A new era
Manufacturing has entered in a new era in which formerly separate manufacturing processes combine to produce intelligent data. Information and communications technology is increasingly transforming manufacturing into highly automated and IT-driven processes, in a concept of change generally referred to as smart manufacturing.
More and more devices are being connected through wired and wireless sensor networks. This multitude of connected smart objects has led to the Internet of Things (IoT), a trend that is increasingly attracting the attention and investments of several governments, companies and academia.
The keyword here is sensor. Without sensors, no smart anything. They are the key element that enables device-to-device communication. They enable the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data.
Opportunities and connections
The combination of Big Data and IoT presents countless opportunities for the manufacturing sector. Together they can track complex manufacturing processes and help increase yields while reducing costs. They can monitor product performance, which can lead to product improvement and innovation.
IoT is bound to have a major impact on businesses and individuals in the next five years. According to Gartner, 3,9 billion connected things were in use in 2014 and the figure is expected to rise to 25 billion by 2020!
The April issue takes a closer look at the development of cobots or collaborative robots, the integration of the Cloud in businesses, innovations and safety in industrial automation, and how government and industry can mitigate risks posed by cyberattacks. Several IEC Technical Committees and Subcommittees prepare International Standards in these fields.