“In the smart factory, individual customer orders determine manufacturing processes and the associated supply chains. The smart factory produces smart products; intelligent, networked objects, devices and machines that underpin the services provided in the smart service welt. These smart services are put together based on users’ needs. In the smart service welt, all of these machines, systems and factories can be easily connected to the internet via digital platforms, using the ‘plug & use’ approach. They are then represented virtually on these platforms. Their integration via the platforms enables the field data level i.e. the products operating data – to be accessed from any location.”
The vision imagines a world (welt) whereby factories can post requests for these services on fully automated marketplaces. Service providers respond to these requests. Whilst it’s initially difficult to imagine this model, examples are beginning to appear. Imagine supplying a predictive maintenance service on demand. The data will be there, it’s the cleverest algorithm which will be bought/hired as a service.
Of course there are many barriers to be overcome, but the report predicts the following:
“As a result, by 2025, the productivity of the German manufacturing industry will rise by more than 30%. Despite being a high-wage economy, Germany has been able to maintain value creation and employment levels whilst securing its long-term competitiveness.”
Maurizio Pesce, Introducing the Internet of Things SDK, flickr.com, (CC BY 2.0)