Advancements in technology are quickly changing the landscape of virtually every industry, especially that of manufacturing. Modern advances are enabling factory operators to streamline production processes, innovate at a faster pace than ever before, and deliver higher quality products to meet changing demands. Because of the versatility of these technologies, there are a number of areas within manufacturing where the tech is being harnessed.
For example, additive manufacturing — more commonly known as 3D printing — has a variety of applications. As it has become more affordable, manufacturers are using it during the production cycle to produce high quality components while keeping costs down. It represents a promising opportunity for the creation of custom goods and other parts.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help technicians determine how well a machine is functioning. AI is also able to predict when a piece of equipment may malfunction or break down. This kind of IoT technology is the future trend of predictive maintenance.
Other 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.