- 11 May 2021
- Reading time
- 3 minutes
Over the years, the use of advanced technology has been omnipresent in the manufacturing industry. Although many people think of technological advances as a negative, they have paved the way for new and innovative developments.
Aside from helping make processes more efficient, technology has also helped minimize waste and make our lives easier. This article will go through four technologies that are now changing the manufacturing process. Take a look.
Rise of Technology
The rise and evolution of technology today has been named Industry 4.0. This means we’re part of the fourth industrial revolution, where newly developed technologies, like photonics and nanotechnology, are helping to upgrade old technologies. This leads to a bright future in manufacturing.
You might come across some debate about the use of the term. Still, it clearly suggests that the integration of production methods with the latest technological developments can make manufacturing cheaper, autonomous, and more efficient.
Thanks to technology, certain things that might concern you, like production line bottleneck management, are in the past. Technological advancements can help improve production workflow and assist you in tackling everyday problems. Similarly, digital technology has helped smaller manufacturers compete with big companies in the highly competitive global market.
All in all, the rise of technology has been quite beneficial to the manufacturing industry.
One of the most beneficial advancements in technology has been the implementation of 3D design technology. This technology has enabled manufacturers to work faster and more precisely, thus creating complex components more economically.
It’s not enough to say that 3D technology has revolutionized the industry. Furthermore, it has proven to be extremely helpful to smaller manufacturers that have embraced this technology. This is because 3D technology is perfectly suitable for low-volume manufacturing of the highest quality.
Thanks to 3D technology, global manufacturing is now much more accessible to small innovators and inventors.
Using industrial robotics is a big part of the renewal of manufacturing as a significant contributor to GDP. The US might not be seeing a significant difference in using robots on manufacturing production lines, but countries like Japan, where electronics manufacturing is a huge business, are noticing the change.
Although the potential loss of jobs is a major concern, it is proven that robots do a better job than humans on the production line. This type of robotics can handle more complex tasks and manage them without errors. Thus, the technology eliminates the possibility of human error, especially where safety is paramount.
For example, industrial robotics has improved efficiency and output in car manufacturing. This type of manufacturing has enabled auto manufacturers to stay afloat and keep their costs low despite economic instability.
Quality control is a significant part of any manufacturing process and can be pretty expensive and lengthy. For instance, machine-made parts need to be randomly selected and then carefully and individually tested to see if they’re up to par. If each part passes the test, the whole batch is validated.
However, this process is extremely time-consuming and possibly unreliable. Naturally, a faulty part can slip through the cracks, thus endangering the whole process.
On the other hand, embedded metrology is the process of measuring the parts during the production process. This is an efficient and quick solution, which is also more accurate and doesn’t require much human interference on the production line.
Undoubtedly, advanced technology is smart. It makes perfect sense that manufacturing of the future will be smart, moving beyond the basic automation processes of past factories. More companies will rely on the smart factor, thus implementing so-called smart factories.
These factories are fully integrated and flexible as they use artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality. For example, Adidas has already implemented this by opening a speed factory in Germany. It aims to deliver products cheaply and quickly while maintaining quality.
Such smart factories allow for more diversity in design and service while also reducing labor costs and waste. That means the factories of the future will be more environmentally friendly.