WebRTC Expert Feature

February 12, 2019

Technology and Manufacturing, the Perfect Partnership


Technology seems to be evolving in almost every type of business. When it evolves companies are more efficient and productive. Changes such as fast food outlets using mobile phone apps, sites such as Casinopedia.org changing the face of betting, or small businesses that use content management systems, it’s all evolving.

Technology also is making dramatic changes in the manufacturing world in almost every conceivable area.

The Science of Measurement

Something you may not have considered: how we measure has a large direct impact on manufacturing. “Metrology” is the science of measurement and examines units of measurement and its common understanding. At the roots of modern metrology is our contemporary decimal-based “Metric system”. While not particularly glamorous, this almost universal measurement system is what allows common understanding between various places and industries. Modern trade relies on this common unit in order to facilitate fair trade and to make sure there is common understanding between the various sizes and quality of goods.

3D Printing

A 3D printer is simply a machine that can make almost any item. As opposed to producing something traditionally, by either hand-crafting the item or creating a highly specialised production line, this machine is flexible enough to make almost any item. Not only this but it can do so faster and more efficiently than the other methods mentioned. You can even add another layer to these machines to further improve efficiency: automation. Automated printers do not need anyone to keep an eye on them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Autonomous working allows the printer to work alone all day, every day.

As this technology is adopted into manufacturing it will mean no more complex and specific production lines, less mistakes, more efficiency and less man-power required. An invention such as this one can transform industries and ultimately change the costs of materials and how every manufacturer does business.

Bodysuits

While the invention of bodysuits may seem quite far-fetched and somewhat science fiction-like, there are plans to manufacture bodysuits that would help workforces. A world-renowned car manufacturer stated in 2017 that their line workers would use an “Exoskeleton” to help them. This exoskeleton would support the workers while they put together parts while working on machinery and components that are above their heads.

While exoskeletons are, for the most part still science fiction, the users of the first prototypes available have given positive feedback, claiming they are less sore after working a shift and were able to work more quickly.

Drones

Drones continue to take over the world of entertainment, video creation and the factory floor. The same world-renowned manufacturer who uses exoskeletons has also started to use drones in one of its engine plants. Drones are used to help workers inspect 150-feet high production equipment, saving as much as 12 hours each time. What’s more is that health and safety risks associated with this QA check are greatly reduced. Drones are also being used to take stills and video footage that allows the company to compare findings over a specific time period. This enables them to monitor changes and/or patterns.

The use of drones shouldn’t be understated however. Drones are becoming cheaper and more mainstream and even the most amateur film makers can use drones for shots that would have been impossible previously without the use of a helicopter.

This article barely scratches the surface of some of these up and coming technologies. What is certain is that they will transform our manufacturing forever. While each type of technology is unique in application and implementation, what they all have in common is a dramatic increase in the efficiency of the manufacturing, with a smaller workforce and cheaper goods. In essence, these are all components of automation.

Concluding, automation is going to change our manufacturing landscape forever. We will see unprecedented growth, cheaper goods and jobs in industries that don’t even exist yet. The next ten years of manufacturing are going to be fascinating to watch.


 



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