Developing smart factories could lead to manufacturers saving $11.9 billion in costs and being much more resource efficient.
A report SMARTer2030 from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative suggested that smart manufacturing can transform traditional factories to high performance plants.
It said: “The ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ is a robust combination of smart machines, smart materials and smart products to a smart factory. Such enhanced manufacturing techniques can increase productivity, quality, resource efficiency and flexibility in production.
“Although the benefits of ICT powered manufacturing are widely accepted, it is still not mainstream. A combination of such low adoption rates of ICT in manufacturing with growing population and rising demand may mean severe resource crunch, wasteful operations and rigid production processes.
“Once organisations can overcome these barriers, ICT power smart manufacturing can promote innovations like virtual manufacturing for operational excellence, customer centric flexible production for faster time to market and circular supply chains for resource efficiency.
“Making manufacturing smart is a great value add because it transforms traditional factories from traditional cost centres into high performance plants which are fully optimised in consumption of all resources used – both productive components like raw materials and basic resources like energy, water etc.”
By introducing automated and self-maintained smart processes, cost savings of $11.9 billion should be achieved by 2030.
The report also suggested that ICT can help to reduce food waste through GPS, RFID or other smart tracking and tracing systems, providing real-time information on an individual product’s source, location, freshness and expected expiration date.
The report can be viewed at http://smarter2030.gesi.org/