What is Behind Smart Machines?

What is behind Smart Machines?

In the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution, Industrial Equipment companies have started to adopt new methods to conceive and produce smarter multi task machines that are more robust, powerful, and flexible. Customers see great opportunities to acquire equipments that will enable them to quickly adapt their production to their customers’ needs. As a result, creating smarter machines is increasingly complex.

 

Multi-disciplinary design is key

Yet, industrial equipment companies have to manage a higher number of product components and integrate different disciplines to create “mechatronic” machines in which software and electronics are as important as mechanical and fluidic systems. Each discipline would work separately on their part and hope the different parts would come together flawlessly when the time came to merge them together. But, as can be expected, there were errors, which resulted in lost time and money.

In the connected world we live in, there is no other option than to enable teams to interact live and to work together on a single version of the truth.

This is especially critical for companies that produce complex products like machines.

Emergence of systems and process approach

However, today’s machines are not only made of mechanical parts; software and electronics are combined with traditional mechanical parts giving birth to systems. And since systems are made of components from various disciplines, they are harder to manage than mechanical parts alone.

Machines that have many systems require efficient processes to develop them. This is why there is a shift in the way machines are designed.

Documents will increasingly be replaced by models

Today, the product engineering process still relies mainly on documents. Product information is gathered in an “unfriendly” and heavy document that is too often used “as is” and not updated after it has been created. The problem is that this “roadmap” is usually the unique source of information and communication and I am sure you understand the types of problems that usually appear when project teams depend on a document that is not updated and therefore, full of errors…

Model based systems engineering

It consists of having a holistic specification of the system that gives actors of every discipline a common understanding of the system.

It provides a single version of the truth throughout the entire development process.

Thanks to this approach, teams will have a model starting from the design phase and see it evolve and updated during product development.

Multi-disciplinary systems and models are revolutionizing the way Industrial Equipment companies work. If you want to know more about Smart Machines and how to revolutionize the way your company develops its products, watch our on-demand webinar in partnership with Design Machine.

To know more about the 4th Industrial Revolution, click here.

Diana
Diana Martins is an “industry” gal, dedicated to all things concerning the Industrial Equipment industry. One might say she has an industrial appetite for Spanish cuisine, one of her favorite hang outs, when not providing insights and commentary or online responding to her Linked in or Twitter accounts.