Technology is slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives, allowing us to do things that were mere science fiction ideas only a decade ago. This is no different in the realm of manufacturing. The use of technology in manufacturing has exploded and is allowing factories to work smarter, more efficiently, and at lower costs than ever before. Modern advances are enabling manufacturers to streamline production processes, innovate at a faster pace than ever, cut costs and deliver higher quality products to meet demand. Because of its versatility and ease of use, there are a number of areas within manufacturing where technology is being harnessed.
One of the technological advances include robots that perform assembly and material handling as well as dangerous or repetitive tasks; remote performance monitoring sensors that can track manufacturing cycles and sense possible maintenance issues; and computerized maintenance managements systems, which help reduce the need for on-site personnel.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is another area that is having a tremendous impact on manufacturers. With IoT technology, devices and machinery can “talk” to each other in real time. For example, if a problem arises with a piece of equipment, other devices on the network are informed so that any necessary adjustments can be made immediately. This could mean decreased downtime, less waste and lower costs while keeping overall quality and output high.
Efforts like Coalition for Open Process Automation (COPA) is making technology adoption a lot quicker because legacy process automation was a collection of closed systems that were hard to upgrade and protect from cyberattacks.
For more on this and other examples of technology changing the manufacturing landscape, check out the accompanying resource below.