11 Technologies that are a Must for the Manufacturing Industry
Manufacturing is a globalized society and an extremely competitive industry. Not being technologically upgraded in this segment simply means giving your competitors the upper hand and lagging.
Isolated machines in the manufacturing industry have been transformed into sensors, data, and a network of chips, wherein the computing power has almost doubled. It is substantial to keep up with technological advancements and digital transformation to build smarter, automated, and lower-cost factories.
According to a report by Fictiv 2021 State of Manufacturing, 94% of manufacturers say that the pandemic has encouraged them to switch to long-term technological changes to their business, which is critical to their future success.
According to a Deloitte survey, about 38% of manufacturers started with smart factory investments in 2020, which, according to a Plex report, grew to 80% in 2021, who believed that smart factories are key to their future success.
Let us look at the emerging technological advancements in manufacturing.
Top 11 Emerging Technological Advancements in the Manufacturing Industry
Here are some key technological and digital advancements that are a breakthrough in the field of manufacturing.
1. ERP systems (Enterprise Resource Planning)
A manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system helps you integrate all aspects of your business and collects, stores, manages, and interprets data.
This gives you the leverage to allow and track business assets and monitor all points along the product supply chain.
2. Big Data
Big data is a collection of data that helps manufacturing companies analyze industry trends and the market. It is a vast amount of data that helps organizations to gather information from machines that helps them in enhancing production stages, overall performance, and predicting machine failure.
You can also use big data to understand consumer preferences, reduce costs, improve product quality, improve support research, and more.
In the world of manufacturing, 5G helps organizations in production rooms to monitor in real-time, improving workplace connectivity and collecting useful data.
5G will help in using sensors, inventory tracking, troubleshooting in augmented reality, remote production supervision, automated wearable or packing and unpacking robots, machine maintenance, camera-based analytics, rapid 3D printing, and help you automate your tasks.
4. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
AI helps integrate computer systems to perform tasks that previously required human skill and knowledge while eliminating human error and making the most of human talent.
AI and machine learning AI are becoming increasingly popular and have great potential to improve the effectiveness, robustness, and quality of optimized operations. It has been revealed that AI with ML can reduce transition costs for manufacturers by up to 20%. 70% of the savings can be attributed to increased employee productivity.
According to Oxford Economics’ Beyond the Crisis report, about 34% of manufacturers are investing in AI to
- expand the workforce,
- solve important issues, and
- accelerate digital transformation.
5. Internet of Things
IoT technology enables innovations related to robotics, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), and wearables. These operational efficiencies are concerned with built-in sensors and data exchange with other systems, which can fundamentally change every aspect of product development and delivery.
It provides valuable insights into your manufacturing operations and the smallest components.
6. Virtual and Augmented Reality
VR and AR are already here and are rapidly gaining ground in manufacturing and production environments. VR and AR help in product designing and prototyping, product maintenance and repair, inventory control, and dealing with security measures by training existing and new employees.
VR/AR devices can automatically display temperature, sound levels, user manuals, and other important information, which helps analyze, understand, and predict each component or device and how best to manage it.
Statista reports that by 2021, the use of VR devices across all industries will reach 40.1 million units worldwide, and AR will reach about 19.1 million units, bringing the total to 59.2 million units.
7. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Manufacturing businesses can use robotic process automation (RPA) that helps to mimic the behavior of human workers and automates specific business processes.
Robotics can be taken as a part of AI but is specifically equipped to adapt to work with humans. This makes operations, productivity, analysis, and monitoring much smoother for manufacturing processes.
Nanotechnology, when used with robotics, can help build things on a molecular basis on a small scale.
It aids in designing tiny electronics and devices, which are highly useful in automobile production, electrical textiles, gas sensors, and even nano ID devices in various manufacturing industries.
9. 3D Printing
3D printing uses images as references to create all kinds of objects.
This new format of printing supports several industries, especially the manufacturing industry, which can save a lot of time, money, and inconvenience by strengthening its supply chain, prototyping, increasing production, and getting products to people faster.
10. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is about on-demand data access, allowing industries to store critical information over the internet, which is the most secure option for tracking all your business-related operations.
Cloud computing saves money without server costs, scales easily, provides a competitive advantage, requires fewer updates, and is easier to manage across an organization. It increases productivity and allows you to deliver your product faster.
It acts as a permanent record accessible to anyone with access and helps track inventory, store legal contracts, and monitor supplies.
A blockchain is a digital ledger that is chronologically linked to previous and subsequent transactions.
We all understand the hordes of data that are exchanged every day between factories, customers, and industries. This may be an odd term for the traditional manufacturers, who have yet not ventured into technological advancements.
For contemporary manufacturers, Blockchain helps them exchange data within their complex supply chains.
Blockchain also provides complete transparency and provides users with a single, tamper-proof source of truth and an immutable record of all transactions of interest. It helps users as they move through your supply chain while eliminating incoming inspections.
Technology and Digital transformations are the future of the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers across the globe are adopting innovative and advanced technologies to prevent disruptions and downtime due to unknown factors.
These advancements help manufacturing giants reach their customers in a faster and more effective way, upgrade their production levels, and dive deep into machine-related inefficiencies. Imbibing technology in manufacturing processes is the need of the hour as innovating today with the help of technology is the future.