Are We Ready For The Smart Factory Revolution?
Digitalization offers predictive maintenance which results in lesser downtime, demand-driven production, quality control, and reduced material and energy costs. Though AI is advancing rapidly, it still comes with its limitations. One also need to keep the current social trends in mind, such as the increasing difficulty with the global supply chain and the challenges faced in recruiting skilled workers. Three governance issues with smart factories are cybersecurity/privacy, technical standards, and spectrum allocation.
Smart factories work on system responsiveness and the efficient flow of information that cannot happen without proper support from the technical systems. Work is also underway to promote the usage of blockchain technology. The government is looking to determine if the technology can safeguard against intellectual property theft and counterfeit products.
Since the smart factories need interconnection between their various equipment, this increases the risk of espionage, cyberattack, and data theft. Security goals include protection of the privacy of employees and customers, prevention of espionage, and maintenance of production with no downtime.
All of this demand for wireless communications will require spectrum, a scarce public resource. For smart factories to succeed, governments will have to allocate spectrum sufficient to meet this increase in demand.
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