The smart factory is the latest revolution in the manufacturing industry often termed as Industry 4.0, that is, the fourth industrial revolution. It is characterized by the penetration of continuously evolving information technology (IT) in the field of industrial manufacturing. Nowadays, the manufacturing industry, being highly automated and IT driven, has become “Smart.” Continuous developments in the manufacturing technologies make factories smarter and safer. The smart factory market is projected to be valued at USD 205.42 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 9.3%, between 2016 and 2022. The growth of this market is propelled by various factors such as an increase in adoption of industrial robots, the evolution of Internet of Things (IoT), growth in demand for the smart automation solutions, and an increase in emphasis on regulatory compliances.
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ABB Ltd. (Switzerland), General Electric Co. (U.S.), Rockwell Automation, Inc. (U.S.), and Siemens AG (Germany) are some of the leading players in the smart factory market. Key market players implemented different strategies to uphold their position in this market and ensure their long-term growth and success. The key strategies implemented by most of the companies in the smart factory market are new product launches and developments, partnerships, contracts, collaborations, acquisitions, and expansions.
Siemens AG is one of the important players in the smart factory market. The company operates through its segments such as building & partners, industry, infrastructure, and IT. It is well-known for its automation and control offerings, serving the increasing needs of end users. Siemens focuses on entering the innovation-driven growth markets by designing innovative solutions. The company has adopted a strategy of new product launches to offer innovative solutions to end users and gain competitive advantage. For instance, in January 2017, the company launched Atellica PM 1.0, a new customizable process management system that would help laboratories to oversee process data for their automation systems, information systems, and connected instruments.
General Electric Co. offers various advanced solutions for industries. The company is mainly focused toward transforming itself into the “Digital Industry” company. It has a strong installed base of production assets, which helps it to expand its product offering in the smart factory market for production assets. It offers various smart factory solutions such as control platforms, data management and analytics software, and industrial automation solutions for the process as well as discrete industries. The company adopted strategies such as new product launches, product developments, and expansions to enhance its share in the rapidly expanding smart factory market. For instance, in November 2016, it released the latest version of its SCADA/HMI software iFix 5.8 R2 with advanced features for better decision-making and enhanced efficiency. Furthermore, in October 2015, the company launched Current (U.S.), an energy service company, by combining its energy efficiency and distributed power technologies with its industrial internet (IoT) platform.
Other companies operating in the smart factory market include Atos SE (France), Emerson Electric Co. (U.S.), FANUC Corporation (Japan), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan), Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), Schneider Electric SE (France), and Yokogawa Electric Corporation (Japan). These companies operate globally and provide technologies and components related to the smart factor.