Manufacturing technology trends – top technologies impacting on the industry
New technologies are causing significant evolution in the manufacturing industry. If your business operates in this industry, you may be able to take advantage of them.
Here are four of the most relevant manufacturing technology trends to keep in mind.
1. Machine learning
A subset of artificial intelligence, machine learning refers to computers that can learn without the intervention of human programmers. As the system is exposed to new data, it evolves and adapts in response to it. The result is a computer programme that constantly improves.
But what implications might it have for the industry? According to Forbes, machine learning’s core technologies, “align well with the complex problems manufacturers face daily.” If you need to maximise the efficiency of your supply chain and produce customised products in a timely fashion, it can improve your processes in a way that lets you do so.
Robotics are not new to the manufacturing industry, but they are growing more impressive and more interesting all the time.
New technologies are automating tasks that would otherwise consume the time and attention of human employees. Robots can drive screws into difficult-to-reach spots on motor engines; they can work in close proximity to human employees without endangering them; they’re getting lighter and lighter, and can be moved from one working area to another.
If you haven’t yet automated processes in your factory, it’s worth investigating robotics. It could dramatically improve productivity and performance.
3. 3D printing
3D printing is a phenomenon that seems tailor made to the needs of the manufacturing industry – even though some worry that it will make the industry obsolete.
The key is adoption. If you incorporate it into your processes early on, you can save product development times and more easily customise your products to the needs of your customers. If you have an excellent idea that you want to turn into a workable prototype, you can create, print, and test it in short order. If you only want to produce low volumes of certain products on an ad hoc basis, then you can do so without unnecessarily beginning bulk production.
What’s more, 3D printing is still a new technology: it’s improving all the time. Your company would do well to keep an eye on it.
4. Advanced analytics
Optimising production is a constant struggle for larger companies: they collect abundant data in their day-to-day operations, but turning this data into insights or using it to correct inefficiencies can be difficult.
Advanced analytics can help. Modern software can collect, collate, and interpret data from your manufacturing processes and present it in a comprehensible format. With this information more easily accessible, you can more easily identify where changes should and can be made – allowing you to grind out any and all inefficiencies as and when they arise.
Manufacturing technology trends reveal an industry that’s constantly changing and presenting new possibilities. If your business keeps up with these trends and seizes these possibilities, it will be rewarded for doing so.