Factory Intelligence

Looking Beyond the Model‐Based Enterprise

By Larry Maggiano, Senior Systems Analyst
Mitutoyo America Corporation

Today’s factory intelligence is the collaborative orchestration of people and machines. By blending intelligence from multiple sources, factories are truly becoming smarter. But it’s not just about the machines. Rather, people are improving machines through a true partnership that turns human experience into smarter machines.

This shift marks a re‐orientation to a thought process that’s more natural to people.

After decades of working with 2D blueprints, designs and dimensioned drawings, factory intelligence leverages 3D models that are easier for people to comprehend and use. Plus, many people find more satisfaction in intelligent factory work that challenges them to manage relationships among machines, rather than repeatedly working on a single piece in a line. In smarter factories, people direct machines to adjust for shifting customer requirements and market demands.

Towards the Model-Based Enterprise
Since people live and think in three dimensions, the model‐based enterprise is a logical next step. Factory intelligence relies on model‐based definitions (MBDs), which are 3D representations of an object or system that can be consumed by a smart machine. These MBDs — also referred to as digital twins — have the shape, size and product manufacturing information (PMI) that defines how to build and measure the item. MBDs are digital twins of the part, assembly or end product to be manufactured.

The model‐based enterprise hinges on using these 3D MBDs throughout the product lifecycle. Physical prototypes simply can’t be manufactured quickly or efficiently enough to keep pace with manufacturing demands. MBDs can enable product engineers to model, measure, test and refine at every stage, reducing the time or expense of developing physical prototypes.

A model‐based enterprise entails faster feedback loops that enable better collaboration and decision‐ making among engineers.
With faster cycles, teams can improve production, shorten schedules, reduce errors and miscommunications and save money. And products can make it to market faster than ever.

Read more in our Factory Intelligence White Paper.

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