July 3, 2019
Manufacturers are under constant pressure to increase productivity and efficiency while operating more flexibly. Customers want traditional standards of quality to be met but with contemporary innovations to improve design. It’s a hard act to deliver, which is why manufacturers are embracing and developing technologies to help them compete and meet the expectations of their clients.
There’s a revolutionary shift in manufacturing as new tools are developed to help businesses differentiate their products and work more efficiently. Here are five innovative tools that manufacturers are now using:
1. 3D Printing
3D printing has caught the attention of the world. It has the potential for users to create completely unique products to their exact specifications. While this is fantastic news for the individual user, for the manufacturer, it has the capacity to render some production lines as useless.
However, rather than accepting defeat, manufacturers are using 3D printers for new opportunities in research and development and factory maintenance. Spares for machines have never been so accessible, and all that is needed is plastic welding equipment for repairs.
2. Smart Glasses
Who would have thought that a pair of glasses could transform how manufacturing employees work? This is precisely what has happened, however. Workers are connected to company servers and have access to critical data in real time and to each other. It means that processes are not only streamlined and standardized but are responsive too. Smart glasses have given flexibility to operations that do not impact on the consistency of the work delivered. Efficiency, accuracy, and productivity are all benefited by smart glasses.
Manufacturing has used sensors for years, but the way that they are being used has increased and advanced. Managers and supervisors now have access to more detailed data than ever before, which means that information about an equipment’s condition and location can be used to drive operational improvements. Using wireless technology, the sensors can be added to existing machinery so that real-time data can be processed through algorithms to predict when machinery failures or when maintenance needs to be carried out.
Nanotechnologies have essentially reinvented the wheel; they’ve taken the physical properties that manufacturers exploit in production and expand their performance. Nanotechnology operates at an incredibly small scale, but this means that the materials that are developed are used to improve strength, durability, conductivity, flexibility, and resistance. These nanotechnologies are resistant to environmental conditions, including moisture, temperature, and corrosion.
Automated storage and retrieval system was a highly futuristic concept that has become a reality. Manufacturers have to supply products on-demand, in real-time and most certainly without-delay products, and to do this AS/RS has been one advanced technology that modern manufacturers have embraced. These distribution and management systems have helped to create a low-cost, efficient, and reliable method for shipping and delivery.
Innovations in manufacturing and logistics technology will continue to create a significant impact on the supply chain of every product that is made, bought, and sold. Investing in new technologies is critical for business success.
James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.