Today’s technology is continuously developing thanks to the increasing demand of staying competitive among the many businesses present today across different fields. Many companies are investing in newer technologies that would allow them to streamline their operations while lowering their operational costs. There are many digital documentation solutions that help to effectively supervise product development, production cycles, quality control, logistics, and more.
The current trend today is to make the manufacturing business easier to the point that there would be smart factories operating for various companies.
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Listed below are some of the manufacturing tech trends of the 2020s.
Carrying gadgets in a workplace can limit the worker’s productivity since they’ll have to continually use one of their hands to hold a device while working or they’ll have to stop from working to handle their items. Wearable technology eliminates the need to hold a gadget since workers can simply wear them on their bodies without limiting their productivity.
Using wearable technology lets workers acquire work-related information and give orders remotely while being able to stay focused on work. People also call wearables smart accessories since they can be used to track a worker’s health, location, and other information.
Handling smart accessories require only a limited movement of the hands, letting workers have a seamless workflow.
Wearables can also improve safety in the workplace, helping prevent accidents by being able to track the employees’ movements.
A company’s customers can also benefit from having wearables as those equipped with sensors and cloud-accessibility since workers can use them to check the quality of the products they’re manufacturing. By checking on an electrical component, for example, workers can see if the product is the item is welded at the right temperature or not, which could result in more inferior quality.
Some examples of wearable technology include both Augmented and Virtual Reality devices that can aid employees in both work and training. The AR can display essential information regarding the status of their machines and outputs while the VR can immerse a worker in the working environment even from afar.
Additive or 3D Manufacturing
One more manufacturing tech trend is additive manufacturing which uses 3D printers to manufacture items, effectively limiting human involvement to the project. 3D printers make the production of parts quicker and cheaper while reducing the chances of human error that can affect the quality of the product.
Traditional manufacturing lines are focused on producing items en masse, keeping companies from producing limited numbers of prototypes. 3D printers allow companies to create a limited number of prototypes that would keep their costs in manufacturing low.
Increased Factory Automation
The development of technology eventually allows companies to automate their manufacturing processes. Automated solutions like 3D printers, bending machines, and laser cutters can optimize the company’s workflow by eliminating human error.
Automated machines may require human intervention to maintain them, but the entire manufacturing process would only be dependent on the machines themselves.
Integrating artificial intelligence to automated solutions would further limit human intervention and allow a factory to continuously produce items 24 hours a day, something that humans can’t do. Thanks to the workforce shortages present within several factories, the idea of using robots and AI to manufacture items makes it plausible to keep a business from suffering from having a limited workforce. Automating the processes would solve the deficit associated with having a limited number of workers working in a limited timeframe.
The use of artificial intelligence would lead to the emergence of smart factories that rely on technology-driven approaches. Smart factories would need more than just automated solutions; however, as it would require a reliable internet connection beyond the current 4G technology. Smart factories would need 5G technology since it can provide the network characteristics that are vital for the manufacturing business which are its low latency and high-reliability traits. Critical factory applications will suffer if the internet connection is not reliable.
Because 5G technology unifies the different networking capabilities in a factory, leading to the management of the considerable flow of information associated with automated solutions connected through the internet, a smart factory would be nothing without 5G.
Since 5G is still in the development stages, a fully automated smart factory would remain in the development stages.