One smart factory could be like every other smart factory.
By creating a “generic factory, which then can be rented out to whoever needs it … the manufacturing capability itself could actually become commoditized and will produce good products that will no longer be differentiators,” he said.
Facton, founded in 1998, has locations in Detroit and three German cities, Potsdam, Dresden and Stuttgart. It sells the industry a suite of enterprise product costing software.
“We will replace shop floors as we know them today,” he forecast. In future assembly plants, a product will move down an assembly line, “look for the next assembly station, and move through the shop floor itself until it’s finished,” Swoboda said. “That will allow a great deal of flexibility.”
The advanced computing, shared up and down the supply chain, will drive down costs and increase profitability. But that must begin with data standardization, he said.