Will 2017 be the year of the smart factory?
...The smart factory statement follows months of speculation around Industry 4.0 – the idea of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technology.

Simply, it’s the computerisation of manufacturing, involving systems that communicate with each other, monitor physical processes and make decisions. 

2017 could be when the concept of the smart factory becomes a widespread reality, according to YCF – a not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting the manufacturing industry and its supply chain...

(read the full story at themanufacturer.com... http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/will-2017-be-the-year-of-the-smart-factory/)