Imagine a production system where all production decisions are optimized based on real time information from a fully integrated and connected set of equipment and people. The entire system makes the best possible use of the available resources to achieve its production goals, and the system automatically adjusts in real time to changing conditions. All work is automatically scheduled through the system, all equipment automatically records its performance and also plans and schedules its own maintenance to minimize impact on the system. Performance data is automatically recorded throughout the system and reported to the appropriate stakeholders. In addition, the system predicts forward in time and provides reliable management information on planned performance including critical KPIs such as expected delivery time and production costs for all planned orders. Managers have instant access to important current and forward-looking information to drive and grow the business. This is the vision of the Smart Factory of the future (4th Industrial Revolution).
The Smart Factory is an idea whose time has come. The technologies underpinning the Smart Factory have continued to evolve and become more mainstream. Each component is familiar technology and is in place in many factories today. However, the detailed factory model or Factory Digital Twin that provides forward visibility into the planned operations, supporting ongoing continuous improvement initiatives has been the critical missing component in enabling the Smart Factory. The Simio Factory Digital Twin provides this critical component.