The advent of process intelligence tools is expected to have a significant impact on the future of the manufacturing industry. Simulation software is a key intelligence tool that is beginning to point industrial users toward the factory of the future. This digital technology offers the potential of huge gains in bringing products to market more quickly, with higher quality and at lower overall costs. Aside from time and cost savings, simulation in the factory of the future could also serve as a sales tool, helping customers and upper management see exactly what they are getting. In addition, it is important for the factory of the future to address both internal and external production processes by integrating all the manufacturing flows from global to national down to the submicroscopic level. The factory of the future also needs to be flexible to be able to address the challenges posed by the made-to-order trend. Hence, it is important to develop, validate and demonstrate the enabling technologies necessary to allow manufacturing equipment to make decisions based on acquired knowledge. This will allow for the production of the first and every subsequent part and part feature to specification without unscheduled delays.
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