For the last two and a half centuries manufacturing has been an important component of our global society. Manufacturing has evolved though paradigm changes, commonly known as ‘industrial revolutions’. These four revolutions (the first three are considered to be steam and water power, electricity, and automation) have had a great impact on economic growth and living standards. Economic historians agree
that the start of the first industrial revolution was the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants.
The fourth industrial revolution, otherwise referred to as smart manufacturing, can be explained in many ways. The approach taken in a recently published white paper is to explain it by utilizing models from innovation. New disruptive technologies are regularly becoming available, paving the way for a new wave of innovations. When the effect of these new innovations is large enough, they will revolutionize the current norm of how things are seen and done.
The white paper, published by the ISO Smart Manufacturing Coordinating Committee, presents new disruptive technologies that are mature enough to be leveraged by industry; the ‘enablers’ of smart manufacturing. The paper also presents a set of design principles, referred to as the ‘enhancers’ for smart manufacturing, that are currently under development and of high relevance for achieving a successful implementation of smart manufacturing.
The paper also present the ‘effects’ that are foreseen with smart manufacturing. In order to be able to work successfully and collaboratively, across companies as well as national borders, with the enablers, enhancers and effects of smart manufacturing, standardization is key. The white paper presents the purpose of international and industrial standards and explains the role of the Smart Manufacturing Coordinating Committee (SMCC), the entity created by the ISO Technical Management Board (TMB) to coordinate these activities.
The white paper also presents, clearly and concisely, available definitions and standards, and states where they are missing and gives recommendations on next steps. The overall goal of the white paper is to make it easier for companies and other stakeholders to adapt to, and benefit from, the concept of smart manufacturing.
To download the white paper on Smart Manufacturing click here.