Technology surrounds us. This has been the case ever since humankind began using tools. However, it is more obvious in today’s world than ever before. Almost every action done by humans interacts with technology in some way. Business is one of the places where tech is having the biggest impact. Major advances are leading to breakthrough ways of creating, selling, and shipping products. Here are six technologies changing manufacturing for the better.
People make mistakes and have needs, such as sick days and vacation time. Robots make almost no mistakes and can work all day, every day. There’s really no comparison when you look at the efficiency of robots and humans in an assembly line. No one can stop the automation of repetitive processes.
On average, one robot replaces 5.6 workers. While this is unfortunate for the people who lose their jobs, it’s indicative of the efficiency of automation. This is a trend that will only continue in the manufacturing realm.
For a long time, 3D printing was more of a cool concept than a totally viable manufacturing process. This, however, is all changing. Essentially, 3D printing lets people create a fully formed, typically plastic, object from an input blueprint.
New, more effective methods of 3D printing are making it more appealing to mass production. As 3D printing continues to get faster, cheaper, and better, more companies will be able to utilize it.
ERP (enterprise resource planning) software is completely changing the way companies organize their operations. You are likely familiar with the term ERP if you have some experience in the business world. This is basically a system for integrating all crucial business processes into one user-friendly platform. This includes data collection, accounting, human resources, payroll, and other protocols.
Cloud ERP takes this a step further by putting all that ERP information onto the cloud. First, this means that all your company’s information is safe and backed up. Even in the event of a catastrophic error, your key data will be accessible anywhere with an Internet connection. Manufacturing ERP can do some pretty incredible things—such as collect real-time data. This allows companies to create more efficient workflows, and identify areas of concern.
AI, or artificial intelligence, is making huge waves in the manufacturing world. In fact, it’s revolutionizing the entire industry. AI is a virtual learning process that can make intelligent decisions without constant human oversight. These systems are helping identify more efficient ways of running businesses. As the quality of artificial intelligence continues to improve, manufacturers will reap the benefits.
Many people use artificial intelligence and machine learning as if they’re the same. In reality, there’s a slight distinction to be made between the two. Machine Learning is a specific application of artificial intelligence that deals with data. The concept of machine learning is that computers should be able to teach themselves if they are granted access to huge data pools. This has been shown to be successful in many places. Data collected through cloud ERP can be integrated with machine learning to output highly relevant insights.
The Internet of Things
Everyone in the business world has something to say about the Internet of Things. This is the concept that all machines will be interconnected, and able to communicate. Manufacturing is one of the areas that will benefit the most from the proliferation of the Internet of Things. Entire factories will essentially be able to run themselves. The machines will even be able to self-diagnose issues, and shut down or fix themselves accordingly. The future is bright for the Internet of Things in manufacturing.
The manufacturing process has been slowly improving since its origins in the industrial revolution. In a short time, we have created incredibly powerful technologies to improve this space. These six innovations will forever change manufacturing for the better.