Described as a leap forward from traditional automation to fully connected and flexible systems, the idea of a smart factory…


Described as a leap forward from traditional automation to fully connected and flexible systems, the idea of a smart factory is one defined by data and connected systems that can learn and adapt to new demands. Here, we look at five of the most powerful smart factories, as identified by the World Economic Forum.

Schneider Electric (le Vaudreuil, France)

Recognised as one of the most advanced manufacturing sites in the world, applying Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies at scale, Schneider Electric’s le Vaudreuil factory is a shining example of a smart factory.

The factory has implemented the latest digital tools such as EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to speed up operation and maintenance, delivering between 2% and 7% gain in productivity. Its first implementation of EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor delivers up to 30% energy savings and contributes to continuous improvement over the years.

Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes (Cork, Ireland)

First established back in 1997, the DePuy Synthes medical device manufacturing facility has seen a multi-million dollar expansion in recent years to better embrace digitalisation and Industry 4.0.

One of the biggest investments Johnson & Johnson made was in the Internet of Things space. By connecting machines, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (known as digital twins) that lead to advanced machine insights. These insights allowed the company to lower its operating costs while simultaneously reducing machine downtime.

Bosch Automotive (Wuxi, China)

Opened in 2013, the Wuxi plant has been embracing data analytics over the last few years. The goal? To remove pain points including delayed data availability and even poor quality of the data. With a clear roadmap ahead, an industrial 4.0 framework, Bosch began implementing machine-condition sensors to capture data and improve the quality of said data. Key examples include the implementation of Bosch Nexeed PPM (Production Performance Manager) which allows for predictive maintenances or real-time process and machine condition monitoring. By using advanced data analytics, Bosch is able to deeply understand and eliminate output losses, simulate and optimise process settings and predict machine interruptions.

Haier – Qingdao, China

The SmartFactoryKL was built as a means of paving the way for ‘the intelligent factory of tomorrow’. It is the world’s first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production plant, acting as an exhibition of the power of high quality and flexible manufacturing and how it can be efficiently implemented.

Over the last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been driven by clear strategic goals that drive innovation and in 2019; the goal is to see the implementation of artificial intelligence in manufacturing. Artificial Intelligence led transformations include an ‘order-to-make’ mass customisation platform and a remote AI supported, intelligent service cloud platform to predict maintenance needs before they happen.

Procter & Gamble – Rakon, Czech Republic

The second oldest plant in Procter & Gamble’s portfolio, the plant is one of the most advanced factories in the world. With its implementation of an end-to-end synchronisation analytical model, the plant allows for simulation, agility and responsiveness across the entire supply chain.

Such innovation has seen an increase in speed to market, inventory efficiency and an uplift in customer satisfaction of 116%.


Related Stories

Issue 34 of Interface magazine is live!

Our cover story this month investigates how Fleur Twohig, Executive Vice President, leading Personalisation & Experimentation across Consumer Data & Engagement Platforms, and her team are executing Wells Fargo’s strategy to promote personalised customer engagement across all consumer banking channels

Issue 36 of CPOstrategy is live!

This month’s cover story sees us speaking exclusively to Kathy Golding, Procurement & Supplier Ecosystem Services Leader at EY Global Services Limited, to see how a range of transformative initiatives have evolved the functions at the Big Four organization…

Issue 36 of Interface magazine is live!

John MClure, CISO at Sinclair Group – a diversified media company and America’s leading provider of local sports and news – talks about the evolution of cybersecurity and the cultural shift placing it at the forefront of business change

Navigating The Global Supply Chain Crisis

How can businesses cope with persistent, global supply chain issues and what are the concerns looming on the horizon?

Another packed issue of CPOstrategy is LIVE

The latest edition of CPOstrategy is live, featuring exclusive articles on Coupa, Just Eat Takeaways, Friesland Campina, DPW and ProcureTech

Issue 35 of Interface magazine is live!

Our cover story this month reveals how Dr Roman Salasznyk, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, and his team are driving innovation at the IT services specialist to deliver digital solutions supporting federal agencies in their quest to drive mission-critical programs

Issue 34 of CPOstrategy is LIVE!

CPOstrategy’s cover star this month is procurement transformation expert, and CEO and Co-Founder of Tropic, David Campbell…

Manufacturing robots to hit $18.6B in market value in 2021, a 40% increase in three years

Conventional robots, like giant industrial robots used in the car industry, are set to reach $14.9bn value this year, up from $12bn in 2018.

How have technological advancements increased productivity within manufacturing?

It’s clear that technology is evolving across every business, allowing companies to become more productive and efficient. Computer systems, such…

We believe in a personal approach

By working closely with our customers at every step of the way we ensure that we capture the dedication, enthusiasm and passion which has driven change within their organisations and inspire others with motivational real-life stories.