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Manufacturing Technology

5 Trends Revolutionizing Manufacturing Technology

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Overview

If there is one sector that has constantly been churning out innovations, it's the Manufacturing industry. Engineers, experts and innovators are rarely satisfied with the standard of technology - hey, we're not complaining one bit! They are always on the move to improve current processes, build more reliable tools and refine existing production strategies.

Look, skilled workers and hand-held machinery were cool but we would never have created automobiles or railways or even packaged food without the constant improvements in the Manufacturing industry. Imagine a world without M&Ms or train journeys or literally anything that’s made on an assembly line!

Unbelievable leaps are being made to optimize Manufacturing processes. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Advanced Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies are being standardized within the industry to help manufacturers push conventional standards to improve existing processes and products. To stay ahead of the game in this era of constantly increasing competition, you should be aware of the keyways in which the Manufacturing industry is expected to transform in the coming years.

Keeping that in mind, this article introduces you to the key trends expected to take over the Manufacturing industry in 2021. Internet of Things, Additive Manufacturing, Exoskeletons – you’ll find them all in here!
TechDogs-Don't Get Stuck In The Stone Age!-"5 Trends Revolutionizing Manufacturing Technology"
Wilmaaaaaa…  

That ring a bell? If it did, you’re a Flintstones fan like us! Set in the Stone Age and interweaved with the funny struggles of everyday life, if there was one thing the cartoon taught us, it was that the needs of the human civilization go beyond food, clothing and shelter. As a race, we’ve always wanted to ‘build’ things to progress to a better standard of living and that innate need has given rise to the mammoth-sized factories of today.

From ICs (integrated circuits – those green chip thingies with tiny yellow roads) that power smartphones to iron bolts that can hold an entire ship together, Manufacturing units have become irreplaceable - and so is the tech that powers them. There are tons of ways in which technology has already transformed the Manufacturing industry and there seems to be no finish-line in sight.

So, join us as we bring you up-to-speed with some of the technological trends that are revolutionizing the Manufacturing industry in 2021!
 

Trend 1: Internet of Things Will Make Manufacturing Smarter


TechDogs-Trend 1: "Internet of Things" Will Make Manufacturing Smarter-2D Image Of Internet Of Things (iot) Showing It's Contribution - IoT Refers To A Network Of Devices, Sensors And Software That Exchange Information Over The Internet With Other Connected Devices
If you have seen our work before, you know we #LoveIoT! Internet of Things is one of those globally recognized celebrities (think Elon Musk) that everybody just knows, including the folks of the Manufacturing industry. Its celebrity status continues to be at the top year after year owing to its adaptability and creativity — and this year is no different.

In simple words, IoT refers to a network of devices, sensors and software that exchange information over the Internet with other connected devices. In the Manufacturing industry, IoT augments intelligent machines in factories with networked sensors. This allows manufacturers to make calculated, strategic decisions based on real-time data. #ThatsTheStuffOfTheFuture

According to research by the MPI Group, smart devices and embedded intelligence are currently used in nearly a third of industrial processes. Senior Vice President at Hitachi Solutions America, Michael Strand, states, "IoT (and Predictive Analytics) are having a major impact on Manufacturing, offering exciting new opportunities for connecting operations and transforming business processes. Innovation is driving business growth and technology is enabling manufacturers to evolve with an increasingly digital-first business landscape."

This trend will only grow in the future, so now is the time to put yourself ahead of your competitors!

TechDogs' Opinion: Looking into our crystal ball, we believe that IoT will offer the ability to link and monitor operational elements like never before. The digital connectivity of Manufacturing processes will enable businesses to continually adapt and enhance their operations, based on precise, real-time data. IoT will revolutionize traditional, linear supply chains (boring!) into dynamic, linked value chains that will drive global industrial connectivity, productivity and performance (awesome!).
 

Trend 2: The Love Affair Between Predictive Maintenance And Manufacturing Industry Will Continue


TechDogs-Trend 2: The Love Affair Between "Predictive Maintenance And Manufacturing Industry" Will Continue-2D Tiny Human Characters As Programmers upgrading Operation System Of Computer Isolated-System Updation - Manufacturers Will Use Data Gathered Through IoT Devices To Gain A Better Understanding Of How Systems function and allow Them To Perform Predictive Maintenance
Equipment breakdown is the worst nightmare for anyone running a Manufacturing process.  Believe us, machines breaking down is scarier than the horrifying nun Valak standing behind you – no, we’re not speaking from experience but believe us! A staggering 98 percent of Manufacturing businesses estimate that a single hour of downtime costs them more than $100,000!

As a result, manufacturers must ensure that all their equipment is operating at peak efficiency. Predictive maintenance helps decrease unexpected downtime and prolongs the life of machines.
According to a PwC report, predictive maintenance lowers costs by 12%, boosts uptime by 9% and most significantly, extends the life of aged equipment by 20%.

Manufacturers will use data gathered through IoT devices to gain a better understanding of how systems function and when they might fail, allowing them to perform predictive maintenance. We hope predictive maintenance and the Manufacturing industry continue to live happily ever after!

TechDogs' Opinion: In 2021, predictive maintenance will continue to transform operations, thanks to its real-time alerts and notifications. Apart from predicting failures in machinery, industry experts will seek to use predictive data to better understand machine health and the factors affecting it, which will be used for better machine calibration. This will help Manufacturing equipment last longer, create a safer working environment and save money - and who doesn't want to save money?


Trend 3: Robotic Exoskeletons Will Help Maintain Productivity Amidst The Pandemic 


TechDogs-Trend 3: "Robotic Exoskeletons" Will Help Maintain Productivity Amidst The Pandemic-2D Image Of A Man With Robot Body In VR Headset - "Robotic Exoskeleton" Refers To A Solutions, Including Partial Back-And-Limb Support For repetitive Production-line Activities And More Heavy-duty Systems That Aid In Strength Augmentation
With increasing challenges from labor shortages and COVID-19 social-distancing laws, the Manufacturing industry requires innovative technologies to boost efficiency while maintaining safety. Full-body, powered exoskeletons are an excellent option for many organizations' production lines, shipping and receiving bays, construction sites and other challenging work situations.

Taking back a few steps, what do you know about exoskeletons? No, don’t open a new tab – that's cheating! The word "robotic exoskeleton" refers to a solutions, including partial back-and-limb support for repetitive production-line activities and more heavy-duty systems that aid in strength augmentation.

Exoskeletons' enhanced strength allows a worker to complete a task that takes multiple people, thereby compensating for lost production without risking harm. If expert predictions are believed, robotic exoskeletons are expected to be a part of every Manufacturing company within the next few years. If you perhaps walk into a factory a few years from now, you might come across a real-life Iron man armor, hopefully, less weapon-y.

According to ABI Research, the global market for powered exoskeletons would surpass $11.5 billion by 2030. While partial-body units will account for a fraction of the industry, full-body powered versions are projected to account for a sizable amount of the total industrial exoskeleton market.

TechDogs' Opinion: Manufacturing and ancillary industries will deploy exoskeleton technologies to a wide range of environments and tasks where heavy materials or bulky, irregular objects need to be transported but cannot be done by standard, mechanized lift systems. Robotic exoskeletons will also improve safety for healthy employees, who must compensate with longer shifts during crises. This tech will empower operators to safely and efficiently load and transport heavy elements as well as perform other strenuous tasks. We only hope the exoskeletons look more like Iron Man and less like Robocop!


Trend 4:  3D Printing Will Reduce Time To Market 


TechDogs-Trend 4: "3D Printing" Will Reduce Time To Market -2D Isometric Workspace With 3D Printer And Computer - Additive Manufacturing, Or 3D Printing, Refers A Modern Technique That Uses Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software To Create Components And Products Digitally
Experts predict that the adoption of 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing will increase exponentially in the coming few years. In fact, according to a new report by Lux Research, the tech might even wipe out conventional Manufacturing. Say what!

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D Printing, is a modern technique that uses Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software to create components and products digitally. It is particularly well-suited for producing models, prototypes, molds or product components. It is also very beneficial to the metal fabrication industry, which will affect Manufacturing across domains ranging from aerospace and automotive to civil.

Principal Consultant & President at Wohlers Associates, Terry Wohlers, firmly states – “One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face is the time between design and bringing a product to market. The challenge can be defeated with additive Manufacturing which can be used for prototyping as well as production.”

As per a report by Makerbot, three-fourths of worldwide Manufacturing industries plan to invest in 3D printing in 2021, with half of them projecting a budget of approximately $100,000!

TechDogs’ Opinion: This tech will play a key role in Manufacturing, thanks to the benefits it offers over injection molding, casting, machining and other conventional methods. Inventors will mix 3D Printing with traditional methods to create unique combinations of parts that function better at a cheaper cost and can be made closer to the consumer, while being more sustainable. Who knows, one day you just might be able to 3D print parts for your flying car! #FingersCrossed.


Trend 5: Glocalization Will Be The Way Ahead


TechDogs-Trend 5: The "Glocalization Push" Internet Of Things And Network Connection Icons Concept Worldwide  - "Glocalization" Is A Cute Portmanteau Of The Words 'Globalization' And 'Localization'
In 2020, when most of us had to wait for months for our LEGO sets to be delivered, global businesses saw and grabbed the opportunity to be more local. Forbes examined the Manufacturing technology trends at the beginning of 2021 and named 'glocalization' as a significant trend for the year. Glocalization is a cute portmanteau of the words 'Globalization' and 'Localization.' It's a word that describes a growing form of business that's dispersed internationally while also tailored to fit local demands. The simplest way to understand this would be the difference between The Office (UK) and The Office (US); while both followed a similar story of an obnoxiously narcissistic boss, the American version of The Office made more impact due to its localized, more relatable content. Also, of course, Steve Carell!

Back to the point, to stay competitive, companies are focusing on balancing localized and globalized business choices due to the pandemic's implications on international borders and business travel. According to a study released by the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS) and PwC, companies must regionalize their carbon footprint as well as modify their pricing model for production and sourcing.

TechDogs' Opinion: There will be a heightened push in the next year to find technological solutions that help enhance the efficiency of critical supply chains in localized areas #LocalIsAwesome. More Manufacturing businesses will recognize the benefit of localizing production or material sourcing in 2021, accomplished by placing smaller, more adaptable plants closer to the customers. This removes logistical issues and cuts down on the costs of running a larger facility. Yes, Michael, it means your 'World's Best Boss' mug will reach you even faster!


To Wrap It Up


TechDogs-To Wrap It Up "Manufacturing Production Line" GIF With-2D Elements -  Manufacturing Industry Has And Will Remain The Soul Of Human Progress, With Key Technological Improvements To Help Create sustainable And Environmentally Friendly products
The Manufacturing industry has and will remain the soul of human progress, with key technological improvements helping us create sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Every domain, right from healthcare to aerospace to finance, depend on the Manufacturing industry for their day-to-day operations – and this dependency peaked over the last two years. The Manufacturing industry needs to adapt and the technological trends discussed in the article such as robotic exoskeletons, glocalization, 3D Printing, Predictive Maintenance and IoT will help reshape the global Manufacturing landscape.

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