The manufacturing industry has come a long way since the first factory was established back in the 18th century, whether that be new forms of hose couplings or innovative means of packaging. Today, thanks to the latest innovations in technology and machinery, manufacturers have an abundance of resources at their disposal that can make every stage of production run smoother and faster while lowering costs and improving safety on the factory floor. Here are five of the most significant innovations that are helping today’s manufacturers to produce better products more efficiently than ever before.
4 Latest Innovations in the Manufacturing Industry
1) 3D Printing
3D printing, or additive manufacturing as it is formally known, has been around for quite some time now. However, only recently have we seen a surge of interest from both businesses and consumers looking to get involved with 3D printing. Additive manufacturing is a rapidly growing technology that could dramatically change how parts are made. One of its most exciting aspects is its ability to create highly customised pieces for individual customers. For example, instead of making 10s or 100s of a certain product and storing them, additive manufacturing makes just one product at a time—and only what you need. In some cases, you can send an .stl file to a company who will make it from scratch for you; although it’s more likely that your parts will be made with existing material (like metal or plastic) by laser-adding layer after layer until your product is finished. Best of all? It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to use. The manufacturing industry is not only interested in bringing 3D printing technology into their own production lines but are also looking at ways to make it more user-friendly for everyday consumers.
2) Materials Innovation
Like any other industry, the manufacturing industry also has many layers and a variety of aspects to it that make it successful, from raw materials and production, to shipping and marketing. That means there’s a lot that can go wrong—or be done more efficiently. In recent years, manufacturers have invested a lot of time and money into new ways to speed up or scale back processes: Some of these innovations allow you to make lighter products (which saves on shipping costs) while others help you detect quality issues before they affect your customers. Regardless of your company’s size or area of focus, there are innovative ways to streamline production. As long as you put in the research, you will be able to find ways to improve the manufacturing for your own company and you might even make it more cost-effective.
The world of automation has taken over many aspects of businesses. This is mainly because it has allowed so many businesses to scale and grow alongside large businesses. Thus, it is not a surprise that automation is a critical component of manufacturing success. Automation decreases worker error, ensures consistent production quality, and makes it possible to produce products at an incredibly fast rate. Yet, automation can be difficult to implement and is often expensive — which is why many manufacturers have not incorporated automation into their existing workflows. However, there are plenty of ways companies can bring automation into their manufacturing processes without breaking their budgets or disrupting current processes. When you ask around the industry, you will be sure to find recommendations of automation tools that will work for you.
Although it’s not necessarily a groundbreaking innovation, robots are making waves in manufacturing. Not only do they have a more-than-decent track record of manufacturing new parts and tools, but they can also be programmed to perform even more complicated functions than ever before. The future looks bright for robots because demand for smart tech is only increasing. The manufacturing industry has long relied on human workers and up until recently there has been little talk of automation or replacing humans with technology (human workers don’t always play nice with automated machines). But now that advanced artificial intelligence has become far less expensive, faster, and better at mimicking human behaviour; there is no question that robotics will be integrated into many facets of business over time.
The manufacturing industry will continue to grow, as it is one of the most essential industries in the world, but also because it is the core of many, if not all, businesses that we use in our day to day life. Therefore, it is essential for manufacturing businesses to stay updated in the latest innovations and try their best to implement them at the earliest.