Technological advancements are the primary driving factors for innovation in manufacturing processes. Innovations in either technology or business strategies can help manufacturers create products faster and with less capital. This helps companies become more efficient and competitive in the industry.
With breakthroughs of innovation in almost every industry today, the manufacturing and production industry isn’t far behind. In fact, we’re currently on the verge of the next breakthrough in manufacturing, which will primarily be focused on artificial intelligence, automation, and IoT.
Manufacturing and production processes are constantly changing, adapting to newer technologies to convert to more effective mechanisms. Here are some amazing innovations that are powering the shift to smarter production industries.
1. Virtual Manufacturing
A practical, innovative way to reduce errors in manufacturing processes is to opt for virtual manufacturing. With the help of augmented reality, engineers have been able to design a near-perfect manufacturing process that can be performed digitally.
This program provides a detailed guideline and outcome of any manufacturing process, which helps save error costs and time and additional expenses. Many industries have adopted this program to ensure maximum efficiency. Mainly, auto manufacturing industries like Boeing have shifted to virtual manufacturing techniques to obtain high-precision components.
2. Machine Vision Error Detection
Novel technologies that use artificial intelligence to detect minor defects and errors in manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly popular. This smart technology can find flaws in the circuitry of a machine, which a human would not be able to do.
As a result, the automated programs can help eliminate all defects from products and ensure good quality and timely production. Moreover, innovative smart factories will link all their machines together to work as a system; flaw detection will automatically halt the manufacturing process until proper repairs occur.
3. Industrial Robotics
Researchers in industrial robotics have been trying to develop automated machines to aid in manufacturing processes for a while now. Whether it’s robot workers aiming to assist in repetitive tasks or robotic implements to help reduce workers’ strain, manufacturing processes have been widely benefited by these. Although this innovation has a long way to go, researchers predict that most manufacturing processes will be entirely automated when this field develops more.
Following the above discussion, automation is the future of production sites and warehouses. Robot workers and automated processing make it possible for warehouses to be completely automated. The robots are responsible for the transportation of product batches to the shipping station. From there, the products are prepared for shipping. An example of this technology is Apple’s robot Daisy, tasked with stripping apart discarded iPhones so that their materials can be reused.
5. Machine To Machine Communication
With many companies shifting to automated systems and artificial intelligence-assisted machinery, machine accidents have increased. To prevent any accidents from happening, machine-to-machine communication systems are essential. For this purpose, different types of sensors have been developed that transmit data between automated industrial machines and smart devices to ensure smooth operations.
6. 3D Printing Techniques
3D printing techniques are a gamechanger for the manufacturing industry. Could any of us have imagined making an object out of thin air? It’s entirely possible now, and this process is increasing manufacturing efficiency and improving the structural integrity of the manufactured product. Although 3D printing has been developed for some time now, process modifications improve the product’s final quality. Automated robot arms are used to create a polymer or metal-based material in mid-air.
7. Exoskeletons To Transform Workplace Safety
Full body exoskeleton suits will ensure workers’ safety and increase their strength. It’s a win-win for people in favor of industrial robotics and those in favor of human workers. These suits can help give human workers the added strength and stability needed to perform heavy-lifting tasks.
8. Advanced Materials
Advanced materials are said to be the future of manufacturing industries and will fuel high-end industries. Mainly advanced composites are said to be the building blocks for many applications surrounding the manufacturing process. Therefore, advanced materials will be incorporated into essential process components for a cost-effective and speedy manufacturing process in the coming years.
Nanotechnology consisted of materials from 1 to 100 nanometers and was traditionally used in aerospace and biomedical industries. However, the paradigm has now shifted towards manufacturing lightweight but strong materials for the auto industry, sports and equipment, and personal care items. Moreover, nanocatalyst materials will help accelerate chemical manufacturing processes and will therefore have future applications in healthcare and pharma.
We live in the age of constant innovations and transformations to more efficient systems. Both product and process innovations have been altering the manufacturing process. With the current breakthrough after breakthrough, it’s easy to say that the future of manufacturing has a long way to go, and technological transformations will keep that happening.