Technology is always changing, improving, and adapting. Because of this fluid nature of the technological marketplace, it can often be a challenge to stay ahead of the curve, especially for manufacturing businesses who depend on technology.
It’s worth knowing how manufacturing is changing because of evolving technology and what these 2020 trends mean for the industry as a whole. Here are some of 2020’s top manufacturing technology trends and what you need to know about them:
Robotics & Automation
Robotics has long been a technology to watch out for in the world of manufacturing, and it already plays a big role in plenty of manufacturing companies around the world.
But 2020 looks set to be one of the biggest years yet for the advancement of robotics and related automation systems. One of the main changes that is happening at the moment in robotics is the introduction and use of ‘cobots’, or collaborative robots, which interact with human employees and work in close proximity to achieve cooperation within a manufacturing plant. This collaboration with advanced robotics is said to drastically reduce downtime and ensure greater speed and efficiency.
Internet of Things
Increasingly, more and more traditionally non-internet items are becoming connected to the internet. This provides a variety of services, and it’s something that your business can make good use of in a number of ways. In 2020, we can expect the investment in Internet of Things devices and technologies to become more and more profound and pronounced, so it might be time for you to start investing in these things within your own business. Cloud software will likely become an even more popular technology adopted in manufacturing plants to operate IoT devices.
One product that has become hugely useful in manufacturing and is an innovation in both robotics and IoT devices are advanced Andon systems, which function using indicator lights to immediately communicate production issues and performance to responsible parties. These systems have been proven to increase output and directly reduce downtime in manufacturing plants.
This technology has now been around for decades, but, as is ever the case with new technologies, it has taken a while for it to become a commercial reality for the average business.
However, 2020 looks like it could be the year that this all changes, and it might be about time that your business starts making use of 3D printing to enhance its processes. In fact, the whole production line can be adjusted according to the printing production line, meaning improvements to print speed, product changes, and machinery enhancements can be made in an instant when using 3D printing. The developments 3D printing is making are rapid, and many businesses will likely begin adopting 3D printing on a grander scale to improve production this year and in the years to come.
3D printing is really just a subset of a larger process known as additive manufacturing. This is where computer-aided-design (CAD) software is used to join materials to create 3D objects by layering materials one on top of another. It brings a new flexibility and efficiency to proceedings because it allows you to join several shapes and sizes of materials and reduces tooling costs, and the technology for it is improving all the time.
One of the main benefits of additive manufacturing is that there is zero wasted product. That means that your business will have much less waste in general, which is only ever going to be a good thing. Make sure that you are on the forefront of the additive manufacturing process this year if you want to get ahead.
With every new installment of the public wireless internet service, it becomes faster and more efficient, and more effective as an internet service. So with 5G on the rise, it is hardly surprising that we can expect our use of the internet to become suddenly even quicker and more profound.
The year 2020 looks promising for expansion and wide use of 5G, which, as the fifth generation wireless technology for cellular networks, is set to be 100 times faster than 4G. Understanding the benefits and expanded bandwidth of 5G and how it can benefit and speed up production will be huge for manufacturing companies this year.
As your manufacturing company seeks to succeed in the year 2020, be sure to stay ahead of these technological advancements that are revolutionizing the industry and making production more efficient than ever.