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. We now have technology like additive manufacturing, computerized maintenance systems, digital twins, automation integration and artificial intelligence, all making the manufacturing process easier, if used correctly.
Additive manufacturing – more commonly known as 3-D printing – has a variety of applications in the world of manufacturing. As it becomes increasingly affordable, factory managers are using it in their production cycles to produce high quality components, while keeping costs down. The ability of 3-D printing’s customization is one-of-a-kind. Another example are digital twins. Digital twins harness IoT technology and are another way that manufacturers can optimize performance and reduce their costs. A digital twin, as the name implies, is a virtual representation of an actual object that receives data in real time from the object. This data allows you to virtually monitor, say, a piece of manufacturing equipment or an entire production line. Digital twins are being used increasingly to predict maintenance schedules and possible repairs as well as to experiment with changes to a line and review what the impact may be.
For more on the technologies overhauling the world of manufacturing, check out the infographic below!