Technology has changed the whole face of Modern Manufacturing. Earlier, if you wanted to have a competitive advantage in Manufacturing, you had to make severe changes to the latest production machines. And that was impossible for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) since investment would be too significant for them. But now, all manufacturing setups are equipped with the latest technology feature, which enables even SMEs to carry out high-end operations.
Different types of technology are used in all businesses to streamline operations, procedures, and even safety. While differing in creativity and use, these technologies produce cost savings and encourage efficiency. Given the significance of digital enterprise and the workplace for the expansion of MSME businesses, they must have a sound strategy to enable a truly digital workplace.
Why is technology valuable for Manufacturing in the modern market?
Manufacturing technologies will lower labour costs, boost productivity, and cut waste, making future factories more affordable and environmentally benign. Furthermore, better quality control will guarantee top-notch goods that will benefit both buyers and manufacturers.
Below are 8 ways Technology adaptation will improve modern manufacturing:
1. Digital Manufacturing
Digital Manufacturing is a process that uses digital technology, such as computer-aided design (CAD), to control the entire manufacturing process. The goal is to automate processes and increase efficiency. Digital Manufacturing can be used in all industries, including automotive and aerospace.
In the past, many manufacturing companies used physical measuring devices to measure parts and materials as they were being produced. Today, companies use digital tools to improve product quality and reduce costs. This has allowed manufacturers to stay competitive against international competitors.
The main reason is that digital Manufacturing allows companies to create products tailored to a customer’s specific needs, which means they can sell more products and make more money.
The more specific a product is, the more likely it is to sell. If you’re selling a custom-made product, targeting customers who have already expressed interest in your product is easier, which means more sales!
2. Reduced Costs
The benefits of technology for modern Manufacturing are many, but one that stands out is the ability to reduce costs.
One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers is reducing costs while still maintaining quality and improving efficiency. Technology can help with this by reducing waste and increasing productivity.
For example, suppose a company has a large amount of excess inventory. In that case, it may be able to reduce costs by using technology to track inventory more effectively and ensure that they have just enough on hand to meet demand. This kind of tracking can also help prevent overstocking or understocking, which can be costly for businesses in both cases!
A few Ways Technology can Help Lower Manufacturing Costs are:
by reducing errors and the number of returned products
by reducing energy costs with green technology, motion sensor switches, and less maintenance and energy cost of equipment.
Decreasing manpower via automation
Lean manufacturing by reducing batch sizes reduces the time components spend waiting to be worked on.
3. Improved Systems
Imagine you’re an engineer trying to design a new piece of machinery for your plant. You might have to manually model every part of it in 3D, which would be time-consuming and prone to errors. But with modern software, you could just create a model in minutes and then tweak it until you got exactly what you wanted.
And once the machine is built, it’ll be easier than ever to run tests on it and analyze the data from those tests. You will no longer have to wait hours or even days for your results: with modern software, you can get them in minutes or seconds!
Drones can have a significant influence on a business, cutting the time it takes to verify the equipment. Drones not only offer a quick and complete inspection but also do away with the risk to one’s health and safety associated with having to scale gantries at heights of up to 150 feet.
Human error can cost a lot in any industrial organisation. That’s where 3D printing can come into play. Although the technology is still in its infancy, digital printing has the potential to significantly change its practicalities. This technology is anticipated to have a profound impact on almost every industry as it alters how manufacturers conduct their operations and has an impact on material costs, the conventional assembly line, and product pricing methods.
4. Increased Production
From the increased use of automation to drones and artificial intelligence, technology has changed how we build products and run our factories.
One of the biggest impacts is an increase in production. Technology enables manufacturers to make more products faster than ever, maximising profits by selling more items simultaneously. This also lets them easily meet the demand for high-demand products without raising prices or limiting sales volume due to limited production capacity.
Another benefit of using technology in Manufacturing is that it reduces waste in many ways: from using fewer raw materials to cutting down on excess packaging because robots don’t need as much packaging as humans do! This saves money on raw materials and reduces the amount of waste going into landfills, benefiting everyone involved.
5. Improved Quality
Product manufacturing underwent dramatic changes in the past few decades. The old-fashioned assembly line—where workers performed a single task on each part of a product, eventually leading to the finished product—has been replaced by automated machines that can do multiple tasks simultaneously.
This increased efficiency makes it possible for manufacturers to make products of consistently high quality, but it also requires a significant investment in technology.
For these machines to work effectively, they need access to information about how they’re supposed to work and where they concern other machines or people on the assembly line. Modern Manufacturing relies heavily on automation and robotics to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Quality control procedures can’t be too reliable because defective parts could be created in a batch and evade detection after the inspections. This is why manufacturers will continue to generate better products thanks to embedded metrology’s constant improvement. This simple, time-saving technique is much more precise and involves less human intervention.
One of the most disruptive technologies in use today is the Internet of Things (IoT). Manufacturing facilities driven by IoT produce smart packaging, operational intelligence, and shop floor visibility.
The use of machine learning (ML) can create new business opportunities and enormous cost savings. Machine learning is being used by manufacturers to address particular business issues.
Even the design of new products can be produced using machine learning. Large product data sets are gathered and analysed using ML technology, which also provides information on consumer demand and commercial potential. These types of information assist companies in developing superior products that follow current consumer trends
Other technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) allow machines to make decisions independently without human intervention. This allows manufacturers to optimize their operations while maintaining control over quality assurance and safety standards (and even reducing costs related to those areas).
6. Helps with Collaboration and Information Sharing
Collaborative technologies enable team members to collaborate with product and process information in an online, shared session, improving the visualisation and transmission of the information required to support the product definition life-cycle. These technologies frequently combine conferencing techniques with tools like email, view and markup, and digital mockup to create shared working sessions. People can concurrently examine and assess product information while exchanging concepts and solutions.
Through the use of collaboration technologies, people in various locations can communicate, solve issues, come to consensus, and work together in other ways online. This is faster and more effective than phone calls, faxes, or letters, and it is more cost-effective and efficient than meeting in person.
In order to enhance production procedures, plant layouts, tooling, and allow earlier influence on product designs, manufacturing engineers can also use collaborative tools during planning. Collaboration can be used to review designs and change orders with the design team, communicate with tool designers, confirm tool assembly and operation, review manufacturing process plans and factory layouts, talk with suppliers about manufacturing issues, and coordinate tooling across various locations.
Collaboration technology can help manufacturers in
Improving New Product Introduction
Supporting Remote Maintenance Repair and Operations
Enhancing Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) Efforts
The benefits of collaboration technology are no longer limited to those who work in offices. This technology is mature and ready to help support manufacturing efforts. From improving NPI processes, to MRO responses collaboration technology is an essential resource for improving productivity and ideation, streamlining operations, and supporting more uptime. With tremendous benefits on the table, the time is now for manufacturers to embrace collaboration technology.
7. Materials and Production can be more Sustainable
The modern market is all about sustainability. Consumers are increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of the products they buy, and many companies are responding by increasing their focus on materials and products that are more sustainable.
Because of this consumer interest, the manufacturing industry has naturally begun to shift its focus away from purely profit-driven pursuits to ones that have a positive social impact. People can see it in many different forms:
For example, many new factories use wind or solar energy for electricity. Because we have so much excess energy from these sources, we no longer need to burn fossil fuels like coal or gasoline! This means we’re not contributing to global warming as much as before.
And then there are new technologies like 3D printing (or additive Manufacturing), which allow us to create things out of plastic or metal without having to cut down trees first! So instead of cutting down forests for paper, we can just print out our documents on demand with no waste!
8. Better Data Collection
Traditionally, manufacturing companies have used manual data collection techniques to understand how their products are in use and how customers perceive them. This time-consuming process requires a lot of human effort and leaves the door open for error. With modern technology, these companies can now collect this data in real-time and better understand why their products are performing well or poorly.
This insight can help manufacturers increase sales while improving their products based on customer feedback.
For example, if you have a manufacturing company that produces electronic devices, you must collect data from your assembly line. This data can be instrumental for various purposes. First, it lets you know how much time each worker spends on each task. This way, you can easily calculate how many workers you need to produce your product and their productivity rate per hour.
7 ways How Technology is aiding innovation in Manufacturing
Innovation allows companies to stay ahead of the curve.
In the manufacturing industry, innovation is key to success. The manufacturing sector is shifting from traditional manufacturing to automation and artificial intelligence. These changes mean that manufacturers must adapt their business models to remain competitive.
Innovation also helps manufacturers become more efficient and save money by streamlining processes and reducing waste. By using new technology, manufacturers can eliminate unnecessary steps and make their products more affordable for consumers.
Analytics is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to make better decisions.
Analytics is important in Manufacturing because it allows you to make smarter decisions about how you produce your products. You can use analytics to determine how much money you’re spending on raw materials and how much time it takes for each employee to complete a task.
You can also use analytics to determine which aspects of your business work well for your customers and which aren’t. If a certain part of your product isn’t selling well, you’ll know that you need to change something about it before releasing it into production again.
Finally, analytics can help you understand how your customers feel about your products or services. This helps you improve customer service and increase sales.
For example: if you’re making a product that you know will be purchased by a certain demographic at a certain time of year (like Valentine’s Day), then you can use your analytics data to predict demand and ensure that you have enough inventory on hand to meet the demand.
2. Supply chain management and traceability
Supply chain management is a system that allows manufacturers to track their products as they move through the supply chain and ensure that they reach their destinations without missing any steps along the way. This can be done by using RFID tags on each product, which are then read by scanners along the way as it moves from one location to another. The information from these scanners can be used to ensure that nothing has been misplaced or forgotten and that all products have safely reached their destinations.
In addition, innovation in Manufacturing can also be used to improve the traceability of products by making them easier for consumers to find when they want them. For consumers to find something online, there need to be keywords associated with that product so that it will come up when someone searches for it. When this repeatedly happens over time, it can help a company build a loyal customer base who knows exactly what they’re looking for when they shop online—and who will keep coming back again and again!
For example, a manufacturer might make sure that every item has been inspected thoroughly before packaging it up; they might also test each item before shipping it out so they can make sure everything works properly.
Quicker adaptation to changes in the market, customer and industry trends, and technology will help your business stay competitive.
3. Innovation can help with reducing time-to-market
Imagine you’re a company that makes cars. You have a new model coming out next year, but the engine has a problem. You could spend months working on the engine or—if you were creative—try to find a way to get the same performance from a different engine.
That’s exactly what Ford did in 1963 when it launched the 1964 Mustang: they used an existing engine instead of developing one specifically for their new car. They had originally planned on using their new V8 engine in their vehicle but ran into some problems with development and decided to use their existing 289 cubic inch V8 instead (which could have 290 horsepower).
4. Faster-than-ever production times
Speed is the name of the game in Manufacturing. The faster you can produce something, the more profit you can make. And it’s not just about getting a product out to market faster; it’s about scaling up production as needed and getting more products for your customers.
Innovation helps manufacturers achieve these goals by making the manufacturing process more efficient and streamlined. It also allows for better quality control, which means you can get your product out there faster with less chance of errors or defects.
5. Collaborative robots are making a difference
Collaborative robots, or cobots, have been around for a few years, but their adoption rate has been slow. The main reason is that cobots are still fairly new, and some people still don’t know what they are. So to help you understand the benefits of cobots, let’s look at how they’re changing Manufacturing.
The biggest benefit of collaborative robots is that they’re flexible and safe to work with. They can be programmed to work alongside humans in various ways—from simple tasks like handing off tools and picking up parts to more complex ones like sorting products or helping with assembly lines. This makes it easy for manufacturers to adopt collaborative robots into their operations without retraining employees on how to use them.
Collaborative robots also allow companies to reduce costs and improve production efficiency by increasing productivity across different departments. They allow workers who used to spend time on repetitive tasks (like packing boxes) more time for other jobs (like training new hires).
6. AI is becoming more accessible
The manufacturing industry is one of the economy’s most important and influential sectors. It is responsible for creating many products used in everyday life, such as cars and washing machines.
Currently, many companies use AI to help them streamline their production processes, but they have found that these systems often do not work well in real-world situations. This means that they do not always produce a high-quality product, which could have a negative impact on their bottom line if they sell their goods at a low price point.
The future of Manufacturing is bright!
7. Big data is driving the industry
It’s not just information; it’s real-time information. And it’s driving innovation in Manufacturing.
The more data you have, the easier it is to make decisions and plan for the future. Big data allows manufacturers to understand their customers better, which helps them design more intuitively designed products for the user’s needs.
This means less time spent developing products and more time spent perfecting them. It also helps manufacturers plan their workflows more effectively, so they can get customer feedback faster and make improvements based on that feedback before launching new products or services into the marketplace.
8. Augmented reality and virtual reality are making training more effective
Training is a key part of any successful manufacturing business. It’s essential to have a well-trained workforce, and it’s even better when you can do it in an engaging way that helps employees retain the information they’re learning.
Augmented reality and virtual reality make training more effective by allowing employees to interact with their environment through new technologies. This allows them to practice skills in a way that feels more real than traditional methods like lectures or textbook reading. It also helps them visualize complex processes and understand how they work more intuitively than before.
This is great news for businesses concerned about employee retention—it’s hard enough to get people excited about learning something new without making them feel like they’re being bombarded with a bunch of information all the time!
How to Streamline Manufacturing Operations using Digital Technology
Manufacturing operations have been around for decades, but they are far from perfect. There is still a lot of room for improvement in manufacturing operations, which companies are constantly working on. Although there are many ways to streamline manufacturing operations, digital technology is one of the best ways to do so.
Digital technology has helped tremendously in streamlining manufacturing operations. Digital tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are ushering in a new era of automation. For example, if you’re trying to make sure that your employees are doing their jobs correctly, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use AI technology when doing so. This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly without any problems whatsoever!
1. Paperless inventory management
Paperless inventory management is an effective way to streamline manufacturing operations. This approach can be beneficial for various reasons, including reducing paper waste and improving accuracy.
Paperless inventory management systems are barcoding or RFID (radio frequency identification) systems. They use barcodes or radio frequencies to track items in real-time. Using this technology, companies can reduce the time it takes to locate items, which helps them stay organized and efficient while also reducing errors caused by misplacing inventory items or incorrectly recording information about them.
2. Real-time machine monitoring
Real-time machine monitoring is a way to keep track of what’s happening with your manufacturing operations. It’s also a way to ensure that your equipment is always in good working order and lets you know when problems are before they cause major damage.
Real-time machine monitoring is a great way to streamline your operations because it allows you to quickly identify and solve problems as they occur. You can also use real-time machine monitoring to determine the most efficient ways of performing certain tasks and then automate them to make them easier on employees. This will help increase productivity and reduce turnover rates in the long run.
3. Remote Tracking of Assets
Remote tracking of assets is a great way to improve efficiency in your manufacturing operations.
If you’re using a manual system for asset tracking, you’re likely wasting an incredible amount of time on things like manually filling out paperwork, manually tracking down and organizing equipment, and manually setting up routes.
With digital technology, you can eliminate these time-wasting tasks and focus on getting the job done.
4. Automated data collection and analytics
Automated data collection and analytics are two of the most important ways to help your company streamline manufacturing operations. A digital solution allows you to collect, analyze and act on data in real-time.
The most common way is through a mobile application that collects data from field devices such as assembly lines and even mobile devices such as tablets or phones. This technology can be used for inventory management, logistics, and quality assurance.
With the help of lightweight analytics software, you can get instant insights into your business processes anytime. This helps you make better decisions regarding improving the efficiency of operations to achieve higher production levels with fewer resources required.
5. Supply chain management
Supply chain management is managing an organization’s materials and information throughout its supply chain. It includes all the activities involved in planning, sourcing, producing, delivering, and selling products or services to meet customer demand.
Supply chain management aims to create a smooth flow of goods and services from point A to point B while reducing cost and waste along the way.
Technology has become an important part of supply chain management because it allows companies to monitor their inventory more easily and accurately than they could before. With the help of software programs like SAP EWM (Enterprise Warehouse Management), companies can manage their entire supply chain from end to end with just one program instead of having many different tools for each step along the way.
6. Warehouse management
Warehouse management systems (WMS) are computer-based software programs designed to help improve efficiency in warehousing operations. They automate many of the tasks involved with warehouse management, including picking orders, replenishment, and inventory control. Some WMS systems include RFID tagging, which allows them to track goods as they move throughout the warehouse using radio waves from wireless tags attached to pallets or packages.
A well-designed WMS system will help you save time, money, and effort by keeping track of exactly where every item on every pallet is at any given time. This prevents employees from mistakenly picking items from the wrong location, which could lead to delays in shipping customers’ orders out of the warehouse.
Automation is the process of reducing human involvement in a manufacturing process. This can be done through robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other digital technologies.
Automation can help companies reduce costs and increase productivity by replacing human labor with automated machines. It also allows for more efficient operations by eliminating human error and improving quality control. Automation has been around for decades, but it is only recently that the technology has become affordable enough for smaller companies to implement at low costs.
The benefits of automation are clear: it helps companies cut costs and improve quality control while making their operations more efficient and flexible. However, some potential drawbacks exist, including increased risk exposure due to increased reliance on technology and a skills shortage among workers trained in digital technologies like robotics or artificial intelligence (AI).
8. Cloud technology
Cloud technology is a big part of the future of Manufacturing, and it’s already here.
The cloud allows manufacturers to streamline their operations and reduce costs by centralizing data and resources in one place rather than having them spread out on individual machines. With cloud-based systems, companies can create virtual machines that allow employees to access data and services from anywhere they have an internet connection.
Cloud technology is also great for small businesses because it allows them to share information with a large team without worrying about server space or bandwidth limitations.
9. Data analysis
Data analysis is turning large amounts of raw data into information that can be used to improve business processes. The manufacturing industry is one of the first industries to embrace data analytics because it has a lot of data to analyze to make better decisions.
Manufacturing companies use data analytics to identify and improve inefficient or costly processes, reduce waste, and enhance customer satisfaction.
Some examples of how manufacturers are using data analytics include:
-Determining trends in customer demand
-Identifying bottlenecks in production processes
-Tracking production costs by product type or location
10. Collaborative robots
Collaborative robots (or cobots) can help streamline your manufacturing operations.
Cobots work alongside humans in the most collaborative way possible, and they’re great at helping businesses automate their processes.
In a factory setting, cobots can perform repetitive tasks that are dangerous to humans. For example, the risk of injury is high if you have an assembly line that involves handling heavy parts or tools. A cobot programmed to do this repetitive task could be much safer than an employee doing it manually.
11. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity, enabling these objects to connect and exchange data. This allows such things to be controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure and communication protocols.
The IoT allows you to control your entire home… For example, you can program your thermostat to automatically adjust its temperature when you leave for work and then again when you arrive home. The same concept applies to lights in your home or office and any other object that can be accessed via the internet.
Data drives the future of smart Manufacturing.
Data is a crucial component of the future of smart Manufacturing. The ability to collect, analyze, and act on data in real time allows manufacturers to improve their operations, increase efficiency, and enhance their products. With the help of advanced technologies like the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, manufacturers can collect a vast amount of data from their operations and use it to make better decisions and optimize their processes.
One of the key benefits of using data in smart Manufacturing is the ability to automate and streamline operations. By analyzing data from sensors, machines, and other sources, manufacturers can identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in their processes and develop solutions to improve them. This can help reduce waste and increase productivity, ultimately leading to cost savings and improved profitability.
In addition, data can help manufacturers improve the quality of their products by providing insights into how they are performing. For example, sensors can help manufacturing companies identify defects or variations in their products before they ship them to customers. This can help reduce the number of defective products and improve customer satisfaction.
Overall, using data in smart Manufacturing is essential for driving innovation and improving the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry. As the availability and sophistication of data-driven technologies continue to grow, the potential for data to transform the manufacturing sector will only increase.
The future of Manufacturing
Manufacturing is a field that has been under pressure lately. A combination of factors, including the rise of automation and increasing demand for smaller batches, has led to a shortage of skilled manufacturing workers. As a result, manufacturers are looking for ways to streamline their operations and optimize their workforce.
One way they’re doing this? Using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These tools help companies track the progress of their products from beginning to end, which improves efficiency by reducing the time it takes for workers to perform tasks like quality control checks or inventory management. They also allow them to make more accurate predictions about how long each step will take—which means less wasted time waiting for parts delivery or setup errors.
These tools are also helpful when hiring new employees: AI makes it easier for businesses to find qualified applicants by scanning through resumes automatically and identifying candidates with relevant experience in different areas of Manufacturing (such as welding or assembly).
For example: if you’re an automotive manufacturer specializing in body panels, having robots handle the assembly process allows your employees to focus on more important things like customer service or quality control. This means that when customers walk into your showroom, they’ll get a better experience than if your employees were spending all day assembling parts by hand!
Use Case 1:
Nucor Steel is a manufacturer of steel products and has years of experience producing high-quality steel through continuous improvement.
Inventory and purchasing reconciliations were essential to Nucor’s success, but they were not standardized or easily accessible to employees. The lack of a defined process created confusion and inconsistency among staff members. o Teams’ inability to reconcile their accounts using spreadsheets resulted in a snowball effect of problems.
To address this issue, they created a standardized reconciliation template with the help of tech that any team member at any facility can use. The template includes step-by-step instructions and provides tools for recording transaction data. It also includes a place for employees to record their initials when completing the process. By using this system, we helped Nucor streamline its inventory and purchasing reconciliations while also reducing confusion among staff members.
Use Case 2:
Cherry Bekaert LLP is a cutting-edge firewood supplier. They needed to fully upgrade their shopfloor technology to keep up with the demands of their customers.
Cherry Bekaert had been using a legacy system for many years, but it could no longer keep up with the company’s demand for more efficient delivery systems. While the company had started using newer technology in some of its processes, there were still many areas where they were using outdated systems.
The main issue was that Cherry Bekaert’s old systems didn’t allow them to easily integrate new technologies into their existing process flow. So instead of choosing one solution over another, they decided to work with an integrator who could build a custom solution that met all their requirements and worked seamlessly with their existing systems.
The result was a system that allowed them to process orders more quickly and efficiently than ever before—without impacting their existing workflow or processes.