3 Manufacturing Trends to Pay Attention To
When it comes to trends, there are so few to really pay attention to. Everyone is fighting for your attention and money and claiming they have the next big thing. They all promise to take your company or performance to the next level and make you rise above the competition. Most of these trends are marketing ploys to line the pockets of corporations, and have little to no real-world use. Every now and then, however, a few of them just seem to make a lot of sense. Some trends not only have real-world use, but the practicality of them makes it seem like a sure-fire, can’t-miss trend to jump on while it is early. Here are a few trends you might want to keep an eye on if you are in the manufacturing sector.
- Smart Manufacturing – Industry 4.0 has provided an opportunity to manufacturers to use advanced manufacturing capabilities combined with informative technology to optimize the lifecycle of the product. Industry 4.0 is a subset of the fourth industrial revolution that pertains to smart machines or cities. The first revolution was mechanizing through water and steam power, which led to the second revolution of mass assembly using electricity. The third revolution involved adopting computers and automation, but the fourth expounds upon that idea by not only automation, but learning-based systems that optimize themselves to perform at high efficiency. The difficulty lies in finding a way to utilize this to maximize your business and production.
- Augmented Reality – While this concept isn’t new, the ways it is being used are, even though it is still in the infancy stage when it comes to manufacturing. The uses could be for training people on machinery or how to repair them. Some places use them for data management by placing you in a visual world of information to quickly comprehend and grab as needed. Imagine being able to train someone on a machine and not have that machine out of commission or performing slower than normal due to training, or imagine scrolling through data with a flick of the wrist as the field fly by your face. The possibilities are endless.
- Additive Manufacturing – Basically 3D printing. Imagine being able to stock 30% more inventory by carrying 0% of replacement parts for it! Instead you have stored media that will be used to print the replacement part when it is needed. The days of obsolete parts are gone and stocking them for years after, are long gone. While this hasn’t taken over yet, the implications of how this could help local, or large-scale manufacturers are endless. What if a machine goes down and you need a part today to fix it? You will be able to just print it. This is an exciting new trend to embrace and be on the cutting edge of. Smart businesses are early adopters to the tech that makes the most sense for their business.
In closing, there are many ways for you to increase efficiency and production within your company. Take your time to research them and look forward to where your business is going, not to where it has been.