Digital manufacturing on a shoestring?
The development of digital manufacturing solutions has moved apace in recent years. Technological developments in data capture, processing and communication has allowed manufacturers to adopt more data-driven, digitally executed systems. However, these systems generally tend to be costly and complex, making them unsuitable for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
At DIAL, we are looking to revolutionise the way manufacturing automation and information systems are developed, challenging the traditional constructs of dedicated, pre-integrated hierarchies of machines and computing to consider the viability of a simple, light-weight, lower cost approach. Such an approach, based on non-industrial, low cost components and exploiting the flexible networking capabilities made feasible by local processors, cloud computing and Internet of Things devices, is appealing because it brings digital developments within the financial range of SMEs.
The aim is to develop affordable technology and software stack to transform SMEs into highly efficient, digitally-enabled manufacturing businesses that can utilise available data to continuously improve performance, retain knowledge and manage uncertainty.
Contributed by Raj Srinivasan