How Technology is Changing the Manufacturing Process

    manufacturing

    The manufacturing process has come a long way in recent years. From handmade production to fully automated and AI-powered assembly, the manufacturing process has been through a lot of changes and it’s all thanks to modern technology and its advancements. 

    Nowadays, manufacturing looks like something that came straight out of a science fiction novel, especially with all the advanced robotics and automated workflows. This high level of automation has created some concerns. 

    People are worried that they might lose their jobs to robots and that concern is not without merit. Of course, people are still needed in the manufacturing process. After all, someone has to program the machines and keep an eye on them so that they don’t malfunction and start making a mess. 

    However, the number of people is, in fact, gradually decreasing in the manufacturing process as technology continues to evolve. With that in mind, let’s have a look at how technology is changing the manufacturing process. 

    3D printing

    3d printing

    The manufacturing process has always been difficult and challenging. One would think that there’s a way to make everything a lot more seamless and there is. Just a few years ago, no one would’ve imagined that you could create something complex enough to require manufacturing in your own home. 

    Yet, today, we have 3D printers. The concept of 3D printing as a means for rapid prototyping has existed since the early 80s. Dr Hideo Kodama from Japan was the first to patent such a device back in 1981 but due to a lack of funding, his invention never kicked off. 

    Fast forward two decades and the Kickstarter platform has seen numerous 3D-printing related projects since 2009. The most notable use of 3D-printed manufacturing today can be seen in medicine where prosthetic limbs, artificial organs and blood vessels are being produced and used almost on a daily basis. 

    Advancements in technology

    Technology means much more than just machinery being used in the manufacturing process. When we talk about changes, it encompasses everything involved in the process itself. That includes production strategies, supply chain organization, delivery, transportation and much more. 

    These changes, adjustments and disruptions have not only affected entire industries but also startups and small businesses. Today, we can see efficient manufacturing software for small business needs that can redefine how SMBs approach manufacturing and the entire supply chain revolving around it. 

    These technological solutions are based on real-time data, advanced analytics and other technological innovations designed to help companies improve their overall efficiency, productivity and performance, as well as designed to help them reduce operational costs, minimize risks and maximize value. 

    Mass automation

    automation

    Automation has taken over the manufacturing process. What it took people hours to complete can now be finished within minutes. Automation and mechanization of workflows with robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence) have helped businesses immensely. Automation is not only present on the assembly line but also throughout the entire supply chain. 

    You can automate orders, deliveries, packaging, labeling, storing, warehousing and so on. The purpose behind automation is to speed up the delivery, reduce the chances of human error and ultimately, reduce the overall expenses. 

    As for robotics, it’s only natural that they’ll be more present in the manufacturing processes. After all, robots don’t need to take a break, aside from regular maintenance. 

    They also don’t need to get paid nor do they need sick leave and vacations. The ever-growing consumer demand for products has forced manufacturers to leverage more robotics than humans in order to meet the demand and remain relevant, as well as competitive on the market. 

    This trend has raised concerns regarding job losses. As mentioned before, humans are still needed in the manufacturing process. The solution might present itself in moving the human workforce to research and development areas, as well as other sectors where machines aren’t as effective as humans. 

    The age of information 

    Technology has certainly revolutionized the manufacturing process and their supply chains. However, it’s important to note that technology has also gone a step further in forcing changes. The way we approach manufacturing today has also changed.

    New systems and new solutions are being developed regularly and it’s all based on information that’s flowing about. In fact, manufacturers today, leverage online information and real-time data to create more informed decisions. Strategic decision making is now essential in the manufacturing processes. 

    Take lean manufacturing, for example. The carmakers of Toyota have developed this concept to reduce waste, improve the efficiency of manufacturing and deliver maximum value to the consumers. Gathering information about the market, consumers and even competitors is a baseline for manufacturing. 

    After all, you want to deliver the best quality products while reducing expenses and waste as much as possible. The main reason is that the market has become increasingly competitive and crowded, thus forcing the manufacturers to compete more fiercely in order to remain at the top of their game. 

     

    Like everything else affected by technology, the manufacturing process has undergone vast changes. What’s more, these changes aren’t finite and will continue to evolve alongside technology. While some regard technology as beneficial, there are those that are more concerned and skeptical about it. Nevertheless, no one can deny the fact that technology has brought some serious improvements and advancements in the field of manufacturing. 

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    • Scarlet is a passionate writer and regular contributor at highstylife.com interested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves traveling, you could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit some exotic destinations. She would tell you that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.

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