Manufacturing industries are utilizing advanced manufacturing capabilities and information technology (IT) throughout the product lifecycle for increased visibility into operations, cost savings, faster production times and the ability to provide excellent customer support.
Automation and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Technologies like Robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are improving automation, allowing companies to improve quality, value, cut down costs or offer new services.
Advanced analytics helps to identify patterns and fundamentals for workflows and processes, such as preventative maintenance. Many Companies are gathering operational data to analyze and leverage valuable information from manufacturing processes to develop their organization and products.
Automated manufacturing execution systems (MES), automatically collects data into existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) structures. An MES is used to track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished goods, providing insights that can help improve plant conditions and product output.
Many companies use ERP software systems such as integrated quality management system (IQMS) that capture the status of all molding machines like uptime, downtime, cavity utilization, and a few other factors. This real-time data, collected by different sensors can give a full picture into manufacturing processes, employee efficiency, and effectiveness of production planning.
IoT can also help to maintain quality by monitoring humidity, ambient temperatures, water and other elements that could harm the quality of parts.
Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing is used for prototyping, tooling, and in some cases, final production also. Factors like secondary processing and lack of availability of appropriate materials are still affecting massive adoption of AM. Despite current limitations, benefits include:
• Time to market: Improved and rapid prototyping make it easier to test concepts, designs, usage of the final product. This reduces with the time taken and ensures a quick sale of the product.
• Manufacturing efficiency: Customized and manufactured fixtures, jigs and mold inserts efficiently improve manufacturing operations.
• Improved designs: 3-D printing enables designs and components which were earlier not possible with traditional manufacturing methods.
• Customized products: Customized surgical tools, implants, and other 3D-printed functional parts could make healthcare professionals’ work more comfortable. 3-D bioprinting is a potentially life-changing technology in which biological materials are printed and then grown in bioreactors to create customized artificial tissues and organs.
5G will deliver new improvements in download speeds, latency reduction and the ability to remotely control a huge stream of devices. Self-driving cars may be sending data to another vehicle, and communicating with traffic lights. Remote surgeries require fast and reliable connectivity like 5G for robotic arms to mimic precisely the same amount pressure applied by the physician with an AI-enabled special glove or to replicate actions of several physicians at once.