Technology is slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives, allowing us to do things that were mere science fiction ideas only a decade ago. This is no different in the realm of manufacturing. The use of technology in manufacturing has exploded and is allowing factories to work smarter, more efficiently, and at lower costs than ever before. We now have technology like additive manufacturing, computerized maintenance systems, digital twins, automation integration and artificial intelligence, all making the manufacturing process easier, if used correctly.
One of the technological advances include robots that perform assembly and material handling as well as dangerous or repetitive tasks; remote performance monitoring sensors that can track manufacturing cycles and sense possible maintenance issues; and computerized maintenance managements systems, which help reduce the need for on-site personnel. The accompanying resource describes some of the innovative ways that the manufacturing industry is relying on these advances.
Another area that is having a tremendous impact on manufacturers is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). With IoT tech, machinery and devices can “talk” to each other in real time and adjust accordingly. If a problem arises with a device, other equipment on the network are informed and react based on the situation. This means decreased downtime, less waste and lower costs while keeping quality and output high.
The accompanying resource describes more of these technologies and the innovative ways that the manufacturing industry is relying on these advances.