Evolving technology has made manufacturing systems advance more rapidly than ever before. Not only does this benefit those using the systems, but it also helps the end-user of manufactured products, as more efficient development and reliability ensures high-performance and effective results.
The process of manufacturing is always changing, and new Smart and Lean Manufacturing systems continue to make manufacturing more productive, dependable, and intuitive for everyone involved in the process. With this in mind, here are five innovations that have improved manufacturing over the years:
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has proven highly beneficial for advancing the reliability and connectivity in the manufacturing industry. The practice of connecting non-internet machines can help with a range of issues that previously interfered with the manufacturing process.
From simple things such as identifying the stage of manufacturing to troubleshooting issues that affect workflow, IoT has made manufacturing more inclusive. Employees can analyze issues immediately and even remotely, should they be off-site. The smart system behind IoT also reduces the need for too many people in the area, which can save money to focus on other aspects of the production process.
Overall, it’s the unity that IoT brings that makes it so useful for manufacturing. Diagnosing issues are more precise, and with everything connected, you can operate and monitor each stage of the process, which increases efficiency.
With 5G being rolled out across the country and beaming to more devices than ever before, you can expect it to increase the reliability of the connection that could rival and even take over from standard wireless internet connections.
Projected to be up to 100 times faster than the current 4G model, the next generation of wireless cellular networks can speed up manufacturing processes and production that ensures fantastic results all across the board.
The expanded bandwidth, more excellent range and reach, and increased speed allows more people both on- and off-site to be connected easily. This can reduce downtime and helps find root causes of manufacturing issues almost instantly. If your manufacturing company is still not sure whether 5G will be beneficial for them, it’s worth comparing it to existing methods and seriously thinking about an upgrade to guarantee it is not left behind.
Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing
With a broader focus on reducing waste than ever before, Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing is something that more manufacturing firms are likely to adopt in 2020 and beyond. By reducing waste, your firm will help to lead the way in new Lean Manufacturing initiatives.
It’s not just about reducing waste, though. The processes related to 3D printing and additive manufacturing makes everyday demands more available. Developments can be flexible with designing and creating parts that are essential to the process, including tools and heavy machinery, all of which are essential to the more extensive manufacturing process.
Cloud computing is another technological advancement that helps to both reduce waste and makes communication and collaboration more straightforward than ever before. It has become a standard across many businesses, so it only makes sense that the manufacturing industry should embrace it, also.
With all the information stored across a range of dedicated and reliable servers, employees, managers, and clients can access this data wherever they are. This increases the speed of communication and also assists in furthering collaboration without the need for meetings that could take valuable time out of people’s days.
Rather than search through endless file cabinets searching for a single document, those with access to the cloud can find it instantly, increasing productivity and speeding up every stage of the manufacturing process.
Smart Factory Initiatives
Through all of these innovations, factories soon find themselves part of the Smart Factory Initiative. These are achieved by integrating technologies across the board, such as advanced manufacturing communication systems. and making every step of manufacturing connected to ensure seamless integration.
It will include everything for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning systems to the aforementioned Internet of Things. The more factories do, the higher the knowledge of the system, and this will only provide superb improvements for the business operations. By embracing such developments, factories will become more efficient. They will reduce downtime and also increase productivity, which only spells excellent news for the future of the industry.
Manufacturing companies must recognize the potential of innovations and implement them as soon as they feel the factory is prepared for it. While it may take some time for employees to adjust to the innovations, the benefits will be immeasurable for improving every aspect of the manufacturing process.