Industrial revolutions have made humans’ lives easier and smoother in the past centuries. The first industrial revolution (Industry 1.0) started in the 1760s when production was first mechanized using steam-powered machines. Industry 1.0 lasted until the 1830s.
The technological revolution or Industry 2.0 was triggered by the invention of electricity. This superior technology led to mass production and allowed the development of heavy industries.
Industry 3.0 came along with the powers of computers. Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) or computers were used to automate the process of production. Supercomputers were also developed during this period.
The discovery of the internet made a significant impact on technological development. It changed the way businesses operated. With the possibility of being connected via the internet with anyone worldwide, the companies grew exponentially and effectively. To an extent, it led to Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 is about intelligent production; machines can operate independently with little or no human resources. It aims to increase productivity and improve the quality and quantity of products with minimal wastage of resources. With the Internet of Things (IoT), it is now possible to manage production factories virtually. Dark factories will be the future of manufacturing industries.
What are Dark Factories?
The term ‘Dark Factories’ has become a new buzzword, and many people wonder what exactly it is? What would happen to the current scenario of manufacturing industries if dark factories become a reality?
Dark Factories (where the lights are off) are equipped with systems that can automate the entire process of mass production. They can work 24*7 under any condition resulting in an increased productivity curve. Some of the factories have dark factory features and observed more efficient production. The fully automated production line ensures that the work will never stop; it would be a continuous process with little or no human workforce.
Adopting dark factories could be a drastic change for organizations and could be more of an economic decision. Although many organizations realized that the advanced and automated machinery would ensure continuous manufacturing process during the recent pandemic. Here are several advantages of automated industries:
- High Productivity: Automation will ensure that the machines can work 24*7 the entire year. It will ensure an elevated curve in productivity.
- High Quality: The products will be of uniform quality, which might be challenging to achieve when handled by humans alone.
- High Safety: You can deploy robots in high-risk tasks, ensuring the safety of the employees.
- High Flexibility: Machines are easily adaptable to changes. A new task can be assigned to robots/machines with ease, making automated industries highly flexible.
- High Accuracy: There are almost nil chances of errors with automated systems. Also, the wastage is greatly reduced.
With advancements in technology, it has become crucial for industry leaders to stay updated and adapt to the latest advances. Dark factories are already paving their way in the manufacturing industry. Companies have noticed the productivity to increase by 250%, and the errors decreased by 80%.
It is exciting that technology is reaching an impressive peak, and we are entering a new age of automation. No doubt that in the coming few years, most of the industries will adapt to dark factories. Dark production will offer enormous benefits, improved quality of products, advancement in automation, better accuracy, more reliability, high throughput, and so on. It would be exciting to see what if dark factories will be led to a brighter future.