This article reviews the benefits of Big Data in the manufacturing industry as more sophisticated and automated data analytics technologies are being developed. The challenge of Big Data is that it requires management tools to make sense of large sets of heterogeneous information. A new wave of inexpensive electronic sensors, microprocessors, and other components enables more automation in factories, and vast amounts of data to be collected along the way. In automated manufacturing, Big Data can help reduce defects and control costs of products. Smart manufacturing is expected to evolve into the new paradigm of cognitive manufacturing, in which machining and measurements are merged to form more flexible and controlled environments. The article also suggests that the emerging tools being developed to process and manage the Big Data generated by myriads of sensors and other devices can lead to the next scientific, technological, and management revolutions. The revolutions will enable an interconnected, efficient global industrial ecosystem that will fundamentally change how products are invented, manufactured, shipped, and serviced.

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