While the manufacturing industry lags behind the curve in the race to digitalize, it might just be the sector with the most to gain by adopting new technologies.
Traditionally, manufacturers are known for taking a cautious approach to digitalization, preferring to stick with tested business models and equipment proven to work. This makes sense, given the enormous investment most have made in their existing supply chain management systems, work process automation, and delivery schedule logistics.
The world of IoT technology, however, is raising the performance bar globally and traditional manufacturers now need to consider that their existing systems have become a liability in a sector where products are built cheaper, faster, and better.
If you’re wondering exactly what IoT brings to the table, we’ve outlined a few of the ways this exciting technology can benefit manufacturers.
3D printer technology facilitates the quick production of prototypes and products suited to additive manufacturing. Using 3D printers, parts can be run in minutes without weeks of setup time or supply deliveries. This technology is now being used in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and consumer/lifestyle areas.
AI and Asset Performance Management
The key to true production line efficiency is well organized and simplified data. AI, machine learning, and APM solutions commonly work together to collect information, analyze it, and identify where adjustments should be made. The level of precision that these systems operate with provides manufacturers the ability to reduce costs, improve quality, and mitigate unplanned downtime.
Cloud computing allows manufacturers to reduce IT costs and streamline operations. Cloud solutions offer versatility and security with products that are accessible by a wide range of devices and from any location. It is estimated that at least 25% of globally manufactured products currently rely on cloud technology.
Open Process Automation
The Distributed Control Systems that many manufacturers still use can be problematic in the current technology climate. Many are propriety solutions that are customized to fit the needs of a specific production line and are not easy to modify. Open Process Automation offers a next-generation infrastructure that can be easily implemented and adapted for industrial use.
The Internet of Robotic Things is the next step in robotic production. IoRT units will be connected with real-time data that will be used to ensure synchronicity and performance on the factory floor. The IoRT will revolutionize the way manufacturers build products, meet customer needs, and respond to supply chain disruptions.
In summary, the major benefits of IoT technology can be broken down into four specific areas.
IoT systems allow for the capture of data during every stage of the manufacturing process, from the production line to logistics and transportation. This data can be analyzed to identify inefficiencies and new cost reduction opportunities. Inventory can be managed with greater efficiency.
R&D can be accomplished with far greater speed, accuracy, and savings using technology such as 3D printing and augmented reality. Manufacturers can have instant access to behavioral data from users, and production can be streamlined with connected machines capable of sending performance and maintenance data.
The quality of manufacturing can be monitored in detail using high-definition sensors along the entire production line process. Machine learning algorithms can be applied to production data to automatically decipher root causes of defects as well as to predict waste-related issues.
Robots can be placed into work areas where there is a risk to humans, or where the conditions are too uncomfortable to produce flawless work. Sensors located through warehouses and work areas can alert managers to dangerous conditions if they occur.
Would you like to know how new technology solutions can boost your manufacturing business? In our EndPoint Modeling workshops, we guide you through the process of creating your perfect digitalization plan and developing the tools you need to be competitive in the new age of manufacturing.
At the end of our workshop, you will have a full set of functional and non-functional specification documents, along with a full guarantee that your products will be meet all of your design criteria and arrive within your budget.
We invite you to contact us with any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing about your project!