Factories 4.0 is a very broad concept, generally described as the next phase of digitization of the manufacturing sector.
But how will it happen? We recently spoke about collaborative robots on our blog. Robotics is certainly an important part of the new industrial revolution but now that we have the machines, we have to make them talk to each others. That’s M2M.
M2M refers to direct communication between devices using any communications channel. More recent machine to machine communication has changed into a system of networks that transmits data to personal appliances. The expansion of IP networks around the world has made M2M communication quicker and easier being called Internet of Things (IoT).
In an attempt to explain the relationship between M2M and IoT, M2M is compared to the plumbing of the Internet of Things. M2M is what provides The Internet of Things with the connectivity that enables capabilities, which would be impossible without it.
Applied to automation, IoT uses technology to streamline and create system architectures that are more affordable, responsive, and effective. The goal is easier communications and interactions from manufacturing field input/output (I/O), including sensors, actuators, analyzers, drives, vision, video, and robotics, for increased manufacturing performance and flexibility.
Cisco is leading the way they link smart objects. Check in the following video to see how Cisco helped Black & Decker to increase 20% their efficiency of manual work connecting their factory with IoT systems:
But Cisco is not the only one, there are lots of big and important companies getting into IoT for manufacturing solutions. For example, IBM has invested $3 billion into its IoT business and has partnered with AT&T to deliver industrial IoT solutions through a very different range of issues from energy efficiency to healthcare services. Bob Picciano, SVP for IBM Analytics, explained on an interview: “Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result.”
So now you know, bear in mind the M2M, IoT and Big Data when you are looking for solutions for our challenges. We always want to hear the most innovative solutions!