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26 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2023 Aspiring Smart factories seem to care, per- haps a little too much, about the differential effects of automation vs. people vs. AI. Rather than obsessing over the differences, let's focus on what they all share, since our Smart man- ufacturing operations require all three to work together in harmony, combining their strengths as they support our business goals. It seems ironic that since automation was first introduced for mass production, we have since been trying to create machines and supervi- sory soware solutions that work more like the people that it replaced. e "people model" has endured because it has been more adept Machines, People, and AI to the needs of modern manufacturing profiles of lower volume and higher mix of produc- tion. Both manual and automated production approaches share many common core princi- ples and requirements in the Smart factory. In respecting this commonality as part of a holis- tic manufacturing execution soware (MES) solution, we create a new level of flexibility and agility, and avoid accruing losses related to continuous change. A key but little discussed principle of Smart manufacturing is to break down the assump- tion that we need separate "islands" of auto- mated and manual assembly. Using produc- Smart Factory Insights Feature Column by Michael Ford, AEGIS SOFTWARE

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