4 Industrial Manufacturing Trends for 2017 and Beyond
If a company can overcome challenges in infrastructure, talent, innovation, and energy consumption, it can enjoy tremendous success in its operations. Therefore, a firm has to attract and retain top talent, use green and affordable energy, and innovate better than competitors to guarantee its survival. However, such aspects are not easy to achieve due to the complexity of the industry and the numerous internal and external factors that affect it. Let’s explore the future of industrial manufacturing this year and in the future.
The role of robotics in manufacturing is increasingly becoming evident; and therefore, cannot be ignored. They are set to replace a large number of unskilled workers in many factory floors a few years to come since automation is set to decrease the cost of doing business. Robotics have been around for close to 70 years where they performed repetitive tasks in controlled environments. The versatility and intelligence of modern systems is, however, superb. It is believed that they will take over virtually all the tasks in manufacturing in a few years to come.
Manufacturers have, for years, used the internet of things (IoT) in an effort to enhance the connectivity of factory floors. The concept relies on the internet to provide connectivity to computers, machines, sensors, and humans. As a result, companies can get enhanced capabilities when it comes to information gathering, analysis, processing, and monitoring. You can now get the exact cost in energy terms that you utilize in the production of a single unit of your product. The future use of IoT is set to increase as more manufacturers find use for the technology in their environments.
3D printing is making tremendous waves in the manufacturing arena. A simple definition of the technology is the use of digital designs in the creation of products. Though this technology is still in its infant stages, there are high hopes that it will make a huge impact in the industrial manufacturing field in the next couple of years. Some companies are, however, benefiting from its use in the creation of specialized components that are costly, cumbersome, and time-consuming to manufacture in normal manufacturing settings.
Augmented reality has also hit the manufacturing arena. It is a computer imaging technology that now allows manufacturers to convey information and guidance in real-time to users. Users, on the other hand, use the information and guidance received in the form of graphics and other virtual enhancements to carry out their duties. For accuracy, the instructions are also relayed in the form of audio. Manufacturers are currently using the technology in tasks like training, safety enhancement, and for tracking inventory. The technology will see an increase in the number of its users due to the improvements that are expected.