Today, adding the latest technologies to their manufacturing plant is a necessity for companies, if they want to remain competitive. Naturally, it is an important investment, but most technologies end-up paying for themselves, as they increase revenues. Here are two that have improved the way parts and products are manufactured today.
3D Printing Machines
We employ this name to make it easier for readers to grasp the subject. However, inside the industry, this process is designated as “additive manufacturing.” This technology has revolutionised the way parts are built, by reducing the production time, which lowered the cost. Additive manufacturing solutions are based on a CAD software (computer aided design). That is where the plan of the part is designed, before being transmitted to the 3D printing machine.
The machine places dissolved metal or metal powder, one layer at a time, in order to create the object that has been inserted into its memory. When you observe the process, it looks as if the part is being built from thin air. Additive manufacturing can create complex items in terms of shape. It can also build more than one object at a time. It has only just started to transform the industry and should continue to do so for many years.
This trend has been one of the fastest growing in manufacturing, over the last few years. For example, in 2018 only, it increased by more than 40%. Not surprising, as it solves many problems in the manufacturing sector.
These mobile robots have been put in place to help employees carry out their job more rapidly, efficiently and in complete security, not to replace humans. These robots can be transported from one location to another inside the plant, and given new tasks, according to the tasks at hand. They reduce the waste being produced, which helps companies to become environmentally friendly. Their cost decreases constantly, which enables smaller manufacturers to acquire them, helping them to remain competitive against bigger firms.
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The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has completely changed the way manufacturing plants are managed. It works through smart sensors and cloud connection. It centralises everything through the use of software. Through implanting IoT, managers are able to get a complete vision of what is going on inside their plant, at all time. This knowledge is what makes it possible for them to introduce changes that benefit the whole team and increases efficiency on the production line.
Transportation and logistics in the manufacturing industry have also been completely revised, thanks to IoT.
The arrival of all these technologies has created a real global manufacturing revolution. It has been given a name as well: Industry 4.0, as it is being considered the 4th industrial revolution. We only highlighted a few of the technologies that are now commonly used inside manufacturing plants, but they are the ones that have modified companies the most. We could have also mentioned AI, which has taken on an important role lately inside this industry, and in so many others, as well.