Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing
Manufacturing and industrial business operations are being transformed through the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems onto shared, intelligent, industrial-optimized compute platforms. This consolidation creates a responsive, interconnected system that eliminates data silos and provides access to deeper insights—powered by edge computing—and more flexibility and control.
With more intelligence at the edge—enabled by edge compute, artificial intelligence, and workload convergence—manufacturers can capture, process, and store more data from edge devices. That data can be analyzed closer to where it is collected and used, and manufacturers can make adjustments to operational systems in near-real time.
Intelligent edge systems are the backbone of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing. They enable data and information from multiple sensors, applications, and processes to be analyzed closer to the source, which helps reduce downtime, optimize operations, automate processes, and inform new solutions. Software-defined infrastructures enable near-real-time analytics across the supply chain to further advance efficiency, productivity, and data visibility.
As IT and OT converge, HPC for manufacturing allows manufacturers to deploy modeling and simulation workloads on distributed HPC systems—both in the cloud and on-premises—to help enhance product design, identify production challenges, and improve business results.
Together, these paradigm shifts are transforming manufacturing operations to be smarter, safer, and more efficient.
As your Industry 4.0 partner, Intel can help you accelerate time to value for data-driven, interoperable Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions. With our ecosystem of innovators and portfolio of flexible solutions, we can help you develop and integrate intelligent industrial edge and HPC solutions capable of reducing costs, increasing profits, and moving you ahead of the competition.
Our hardware portfolio spans the range of solutions that factories need, and our technology for IoT spans edge, network, data center, and cloud to deliver agile, intelligent IoT infrastructures. From low-power compute that can bring artificial intelligence (AI) to new places to edge servers capable of analytics tasks such as demand forecasting, Intel can help you deploy smart factory solutions capable of realizing new levels of productivity while revealing new opportunities to maximize revenue.
Enabling Industry 4.0
What Is Industry 4.0 and How Is the Intelligent Edge Driving It?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution—or Industry 4.0—brings the digital and physical together through data. By advancing data capture and analysis at the edge and by unlocking new levels of analytic insight through HPC applications, Industry 4.0 paves the path for new advances in the manufacturing sector.
For example, autonomous smart manufacturing capabilities (such as predictive maintenance to reduce downtime and smart asset tracking for a more efficient supply chain) alongside more-powerful, in-depth, and accurate analytics for applications (such as computational fluid dynamics) mean that Industry 4.0 is primed to unlock new possibilities and business advantages for manufacturers.
With more compute power at the edge, businesses can connect the unconnected, converge and virtualize key workloads, and lay the groundwork to integrate the latest IoT in manufacturing use cases.
In order to bring intelligence to more machines and devices, Industry 4.0 is being enabled by open architectures; standards-based solutions; edge, network, and cloud technology; and other advances. These technologies are allowing businesses to bring the advantages of IT to OT.
Now it’s simpler than ever to create flexible, easy-to-update software-defined infrastructures to manage and optimize machine controls in discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing. With the advent of 5G and lower barriers to implementing AI, factories of all sizes and all levels of digitalization can embrace what Industry 4.0 has to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Industry 4.0 brings digital and physical technologies together to create responsive, interconnected operations. Enabled by the convergence of operational and IT systems on shared, highly industrial, optimized compute platforms, businesses can analyze data across the supply chain and adjust operational systems in near-real time to reduce costs, cut waste, predict problems, and innovate offerings.
Smart manufacturing integrates data and information from multiple applications, processes, and products that can be composed to form new solutions. It enables predictive and adaptive manufacturing and supply chain processes that allow businesses to fulfill requests for customized products more effectively and to respond more quickly to fluctuations in markets through demand forecasting.
Process manufacturing involves combining ingredients and raw materials using a recipe or formula. This approach is frequently employed in industries that produce goods in bulk, such as food and beverages, oil refining, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Discrete manufacturing is focused on the final assembly of market-ready units such as automobiles and appliances.
With smart factory technologies like predictive maintenance, both process manufacturing and discrete manufacturing can become more efficient from reduced downtime and improved production.
Sustainable manufacturing is a holistic approach to production that involves the application of Industry 4.0 and digital manufacturing technologies to minimize pollution, conserve energy and natural resources, protect the safety of workers, and equitably reward all those involved in production. It requires capturing and analyzing data throughout the entire supply chain and manufacturing process as well as energy and waste management.
The intelligent edge is the fusion of intelligent and scalable compute performance and AI for industrial operational workloads. It enables solutions such as factory digital twins and manufacturing execution systems (MESs). This fusion is enabled by workload convergence and optimization of software infrastructures for edge compute platforms.
Intelligent edge platforms offer a host of benefits, including cost reduction, improved security, heightened productivity, and improved real-time performance. The intelligent edge allows manufacturers to run multiple workloads in standard equipment—eliminating the need to move large volumes of data from on-premises to the cloud. It also enables comprehensive quality management through near-real-time product defect detection, process and supply chain optimization, and an increase in asset utilization. Entirely new business models can also be enabled simply by adding new workloads.
Manufacturers use distributed HPC systems to run highly complex workloads such as crash simulations or fluid dynamic modeling. Because HPC systems are immensely powerful, they’re able to perform the required calculations quickly and within acceptable time parameters. Using a high performance computing architecture for these kinds of HPC analytics, HPC AI, and HPC simulations needs, manufacturers are able to optimize results, adjust designs and systems, and increase efficiency.
HPC systems provide the computational horsepower required by advanced CAE workloads and tasks. Your experts and engineers can leverage the performance and flexibility of HPC systems to increase the scope and depth of their efforts, conduct more-accurate analysis, and expedite time to value for their projects.