Rob, Any time there is any data integration with the Internet, IT is going to be concerned and hopefully take all of the appropriate measures necessary to insure the quality and security of that connection.
Chuck, I think the key is probably taking data integration to the next level. The capability to customize products to "one" is definitely within reach already. Moving to the cloud provides a potential input for manufacturing that potentially simplifies the solutions for easier data integration. Also, a direct input from the customer.
Looks like a good idea for manufacturers, Al. This takes us closer to mass customization. The key here is that a manufacturer will not be limited to what its local servers can deliver. I would guess that cloud technology will allow companies to expand and contract their IT needs as needed. However, this may be a new hurdle in the path toward compatibility between control engineers and their IT departments. Cloud providers will have to make a strong case for security.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.