The Agile Smart Factory: Rapid Turn Ready

Published on 10 Aug 2022

Agile Smart Factory

The manufacturing sector has had a hard time with COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders around the world not only stopped people from going to work in factories but also stopped the flow of goods into and out of factories, bringing global supply chains to a halt.

But despite the odds, some manufacturers were able to keep going by minimizing the effects of lockdowns and shortages of materials caused by the pandemic. Most of these operators had access to Industry 4.0 technology, which turned their buildings into smart factories.

On the other hand, companies that didn't have Industry 4.0 infrastructure had a hard time during the pandemic. And it doesn't look like things are getting better. After COVID-19, they have less money and fewer engineering resources, which means they could fall further behind.

This doesn't mean that these groups won't get better.

But they have to solve hard problems with digital transformation before they can use solutions. Among these challenges are connecting the industrial edge securely to enterprise networks and supporting both new and old OT systems at the same time.

IIoT-on-a-Chip: Tools to Get Integration Off the Ground

Even though the problems with integrating IT and OT are broad and not always clear, the solutions are clear. For example, in order to coordinate an Industry 4.0 network, industrial endpoints and IT servers must be able to talk to each other in a predictable way. But this can't change in any way how safe and secure OT endpoints work.

Avoid a crisis today and improve things for tomorrow.

With the right tools and technologies, manufacturing companies can move their Industry 4.0 projects from the planning stage to the implementation stage. And to do that, operators have to deal with both old and new equipment using the same infrastructure.

Here, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Portwell Inc., which is a leader in Industrial PC and embedded computing, offer automation companies a way to move forward.

Its PCOM-B657VGL COM Express Type VI with support for industrial use conditions uses 11th Gen Intel Core vPro and Xeon W-11000E Series processors to bring networking, performance, and determinism to manufacturing environments.

The devices that work with COM Express can be plugged into carrier boards that are compatible, so that legacy systems can grow.

And if more performance or new features are needed in the future, they can be easily swapped out for next-generation modules without having to redesign the whole control system.

When manufacturers combine scalable COM Express modules with the highly integrated, Industry 4.0-focused features of 11th Gen Intel Series processors, they reach a turning point. Without their features, organizations might not be able to put in place solutions that can help lessen the effects of crises like COVID-19.

But with them, like the consumer packaged goods company that has a digital twin, manufacturers can use data as a way to protect themselves from sudden, big changes. Or, in more normal situations, as a way to make their operations more efficient and set them apart from the competition.

Download Insight Tech's whitepaper to learn more about The Agile Smart Factory: Rapid Turn Ready only on Whitepapers Online.


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