CLOUDTWEAKS CONTRIBUTOR PROGRAM

Join the CloudTweaks thought leadership contributor program which includes a customized profile, branded identity page, newsletter marketing, social amplification and more...

The program is currently available to consultants, influencers or executive level contributors.

Kayla Matthews

How the Cloud and IoT Created the Age of the Smart Factory

The Smart Factory

Today’s factories are undoubtedly more intelligent than they were in the not-so-distant past, and that’s due in large part to cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Numerous specific developments were particularly instrumental in making modern facilities better equipped and more future proof than many people dreamed possible.

The Smart Factory

Cloud Platforms Facilitate Innovation

Some of the most progressive smart factories constantly evaluate ways to improve their practices.

However, data from an Oracle study found 60 percent of respondents felt having a rigid IT infrastructure hindered innovation. With an enterprise-level cloud platform in place, smart factory managers can eliminate many of the factors that previously slowed or prevented successful changes.

Reducing Maintenance With Help From IoT Sensors

Factories often face pressing deadlines and expanding order sizes, both of which can be severely disrupted if unforeseen issues halt operations for even a few minutes.

The smart factories that have capitalized on IoT and noticed gains are often those that tap into the technology to predict equipment failures and prevent them.

A 2016 survey from PwC estimates technology could reduce maintenance costs for industrial trucks by up to five percent. Onboard sensors track performance and usage statistics, then recommend prompt repairs after detecting issues. This approach can be used in plants as well.

Cloud-Stored Data Propels Intelligent Decision-Making

Well-equipped smart factories collect data about almost everything that happens in a facility.

When that material gets stored in the cloud, business leaders no longer have to primarily rely on educated guesses if new or existing clients propose new orders or changes to existing ones.

Real-world data from a smart factory aids business leaders in making wise decisions that take a facility’s capabilities into account. Also, the cloud can process it almost instantly, so customers get quick responses and stay satisfied.

IoT Makes Processes More Efficient

Some smart factory managers rely on detailed interfaces that tell them where supplies, products or other crucial inventory is in a facility at any given moment.

After digesting that data, they can make necessary decisions, such as whether to speed up or slow down processes based on the workflow.

The knowledge of where inventory exists in a facility is especially important in huge facilities. For example, this Chinese industrial park sprawls across an area spanning 2.8 million square feet. Imagine trying to track where specific products are without the use of smart tech in an area that large.

Stanley Black & Decker depended on Cisco to provide a real-time location system with sensor-equipped tags that show the progress of each component in the production line.

Then, managers at one of the brand’s Mexican plants capitalized on the greater operational visibility and determined how to remove obstacles. Ultimately, the effectiveness of the facility’s labor force rose by 10 percent due to the technology.

Cloud Computing Is Scalable

Even people who are just slightly familiar with the manufacturing sector know it can rapidly fluctuate. Industry forecasts and customer demands are two of the many things that can cause production levels to change.

One of the reasons cloud computing enables the increased prevalence of smart factories is because the technology lends itself to scalability. As mentioned earlier, innovations are often easier to achieve with cloud computing than without it.

Whether a smart factory has its sights set on an emerging technology or wants to boost business operations and emerge as a formidable player in a new market, cloud platforms allow for quickly scaling up to cater to changing needs.

Also, many enterprise providers offer pay-as-you-go service. That option is even more appealing to smart factory leaders who may not be willing to make commitments with long-term contracts.

The above scenarios strongly illustrate why cloud computing and IoT have both been so instrumental in helping smart factories keep up with modern needs.

As technologies improve and new possibilities are realized, those technologies should continue to dominate in the coming months and years.

By Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a technology writer dedicated to exploring issues related to the Cloud, Cybersecurity, IoT and the use of tech in daily life.

Her work can be seen on such sites as The Huffington Post, MakeUseOf, and VMBlog. You can read more from Kayla on her personal website, Productivity Bytes.

View Website
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Heavy Metal
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Birds & The Bees
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Size Matters
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Big Broadband
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Bullseye
Death of Traditional Enterprise Storage

Death of Traditional Enterprise Storage

Traditional Enterprise Storage Back in 2003, Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black, two engineers working for Amazon.com, proposed a dramatic overhaul ...
How prepared are you to overcome the misuse of AI

How prepared are you to overcome the misuse of AI

Overcome the Misuse of AI Have you ever considered that the AI system integrated into your organisation's computing infrastructure could ...
The UK Tech Sector: The Gender Gap

The UK Tech Sector: The Gender Gap

The Tech Sector Gender Gap In conversation with Co-Founder and Creative Director of North West Web Design Studio, MadeByShape Andy ...
The Cloud Debate - Private, Public, Hybrid or Multi Clouds?

The Cloud Debate – Private, Public, Hybrid or Multi Clouds?

The Cloud Debate Now that we've gotten over the hump of whether we should adopt the cloud or not, "which ...
David

The Coming Era of Simple, Fast, Incredibly Cheap Cloud Storage

Cheap Cloud Storage Is On Its Way Data storage, like other commodities such as bandwidth, electricity, or simple computer power, ...
A Closer Look at the Hidden Costs of Collaboration Solutions

A Closer Look at the Hidden Costs of Collaboration Solutions

The Hidden Costs of Collaboration Solutions Collaboration technology is key to efficient communication and productivity for a dispersed and global ...
Part 2: Strategies for Securing Mobile Devices in a Cloud-based World

Part 2: Strategies for Securing Mobile Devices in a Cloud-based World

Part 2: Strategies for Securing Mobile Devices With workplace mobility now a way of life and companies investing in cloud-based ...
Load Testing Tools

Load Testing Tools

Provided is a short list of load testing tools which will test server and application resistance and certainly valuable in order to help test and tweak your company's infrastructure ...
The Developer’s Guide to Azure

The Developer’s Guide to Azure

Develop on a cloud platform designed for you. In this update of the Developer’s Guide to Azure, see how the comprehensive set of Azure app platform services fits your needs. Use it to navigate the architectural approaches and most common ...
The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future of Cybersecurity In 2013, President Obama issued an Executive Order to protect critical infrastructure by establishing baseline security standards. One year later, the government announced the cybersecurity framework, a voluntary how-to guide to strengthen cybersecurity and meanwhile, the ...
DevOps

DevOps

FIRST THINGS FIRST. WHAT ARE MICROSERVICES? Microservices are an engineering approach and architectural style of computing that is becoming extremely important for organizations wanting to innovate through a stronger engagement with their ecosystem of customers, suppliers and partners. To explain ...
12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help ...
Infographic - Internet of Things (IoT) Will Be Top Technology Investment

Infographic – Internet of Things (IoT) Will Be Top Technology Investment

Internet of Things Investment Investors are jumping all over the opportunities abound when it comes to the Internet of Things and Big Data. There is simply way too much money at stake to ignore the potential that is going to truly ...