Four are the technological revolutions that have shaped the manufacturing industry as to define the modern competitive context. The first three have determined the development of economic systems based on mass industrial production and characterized by a strictly “product-driven” market.
Nowadays however, companies find themselves forced to operate in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, defined as the Industry 4.0, and characterized by a strongly “demand-driven” market. Key point of this recent revolution is the need to create “[…]systems that are fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs.”, or as they are so defined by the National Institute for Standard Technologies (NIST), Smart Factories.
Creating a Smart Factory means adopting an open and interconnected infrastructure that allows for the management and monitoring of all company process in real-time, and that will support the definition and the implementation of orchestrated solutions. These solutions can contribute in a decisive way to the creation of added value for the company, on the condition of supporting the company and its users in the right way and at the right moment.