Cyber-Physical Systems Are Driving Smart Manufacturing

Cyber Physical Systems Are Driving Smart Manufacturing

Cyber physical systems are making manufacturing facilities hyper-connected and incredibly smart. Today’s smart manufacturing plants combine the physical nature of manufacturing with digital processes and systems.

Data is driving the need for digital transformation of the manufacturing plant by providing better decision making and improved performance. As manufacturing transforms, more components of the process are connected through the Internet of Things (IoT). Embedded sensors in manufacturing equipment or tagged products with RFID tags are providing information to analyze and leading to more informed decisions.

Smart factories connect operations and production systems and provide end-to-end visibility in supply chains. Connected factories find outdated machinery and practices and drive digital transformation. Visibility over every segment of the supply chain optimizes every aspect of an operation. The peaks and valleys of manufacturing turn into steady streams of production when you have 24/7 visibility over every aspect of your operation.


Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool wanted to eliminate waste from its factories and reduce its contribution to landfills. The company implemented an analytics platform in its facilities to understand the amount of waste being generated in its plants. The analytics were driven by customizable, web-based dashboards. Every plant identifies, tracks and segregates waste streams to find alternatives to landfills. Improved processes help design waste out of its systems. As of 2020, eight Whirlpool plants completely erased their contributions to landfills. The company’s goal is to eliminate landfill waste in its global operations by 2022.  


Siemens is a global leader in industrial IoT as a service. It’s MindSphere® product uses IoT,  advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence to connect processes and systems in the plant and optimize operations. MindSphere connects assets and uploads the data to the cloud. Data is collected, monitored and analyzed in real time. Companies can model the entire structure of its industrial process by connecting assets and creating data models for how data is evaluated and used. Siemens drives digital transformation for global companies by using IoT data from thousands of devices and sensors in products, machinery, plants and systems throughout an entire production system.


In 2017, Hewlett-Packard invested $84 million in The Smart Manufacturing Applications and Research Centre, a 6,000 square foot facility in Singapore dedicated to digital manufacturing technologies. The emphasis of the facility is the application of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, 3D printing and machine learning in digital manufacturing. The company’s goal is to boost its productivity by 20% by improving its own operations and developing industrial technologies to sell to the marketplace. Tools such as digital design and simulation, digital twins, guided assembly and video analytics help manufacturers to improve performance and product quality.