The impact digital connectivity can bring to factories is indeed a revolution, and the key driver of this fourth industrial revolution — Industry 4.0 — is the internet. Integrating high-speed communications into today’s factories allows manufacturers to harness the power of data. Instead of the machines in a factory all performing different tasks in isolation, the smart factory brings these machines together into a multilayer network where data from every machine can be shared, analyzed, and acted on for greater productivity.
The possibilities of a digital factory future are exciting. Machines will collect data on how they are functioning, monitor energy use and adjust for energy efficiency, then help predict when and what maintenance is needed before alerting technicians, who could diagnose and even repair the machine using VR/AR technology. Raw material usage can be tracked in real time, allowing manufacturers to better prevent shortages and line stops. Sensors integrated into the machines capture and send data the manufacturer can use to implement changes and quickly respond to customer demands.
Today, TE Connectivity (TE) is transforming this concept of the smart factory into an operational reality.
“Our team of engineers works to identify opportunities to improve process precision, designing smart connectivity solutions that can perform without fail in the fast-paced and harsh environments found within the modern factory,” said Mark Maas, digital factory leader at TE Connectivity.
“With close collaboration, your specific application requirements can be addressed to deliver reliable, continuous connectivity and high resistance to the daily wear and tear of production,” said Ruud van den Brink, product manager, industrial communication and TE Connectivity. “Together, we can help transform your ideas into creations and bring your vision to life.”
With new technology, there’s always a concern about whether it will stand up in the field. TE eliminates this concern as they use their own factories as test beds. They roll out new products and innovations in their own digital factories first, ensuring the solutions are tested and proven to deliver the anticipated value, efficiency, and durability in a real-life factory environment.
How do you get started?
Digital factories of the future start with today’s smart connectivity solutions. Manufacturers need reliable connectivity solutions that deliver greater simplicity, efficiency, and uptime in harsh factory environments. During the transition to digital, smart connectivity will quickly deliver benefits that help justify investments for the upgrade while also keeping in sight an overall future architecture that can bring even more productivity improvements.
TE and other industrial technology innovators create the connectivity solutions to connect legacy equipment to existing networks, connect sensors to interchangeable machinery, and incorporate backward compatibility while opening new opportunities for factories to become more reliable, automated, flexible, scalable, and decentralized. RS Components and other distributors serve as a gateway to these digital factory products, helping customers fulfill their most pressing needs quickly to start or continue their digital factory transformation.