智慧工厂——由“制造”迈向“智造”的远大征途

自德国政府于2013年在汉诺威工业博览会上正式公布“工业4.0”后,这一“概念”瞬间似洪水猛兽般地席卷全球。如果说工业1.0到3.0核心动力是蒸汽机械化、电力自动化、数据信息化不断进化量变的过程,那么以智能化驱动的工业4.0就是以质变的方式颠覆传统制造业中人们对生产力与生产关系的认知,它将成为改变人类制造历史进程中一座不朽的丰碑。

通常,一个工厂会分为两个大的部门,即生产部门MES(Manufacturing Execution System)与信息管理部门ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning)。ERP负责提供财务与订单方面信息;而MES则更倾向于生产流程与产能关系的把控。在传统制造业中,为了提升产量与产能,一般数据的管理与指令的下达均通过两大部门(ERP与MES)各自内部信息联网来实现。但值得注意的是,ERP和MES之间其实并没有信息互通。这就导致,MES若在生产环节出现问题时,ERP并不能第一时间有效获悉,从而造成整个生产流程中的信息的巨大偏差。

ERP和MES的问题只是工厂内系统断层的一个问题缩影。事实上,其他系统如,设计、采购、办公等均是一个个的信息孤岛。这即是目前制造业所处的“完全的自动化和部分的信息化”的窘境。

(Anndy Lian 主持LINFINITY韩国圆桌会议)

但这一切都将随着“智慧工厂”的兴起而逐渐改变。

“智慧工厂”是未来“工业4.0”的最要组成部分,是智能化制造的载体与中心枢纽。它将物联网、区块链与人工智能等新一代前沿科技与传统制造业相结合,从而对制造全程各环节有一个清晰控制、减少对生产线人工的干预、构建一个高效节能、绿色环保、环境舒适的人性化工厂。

“物联区块化”是构建“智慧工厂”的基石,其本质就是将制造体系内部各个环节、部门、组织“物物相连”做大数据收集,并利用区块链技术信息“上链”,实现系统内的信息互通,再辅以人工智能的算法,对”物联区块化”的大数据进行运输并作出分析决策。它实际上是对“物联数据”的深度挖掘与二次利用,并将筛选处理的精确化数据,提供至所需之处,打破系统内部“信息孤岛”,实现制造工厂的全自动化、全信息化与全智能化运行。

(亚洲生产力组织(APO)秘书长Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn)

现如今,“智慧工厂”已经受到了全球各方的密切关注。比如,亚洲生产力组织(APO)秘书长Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn表示,“物联网、大数据、区块链和人工智能的兴起,智能工厂作为高新技术的载体正在不断加速改变传统制造业的转型与升级,APO已经开始使用人工智能(AI)技术识别新出现的全球趋势和推动力,并帮助亚洲国家来提高改进生产水平。”

近日,新加坡科技防伪公司LINFINITY,在韩国首尔举办的圆桌会议上也正式与APO签订了战略合作协议,并承诺为其提供全方位的区块链防伪溯源技术支持。LINFINITY CEO Anndy Lian表示,“区块链技术已经成为构建智能工厂的重要一环,LINFINITY要做的正是打破区块链复杂化的迷思,将区块链技术用一种更加简单,更具应用价值的方式赋能制造业构建智慧工厂。”

从人类制造历史的进程上看,现代制造业正向着信息精确化、科技集成化与制造智能化方向大步迈进。同时可以展望的是,未来随着人们需求多样性不断增强,越来越多个性化、定制化的产品也将逐渐在智能制造中落地生根。未来的制造工厂将不再以制造商品的集散地而存在,它可能将会承载着下一代“C2B”的数据中心与定制工厂而不断壮大。

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Smart Factory – A Great Journey from “Manufacturing” to “Intelligent Manufacturing”

Since 2013, when the German government officially announced the concept of “Industry 4.0” at the Hannover Messe, its influence has taken the world by storm. If the core power of Industry 1.0 to 3.0 is a continuous evolutionary process, from steam mechanization to power automation to data informatization, then Industry 4.0, driven by “intelligentization”, will completely subvert the expectations, changing perceptions of productivity and production relations in the traditional manufacturing industry by way of qualitative change – an immortal monument, perhaps, to the process of changing the history of human manufacturing.

Usually, a factory will be divided into two large departments: Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). ERP is responsible for providing data: financial and order information, mostly; while MES controls the relationship between production processes and capacity. In the traditional manufacturing industry, in order to increase production and capacity, data management and order issues are completed through the internal information networking system of the two major departments. However, there is no actual informational exchange between ERP and MES – the entire process of both is split. This leads the unassailable result that, if there is a problem in the production process, ERP cannot learn effectively, leading to a huge deviation of information throughout the entire production process.

The problem with ERP and MES is only a microcosm of system faults in current factory operations and logistics. Other systems, such as design, procurement, and operations offices, are all isolated informational ‘islands’. This is the dilemma of “complete automation and partial “informationization” of the current manufacturing industry.

(LINFINITY CEO Anndy Lian at Seoul Roundtable)

But all of these will gradually change with the rise of “smart factories”.

Industry 4.0 begins and ends with the widespread adoption of smart factories – acting as carriers and central hubs which will give rise to emergent intelligent manufacturing strategies. It combines the new generation of cutting-edge technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, with traditional manufacturing methods, so as to give clear control over all links of the manufacturing process, reduce manual intervention on the production line, and build a humanized factory that is energy efficient, green and environmentally sustainable.

A fully integrated “IoT block” acts as the cornerstone when building a smart factory system. In essence, the IoT block is designed to connect all the nodes, departments and organizations within the manufacturing system, use blockchain technology to co-chain information, and therefore give rise to completely mutual informational communication within the system. Once this integration is completed, it is then supplemented by AI algorithms to transport and analyze the big data which flows through itself. In fact, it is the deep excavation and secondary utilization of this “IoT data” – which provides filtered and precise data to all areas of the factory where it is required – which will break up informational islands inside the system; thus, realizing the full automation, information and intelligent potential of operations within the manufacturing factory.

Nowadays, smart factory systems have been closely watched by a number of organizations around the world. For example, Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn, Secretary General of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), suggests that the rise of these technologies will significantly increase productivity if applied correctly: “With the rise of IoT, big data, blockchain and AI technologies, smart factories, as the carriers of high technology, are accelerating the transformation and upgrading of traditional manufacturing methods to the modern era. For instance, APO has begun to use AI technology to identify emerging global trends to help Asian countries improve their production levels.”

(Dr. Santhi Kanoktanaporn, Secretary-General of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO))

Recently, the Singaporean anti-counterfeiting technology company LINFINITY formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with APO in Tokyo, Japan – pledging to provide a full range of blockchain-based anti-counterfeiting and traceability technical support to the organization. LINFINITY CEO Anndy Lian stated during the signing: “Blockchain technology has become an important part of building a smart factory. What LINFINITY has to do is to break the myth of blockchain complexity and empower manufacturing to build smart factories in an easier and more practical way.”

From the perspective of human manufacturing history, modern manufacturing is making great strides toward informational precision, technological integration and intelligent manufacturing. It can be expected that in the future, as the diversity of consumer needs increases, far more personalized and customized products will gradually take root within intelligent manufacturing, with future manufacturing factories no longer existing as a simple distribution center for manufacturing goods. This trend will likely continue to grow with the next generation of “C2B” data centers and the rise of custom factories.

About LINFINITY:

As a credible distributed business platform underlying Blockchain, Internet of Things and Big Data technology, employing a guideline of “Internet of everything and sharing with mutual trust”, LINFINITY is a platform with reliable data, transparent information, efficient cooperation and interconnected network to cope with the practical business pain points and development demand of corporate users.

For more information about LINFINITY and their future activities, please visit www.linfinity.io or contact pr@linfinity.io.

 

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