Economic, Social Impacts and Operation of Smart Factories in Industry 4.0 Focusing on Simulation and Artificial Intelligence of Collaborating Robots
Smart Factory is a complex system that integrates the main elements of the Industry 4.0 concept (e.g., autonomous robots, Internet of Things, and Big data). In Smart Factories intelligent robots, tools, and smart workpieces communicate and collaborate with each other continuously, which results in self-organizing and self-optimizing production. The significance of Smart Factories is to make production more competitive, efficient, flexible and sustainable. The purpose of the study is not only
... tudy is not only the introduction of the concept and operation of the Smart Factories, but at the same time to show the application of Simulation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods in practice. The significance of the study is that the economic and social operational requirements and impacts of Smart Factories are summarized and the characteristics of the traditional factory and the Smart Factory are compared. The most significant added value of the research is that a real case study is introduced for Simulation of the operation of two collaborating robots applying AI. Quantitative research methods are used, such as numerical and graphical modeling and Simulation, 3D design, furthermore executing Tabu Search in the space of trajectories, but in some aspects the work included fundamental methods, like suggesting an original whip-lashing analog for designing robot trajectories. The conclusion of the case study is that—due to using Simulation and AI methods—the motion path of the robot arm is improved, resulting in more than five percent time-savings, which leads to a significant improvement in productivity. It can be concluded that the establishment of Smart Factories will be essential in the future and the application of Simulation and AI methods for collaborating robots are needed for efficient and optimal operation of production processes.