Imagine a factory of the future. A “smart factory.” 2020 is only three short years away, but already some are looking to a future that most likely will be enabled by augmented reality, predictive analytics, and perhaps things we haven’t imagined yet.

I thought this article about a day in the life of the factory of the future was a good read, so I’m sharing just a snippet of it. But you will want to read the entire article.

The digital twin has been a somewhat dramatic change for product engineering. In the past, PDFs of signed paper drawings were the master record of product design information, but the digital twin made the 3D model the master. This initially upset many product engineers, who were resistant to change and could not foresee all the downstream benefits. However, now that they have adapted to the new way of working, the morale is better than ever. The tedious and administrative work required to create, print, gain approval, scan, and archive a paper drawing is now eliminated and engineers focus their time on more critical design work. And, the greater searchability of the product lifecycle management (PLM) system makes it much faster for an engineer to access any information or model required for reference.

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