What Will the Future of Manufacturing Technology Have in Store For Us?by Analytics Insight December 3, 2020
Humanity has been harnessing the power of manufacturing to further its aims and make life on Earth better for centuries, and the process of evolving the way we make things has by no means come to an end.
Here is a look at what the future might bring in this industry and why these changes will benefit businesses and consumers alike.
The internet is making industrial manufacturing services more accessible
Until relatively recently, there was a significant divide between what larger corporations and their smaller-scale counterparts could achieve in terms of manufacturing. Organizations with extensive resources, deep pockets and a skilled, experienced workforce effectively operated on a different plane to everyone else, and it was effectively impossible for consumers to hope to harness these services themselves.
Thanks to the internet, this is all changing, and the barriers between major manufacturers and customers with comparatively minor order requirements are being eroded. For example, small businesses and even individual consumers can make use of a 3D printing service to put their designs into practice without having to splash out on any of the hardware themselves.
This is bringing an exceptional level of accessibility and affordability to manufacturing, with technology knocking down the hurdles which previously stifled individual innovation.
Automation is augmenting existing solutions
Much has been made of the increasing importance of automated machinery and outright robotics in manufacturing, and while it has been claimed that this could result in further reshuffling of the workforce, many experts believe that it is only through collaboration between people and smart equipment that progress will be made.
Cooperation of this kind is not just desirable from an economic perspective, but also from a practical one; humans working alongside robots will be more efficient and quick to implement than making the leap straight to an all-automated approach.
Wearable tech is seamlessly weaving digital systems with reality
Augmented reality (AR) is poised to improve manufacturing in myriad ways, and headsets that blend real world views with software-driven overlays to help workers on the factory floor are just the tip of the iceberg.
All types of wearable tech are being implemented in many contexts, allowing for improvements to productivity and efficiency, as well as to safety. Sensors can keep tabs on the health and wellbeing of employees, as well as monitoring the environments they are in to ensure that they are not exposed to hazards.
High speed connectivity is essential for facilitating a range of services
Fast fixed line networking is already available and widely used in many manufacturing facilities, but the aforementioned era of automation and increased machinery autonomy can only be achieved if wireless connectivity is bolstered.
Thankfully the rollout of 5G mobile technology that is occurring in many countries at the moment will mean that everything from wearable devices donned by workers to remote drones roaming large production facilities will be able to stay connected at ultra-fast speeds, with complete coverage consistency assured.
Many more technological leaps are likely to occur within the world of manufacturing in the coming decades, and it will be exciting to see how these benefit consumers in the long term.