Manufacturing Trends Making Waves Right Now
The manufacturing industry is changing rapidly. From the materials used to create products to how those materials are produced, everything has changed within the last decade. There are more ways to make a product than ever before, and these new technologies are being incorporated throughout the entire supply chain. Here are a few of the trends in manufacturing to know and keep an eye on.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is becoming easier for small companies without huge budgets or on-site facilities. This type of manufacturing uses layered materials that build up to create a 3D object from virtual blueprints.
Sometimes there can be separation issues during the 3D printing process that require a worker to manually fix the error. This issue, along with others, have caused some debate about the benefits of plastic injection over 3D printing, which has fewer errors and allows manufacturers to create parts that vary in size.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer system capable of performing tasks that normally require human intelligence. AI can be used to make manufacturing more efficient by automating some of the production processes.
Automation and Robotics
Automation and robotics are two key trends in manufacturing to know. Robotic automation has already found its way into many industries, but it’s still a new concept for many people. In manufacturing, robots are programmed to do repetitive tasks more accurately and more quickly than humans could do them. Robots don’t tire out like humans do, so they can keep up their pace much longer than we could. They also don’t need breaks like we would need to take.
Advanced Materials and Bioplastics
Bioplastics are made from renewable materials such as plants, algae, and bacteria. They are sustainable alternatives to the petroleum-based plastics that are traditionally produced in large volumes. This is because they’re biodegradable and recyclable, and some may even be compostable. Bioplastics can be used to make a wide range of products, including packaging, textiles, electronics, and automotive parts.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that overlays virtual information in the real world. It uses a camera to superimpose computer-generated images over what you see in front of you. It can be used for industrial applications such as manufacturing plants, where real-time visualizations are needed while workers perform tasks such as assembly, repair, or maintenance. Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR) immerses you in a virtual world by blocking out all other stimuli except those generated by computer graphics. In this realm, everything is computer generated.
Both of these technologies have been gaining popularity recently, but despite their potential benefits, it may be some time before many manufacturers adopt them.
There are more ways to create products than ever before. Businesses are always looking for ways to save money while improving their quality control measures. In some cases, technology is improving our manufacturing abilities, while in other cases, technology is replacing the need for humans together.
There’s no doubt that manufacturers are facing some major changes. The world has become more interconnected, and as consumers become more demanding, we must find new ways to meet their needs.