celtic-Plus Chairman Jacques Magen on the importance of data collection, data security, data processing, enhanced Human Machine Interfaces and the advantages of standardisation for SMEs.

1-Vertical sector specific needs
Each vertical sector has specific manufacturing processes and therefore needs tailor made solutions. Specific platforms and gateways should be developed to collect the data of different type of sensors with different sensitivity levels.

2- Security
Smart manufacturing operational data should be stored in the cloud in order to allow stakeholders to monitor the performance of every workspace and ensure a robust control over every manufacturing process and adapt productive measures using real-time information. “Smart Factories” need to be designed by keeping security in mind. Today the massive information on the internet has helped hackers to detect the weak spots and vulnerabilities of “Smart Businesses”. The transfer of data from factory equipment to the cloud server should be fully secured.

3-   Standards
There are currently too many different proprietary solutions and custom integration methods. Manufacturers are using different vendors solutions for different aspects of digital manufacturing (CAD, NC or CMM…). Connectivity and standards are thus big challenges for smart manufacturing. Standardization would lower the cost of entry for small and medium manufacturers to implement more digitalization in their operations. The goal about standards could be achieved through both collaborative projects and some alliance initiatives.

4- Intuitive and efficient Human Machines Interfaces
The future smart manufacturing should benefit from enhanced Human Machines Interfaces. Not only vocal and gesture command but also immersive experiences such as Augmented Reality with real time information and Virtual reality would benefit from enhanced telecommunication services.

5- Closer to customer needs and better sustainability
Smart manufacturing will have to adapt more and more to customer needs in real-time. Cloud platforms with some feedback communication loop about customer usage feedback and preferences as well as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data processing will allow better customisation of future products. ICT platforms and services should support sustainable production cycles in the smart factories: like in smart cities, smart manufacturing should benefit from the control of energy consumption, smart micro-grids, smart transport…