When we are talking about the future shape of manufacturing in the digital era, it has already begun in the form of Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Fourth Industrial Revolution also known as Industry 4.0 is going to unlock the next step in automation that is lights-out manufacturing in the next digital era.
Following industrial revolution’s steam power, electrification in the 1800s and digital revolution of the late 20th century, Industry 4.0 will open this pathway in future. However, there are possibilities that it has already begun.
The fundamentals of Industry 4.0
Every industry revolution follows of what came before it with more knowledge and advancement. Similarly, Industry 4.0 also committed some rules or principles on which it runs.
- Interconnection: All the tools and people performing in manufacturing process interact with each other.
- Technological backing: New technology helps individuals in different tasks, decision-making, sorting issues, and regarding safety.
- Information precision: Collecting data from each and every part of processing section allows more informed decision.
- Decentralized decisions: Cyber-physical-systems which can make decisions on their own and work autonomously.
In addition, with the applications of these principles the Industry 4.0 revolution is just exceptional. Though, these all technology and robotics were there in the past, they could not use combine in this way to improve manufacturing. On the other hand, Industry 4.0 is expecting to grow almost three times by now to $337.1 billion by 2028 with core mechanisms.
|Industry 4.0 Technologies||Components|
|Cognitive Computing||AI systems that acclimatize, iterate, and develop with time|
|IoT||Machine Network that exchange data|
|Cyber-physical-systems||Computer systems controlled by algorithms|
|On-demand availability||Computer system resources which can be used at any time.|
Furthermore, Smart factories already use these technologies worldwide and latest one that is going to unlock the next evolution is lights-out manufacturing.
What is Lights-Out Manufacturing?
Lights-Out manufacturing does not require any direct human interaction like traditional and even smart factories. In contrast, Lights-out factories fully work automatically and 24/7. In addition, they have no any human presence at their work space. And it is not a like dream in modern world anymore.
We have a live example of Japanese robotic designer FANUC. It has been making robotics in lights-out factory for more than 20 years.Interestingly, at this lights-out factory robots have been building themselves. One more example of light-out manufacturing is an electronic company Philips. Moving ahead, Philip has 128 robots for making electric razors.
ASA Global uses lights-out manufacturing line for semiconductors manufacturing. This company alone has run 18 completely automated factories in 2020.
Industries will implement Lights-Out Manufacturing
Industries that use Industry 4.0 technologies will be capable to utilize lights-out manufacturing with no difference. Though, there are considerable challenges to first prevail over. With robot installation, electronic, automotive, and metal & machinery sectors showed Industry 4.0 implementation in 2019.
The implementation of lights-out capabilities is expected to surge
According to a global survey for 2025 manufacture plans 79% of production will be human-driven. Since, that would be digitally augmented to some extent. While, 17% would be fully lights-out manufacturing.
Finally, numerous business industries get advantages of IoT, 5G and machines in some way. So, either your sector has already started Industry 4.0 or sooner you will see it in coming days.