Smart Machines offer OEMS new opportunities to innovate


image of smart connected machine


Smart Machines offer OEMS new opportunities to innovate.


The adoption of smart machines is accelerating. Smart machine technologies in automation enhance an OEM’ s ability to innovate and deliver more value to end-users.


Machine builders have always been very innovative in developing their machines to deliver best values to their end-users. To compete, most machine builders strive to provide end-users the most in machine productivity, flexibility, efficiency, and availability.


The more innovative the machine builder, the better their position in the market. Smart machines are enabling machine builders to innovate in new ways. Tools such as simulation software, templates, remote monitoring and cloud based analytics are helping machine builder to better support end-user applications in packaging, and material handling, material working or pumping etc.


Smart machine refers to a machine that is better connected, more flexible, more efficient and safe. Based on connected products, edge control and advanced software tools and applications, smart machines boost efficiency by providing succinct and timely data to operators so that quality and productivity are improved.


Three phases

To deliver on the promises of the smart machine concept, machine builders must consider the three critical phases of a machine’s life cycle: design and engineering, commissioning and operation, and maintenance and service. Here’s how smart machines can impact each of these three phases:



In this phase, multi-disciplinary software tools for design and engineering enable engineers to perform the various tasks for the mechanical, electrical and automation design. Clear and well-defined interfaces ensure consistency and simplify data and model management.  The modularity of smart machines enables hardware and software reuse.


Smart machine templates of proven and validated functional modules enable machine builders to simplify design and engineering tasks and shorten time to market. Software simulation tools allow both machine builders and operators to familiarize themselves with a new system before it is installed. This enhances both efficiency and safety.



In machine roll-out, the business driver is the machine’s rapid start-up and availability. When the various devices that enable the machine to work are linked together, they must work in a synchronized fashion very quickly.


In the smart machine world, communication protocols are standardised. Smart machines identify and communicate to each other automatically through machine to machine communication. This enables the smart machines not only to talk to each other on the floor of the factory, but also to communicate to humans at the operator and management levels of the plant via dashboards.


The machine also has knowledge about itself. It can answer questions like:  Where is the machine located? What is the status of the machine? What is the status of its parts? Is a motor about to fail? This machine self-awareness enables operational analytics in the cloud so that the right decisions can be made, to reduce downtime and achieve higher OEE.



End-users want OEMs to deliver machines that reduce TCO (total cost of ownership). This means delivering efficiency and flexibility through a connected machine that enables remote access, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring in a cybersecure environment. It enables reduced diagnostics for proactive maintenance in minutes instead of facing hours of unplanned downtime.


To learn more about how Schneider Electric supports machine builders and industrial end users, download the white paper, “Understanding Smart Machines:  How They Will Shape the Future.”

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