Technology has changed our daily lives tremendously. Our pools and homes can be vacuumed while we are not even home, and our phones can tell us where we need to be and how to get there quickly and safely, thanks to calendar apps that integrate with email, text messages, and data sources related to routes, traffic issues, and police officer sightings.
We’ve seen just as many changes in manufacturing. What once needed to be done manually, can now be completed via technology. These changes continue to advance how we work, and it’s important to stay aware of progress.
With that in mind, these are the current manufacturing industry technology trends you should be aware of.
- The Industrial Internet of Things
To be fair, the industrial internet of things (IIoT) is not new; however, if you aren’t utilizing it, or are not utilizing it as much as you could be, you may actually be hindering your business. IIoT allows for an ecosystem of data, using things like sensors embedded into factory machines that can enhance your processes and ensure customer satisfaction. These sensors are just one example, but they give access to real-time data that can alert you to things such as minor issues that need repair or when a package will show up on a customer’s door.
The data acquired via IIoT devices allows manufacturers to utilize advanced data analytics. These are programs that take the acquired data and analyze it, offering statistical evaluations and accurate predictions, such as the way Netflix will offer a new series based off your previous choices. In manufacturing, though, this data will filter through your ERP system and help make recommendations for customer needs and interests or supply chain adjustments.
As time goes on, we should only anticipate that these data analytics will evolve even further to create fully streamlined and automated processes.
- 5G Mobile Data Network
In order for IIot technologies to function at their highest capacities, businesses need to utilize the most advanced network, 5G. With this kind of connectivity, the various smart machines and sensors will work seamlessly together, offering employees real-time data and efficiencies.
- Digital Design and Simulation
They say that seeing is believing, making prototype construction a priority in the manufacturing industry, one that is being altered and developed as new technologies emerge.
These technologies, computer simulation programs that can recreate environments or movements, will allow manufacturers to digitally construct virtual prototypes and processes.
This will aid in all aspects of business, allowing business leaders to have visibility into how the factory could operate as well as on the sales side, as customers will have a clear picture of what they are ordering.
- 3D Printing
Quickly becoming more affordable and accessible, 3D printing also assists in creating prototypes and encouraging innovation. Often utilized in conjunction with a CPQ tool, 3D printing can allow for a customer to better visualize their custom order and ensure that the shop floor builds it exactly right. This means that fewer materials are used and less waste is produced, allowing for cost-effective product personalization.
- Predictive Machine Maintenance
Avoid costly downtime by allowing your machines to warn you when they need maintenance.
Sensors and artificial intelligence can detect failure patterns in machines because they will have studied the normal state of processes and quickly notice and flag when the machines are not working as expected.
- Extended Reality
Extended reality can include things like augmented reality, that adds digital elements to a live view, or virtual reality, which replaces your real-life setting with a simulated one.
How are these helpful in the manufacturing industry? These types of altered realities can be used in immersive training opportunities and production planning, as well as to enhance elements of business such as warehouse conditions, supply chain, and customer experience.
These technology trends are only the tip of the iceberg, but they can reshape your enterprise for the better.
If you are interested in finding out about what these technologies can do for you not only now, but what they will mean for you going forward, the team at Godlan is highly knowledgeable in how digital transformation can propel a business into the best version of itself. For more information, visit www.Godlan.com or call 586.464.4400 today.