Top Trends 2023 - Manufacturing Technology
Surely you remember how Willy Wonka started a small candy store on Cherry Street with nothing but a small group of people making and selling candies? With time, he transformed that quaint shop into a gigantic chocolate manufacturing empire. His new factory did not rely on a bunch of people (read: Oompa Loompas) for making candies and chocolates. Instead, he developed fascinating technologies and machinery to make sure his manufacturing plant was way ahead of its competitors. Sure, some of the credit goes to Mr. Wonka’s passion and talent for creating the finest candies in the world. However, it would have been impossible for him to succeed without the help of manufacturing technologies.
Not everyone can build a chocolate empire as great as Willy Wonka’s (though we can dream, right?). However, you can develop and innovate the best version of your factory using the latest manufacturing technologies. All you have to do is stay updated and that’s exactly what we are here for!
Read on to learn about the top 5 Manufacturing Technology Trends of 2023!
Every time a new Apple product is launched, people swarm to the stores to buy it. There is a reason why Apple is the biggest electronic gadgets producer in the world and one of the few trillion-dollar businesses on the planet! The company can generate its products in volume to fulfill every consumer’s demand for a new Apple product. The credit goes to their adoption of the relevant manufacturing technologies.
Having the right manufacturing strategy and technology in place has become a necessity, especially if the supply of your products is lagging behind the demand. There is one thing that can help you scale and pick up the pace - following the latest trends in Manufacturing Technology and using them to your advantage.
As you can guess, Manufacturing Technology is about the techniques and strategies you can use to develop a faster and more efficient manufacturing process. This involves improving productivity, quality, process management and every other task that takes place on the manufacturing floor. Last year we talked about 5G, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality as the top trends in manufacturing.
In 2023, no matter how great you have been doing, there will be space for improvement. So, to help you manufacture better, faster and stronger (pun intended!) you need to stay updated with the latest in Manufacturing Technology.
Don’t wait – read on and improve your manufacturing strategies now!
Trend 1: Digital Transformation Will Speed Up Manufacturing
Since we are talking about manufacturing technology, let’s begin with one of the most obvious trends – not just in manufacturing industries but everywhere! Digital transformation is reshaping processes everywhere and that’s a trend that nobody can stop in 2023. Digital transformation will aim to revolutionize manufacturing units to make processes speedier, improve product quality and reduce downtime.
Think of it this way, with the help of digital transformation businesses will be able to phase out old equipment and strategies while introducing digital technologies that enhance all aspects of the manufacturing process. There will be a major impact on the quality of manufacturing, sustainability practices and operational expenses. When it comes to the manufacturing sector, many companies have been increasing investments in digital technologies. Cisco found that around 70% of small businesses are planning to increase their investments in digital transformation. This will enhance manufacturing across various touchpoints, for example, a spike in demand volume can be predicted which will help workers focus on increased efficiency and reducing bottlenecks.
TechDogs’ Opinion: More manufacturing companies will focus on having digital aspects to their manufacturing processes. We expect that digital technologies will enable real-time manufacturing data recording, which will help in consistent and quick analysis along with better decision-making. This will keep manufacturers ahead of their competitors. We also believe that smaller businesses should focus on piece-by-piece deployment and identify whether the change works for them. Fine planning will be needed before digital solutions can be implemented, for both big and small businesses. #NewAgeManufacturingIsDigital
Trend 2: Digital Twinning Will Be In The Spotlight
Have you ever heard about digital twin technology before? It is a virtualization technology that creates a digital or virtual model (called a twin) of a physical product. This virtual product is linked to the physical twin in real-time so users can test and stimulate the digital twin to ensure its quality and behavior are as expected. In 2023, digital twin technology will see higher adoption and will be crucial for manufacturing testing.
Honestly, digital twin technology is a huge step forward for the manufacturing world as it will revolutionize the way we test products. This is the reason why 70% of manufacturers are planning to integrate this technology for better evaluation and simulation in the next three years. Since the linkage of the “twins” depends on smart IoT sensors, integration of IoT will also see an upward trend thanks to digital twin technology. By the end of 2025, 90% of IoT (Internet of Things) platforms will be compatible with digital twin technology.
TechDogs’ Opinion: Although it is in its early stages, we think the most reliable way forward for digital twin technology is through software deployments. Hence, digital twin software will be developed that can make digital twins of prototypes. This means that testing, simulation and modifications can all be done on the virtual twin before the real manufacturing begins. This digital replica will be crucial in testing practices such as adjusting dimensions, changing process conditions, making material changes, etc. as and when required – all digitally. Hence, we believe that this trend will truly revolutionize the whole manufacturing process. #DigitalTwinForTheWin
Trend 3: Internet Of Things (IoT) Will Be A Game Changer
We bet you’ve heard of this one! The Internet of Things, aka IoT, is a network that communicates between devices and cloud systems. For any manufacturing operation, having IoT capabilities is pretty helpful. When it comes to manufacturing, it can provide real-time data streams, predictive analytics and management of manufacturing systems. Although the term Industrial IoT is already in use, in 2023, smaller businesses will invest in IoT to enhance manufacturing capabilities.
The biggest challenge in manufacturing is equipment performance and maintenance. Using smart IoT sensors, manufacturers will be able to track the health and status of their tools, equipment and systems. This will enable better quality control and improved decision-making across the manufacturing process.
The Internet of Things is a technology that will see adoption like wildfire in manufacturing circles. For instance, Tulip is a software that enables users to manage IoT sensors and visualize real-time analytics in the factory. IoT will integrate even with legacy hardware in manufacturing systems to get an overview of the health so you can take action on time.
TechDogs’ Opinion: Having IoT integrations will be essential to manufacturing businesses soon. We believe that this smart technology will help manufacturers get a clear understanding of challenges and bottlenecks, collect data in real time, continuously perform quality checks and monitor the entire manufacturing pipeline from end to end. We expect this will directly improve productivity and efficiency levels while helping manufacturing processes scale. Some businesses are looking to implement IoT as a network of interconnected machines, devices and workers to create a perfect manufacturing environment. #DontIgnoreIoT
Trend 4: Work Safety Will Be A Top Priority
On every factory floor, the major focus is to keep the workers safe. Now that digital and automated systems are becoming the norm, the focus on labor safety and training is increasing. Hence, in the coming years, we will see new technologies that will improve working conditions, improve safety and reduce the risk of hazards in a manufacturing environment.
As manufacturing businesses look to innovate in the workplace, they are realizing that it is also important to invest in technologies that improve working conditions. After all, safer workplaces directly correlate to better effectiveness, productivity and morale. Therefore, more companies are investing to protect manufacturing workers. This includes tech such as wearables that warn when the worker is too close to active machinery. They can also monitor vital signals such as heart rate, blood oxygen levels and even body temperature. This was critical in the manufacturing sector that was operational during the pandemic, as managers could be notified when an employee's temperature increased to critical levels. Investment in workplace safety will increase with the Global Workplace Safety Market size expected to reach $21.3 billion by 2026 at a 10.6% CAGR.
TechDogs’ Opinion: When it comes to safety for manufacturing workers, we expect to see smart solutions being developed soon. There will be a focus on creating a technology-driven environment using wearables and smart helmets. Such devices will keep a track of a worker's health condition and even highlight if the worker is feeling sick or overworked. We also expect to see technologies such as a GPS tracking system that can locate a worker during emergencies. Moreover, automation will look to take over tasks that can potentially be dangerous to workers, helping them stay safe and manage the tasks from a distance. We are sure manufacturers will invest heavily in technologies to eliminate the risk of severe accidents and hazards.
Trend 5: Cobots Will Do The Heavy Lifting
Humans created robots to make things easier, right? In 2023, robots will surely be doing their part in the manufacturing sector. Cobots are doing exactly that! Cobots or collaborative robots are designed to work with humans in factories and perform tasks on assembly lines and other areas. In the coming years, these robots are going to become super handy, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks. In 2023, businesses will explore the idea of using cobots to help their human workers to create an augmented workforce.
It’s always good to have a helping hand when it comes to manufacturing. Companies that do understand that will invest in cobots, as they are easy to deploy and can be personalized based on their business demands. Needless to say, the cobotics industry is growing at a super-fast rate. Between 2017 and 2020, the installation of cobots doubled from 11,000 to 22,000 across the globe. Moreover, the development of cobots is a sign that adoption will grow down the line.
TechDogs’ Opinion: We are sure that when collaborative robots will be used to tackle challenging and repetitive tasks, it will give the workers time to focus on other tasks. Using cobots will boost the overall operational efficiency of the manufacturing processes while reducing human labor involved in menial tasks. Besides, we believe manufacturers will work with vendors to program these robots to work according to their specific demands. This trend will look to increase productivity levels without risking quality in the process. #CobotsAreYourNewFriend
Manufacturing technologies may seem as abstract as a piece of gigantic, automated machinery - but that’s just how Willy Wonka sees it! What’s next for Manufacturing Technology will be in focus this year and manufacturers need to take note. Cobots, digitization of processes, investing in workplace safety and deploying digital twins and IoT sensors will be trending in the manufacturing sector. So, keep an eye on these trends and your business will flourish!
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