Manufacturing continues to transform across time, and across industries. With advances in manufacturing technology the landscape of the industry continues to change form, and change what the manufacturing process looks like. Years ago, manufacturing looked like a long line of people performing various tasks and passing along the product to the next segment to complete the next step in the creation process. Today, the labor force and process of manufacturing looks very different. The skills required to perform many processes are advanced. These jobs are not the jobs of our manufacturing predecessors.
Today technology has blossomed forth cloud processes, nanotechnologies, 3D printing, predictive analysis, and collaborative robots. Below each of these areas is explored.
- Nanotechnology – In manufacturing the development of utilizing nanotechnology is knows as nanomanufacturing. This technology increases precision because it is able to manipulate processes on a supermolecular level. This manufacturing process operates in dimensions of one and one hundred nanometers. Today, many processes benefit from nanomanufacturing including electronics, medicine, transportation, and materials.
- Cloud Computing: Employee scheduling in the cloud has made the manufacturing process much more cost effective. Using software to schedule the right employees with the correct skills in the proper places in the process can ensure you are not over staffing for processes, or keeping certain employees in a process for inadequate amounts of time. Manufacturing employee scheduling makes it easier for employees to know which processes they are scheduled for and which facility to report to daily.
- 3D Printing – A great benefit from 3D printing has been a decrease in cost to design and on producing a variety of objects from a number of different materials. Types of 3D printing include SLM, EBM, BJ, MJ, SLS, and FDM.
- Predictive Analytics – Manufacturers are using predictive analytics to assist in improving the quality of their products, and to perform preventative maintenance on machinery or other factory mechanisms. Predictive analytics also helps manufacturers forecast demand for their products. This measure assists in producing more with fewer resources.
- Cybersecurity – Manufacturing companies if not already using the cloud are transitioning to the cloud, and have information such as data analytics stored there. Cybersecurity protects intellectual property, confidential information, product design and more from hackers attacking the industry.
- Collaborative Robots – Although many jobs have been replaced by technology, collaborative robots present an extension of assistance to current employees. These robots can be given commands by the overseeing employee to perform specific actions. They are used in conjunction with employees. The robots take some of the most difficult and minute detailed work and make it more precise. Collaborative robots are more affordable to buy and tend to be easier to operate and maintain.
Using the combination of these 6 new technologies for manufacturing will keep facilities competitive and assist in improving operations. Nanotechnologies, manufacturing operations workforce scheduling in the cloud, 3D printing, predictive analytics, cybersecurity, and collaborative robot technologies will continue to change as time goes on, but they offer some of the most cutting edge developments to keep manufacturing costs down and processes more streamlined.