1 Exploiting Embedded Intelligence in Manufacturing Decision Support

1.1. Introduction

There have been many advances in the ability to embed intelligence into products and manufacturing equipment in order to collect important data using wireless, intelligent systems of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and networked sensors [XU 14]. Similarly, the ICT industries that support manufacturing businesses continue to expand and develop their range of decision support software across the full range of business requirements from shop floor systems, manufacturing execution systems, enterprise resource planning, product lifecycle management and supply chain management and so on. However, while each of these systems provide important capabilities, the ability to effectively interconnect them in a meaningful trans-disciplinary way is limited [HUB 14] and must be overcome if the visions of Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and smart manufacturing are to be met.

In the continual need for manufacturing industry to strive for a competitive edge, the ICT industry should have the potential to deliver great benefit. Given the potential of ICT, a company’s multiple decision makers should have ready access to high quality, timely information directed to meet their needs, on which to base critical business decisions. This paper highlights the technological progress that has been made towards meeting this manufacturing requirement and discusses the issues that still need ...

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