Technological progress has long been driving the pace of manufacturing. Today, most factories are centers of advanced machinery, churning out goods far more efficiently than was possible in the past. However, as technology advances exponentially, manufacturing continues to evolve. Many emerging tools have the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing industry by changing both the way products are produced and the way manufacturing companies operate.
Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics are already helping manufacturers quickly create high-quality products. In the future, the success of a manufacturing company may be related to its investments in research and development, which prioritize advanced manufacturing capabilities rather than focusing solely on price.
While advances will surely bring new business to cutting edge companies, new manufacturing technologies also come with challenges. Here are some of the technologies that can be expected to play a significant role in the future of manufacturing.
Manufacturers already use artificial intelligence in their manufacturing processes. Combined with Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as machine sensors, AI offers manufacturers the opportunity to improve factory operations and product quality. With the ability to refine performance through machine learning, which does not require specifically coded instructions, AI has nearly limitless potential.
Common uses of AI in manufacturing include detecting defective products, optimizing plant efficiency, and assisting with material science breakthroughs.
Automation and robotics
Automation in manufacturing has gradually increased over the years. In the near future, advanced robotics could allow many manufacturing plants to operate even more autonomously. Some manufacturing companies have experimented with “lights out” factories, where manufacturing robots operate without any regular human intervention or presence on site.
While most factories don’t have the ability to become fully autonomous yet, robotics can allow companies to produce more efficiently and employ smaller teams with more specialized skills.
Predictive machine analysis
Most manufacturers already use sensors and other devices to collect data during production. In the future, manufacturers could use predictive analytics to make better use of the data. These computer systems will connect to manufacturing machinery to monitor critical processes in real time and predict malfunctions before they occur.
As more and more companies rely on interconnected sensors and devices to power predictive analytics, they will also need to improve their cybersecurity. It’s important to keep in mind that many inexpensive sensors don’t have the security needed to protect a complex corporate network. In this era, quality over quantity tends to produce the best return on investment.
3D printing technology
Today, 3D printing plays an important role in prototyping and product design. As 3D printers become more advanced and less expensive, the prototyping process could become more efficient, also allowing designers to interact with the printer by designing and printing directly and simultaneously.
In addition to being used in prototyping, 3D printing technology will also find use in the production of highly customized products, as they allow manufacturers to execute slightly different designs with minimal input. Small-volume manufacturers will be able to integrate 3D printing into their business model.
Technology and industrial production
Today, advanced manufacturing technologies are impacting the industry, leading to higher profits, higher productivity and better outcomes for customers. To ensure continued growth, manufacturing companies must start investing in new technologies by making the most of the systems that best fit their individual businesses.
In addition to the implementation of new technologies, manufacturers will also have to invest in training, research and safety. Finding highly skilled personnel will become essential as automation takes the place of simple, repetitive jobs. A well-structured team can make the difference in the success of a business.
Contact Whitech for solutions made especially for your organization
Advanced technologies support manufacturing with new and exciting growth opportunities. However, implementing these technologies successfully requires careful planning and hard work. If you need assistance preparing your company’s future in the manufacturing sector, Whitech can help you. We provide international manufacturers with innovation and intelligent technology services with high ROI. Contact us today to find out more about our services.