Manufacturing is one of the oldest pillars of economic development that has driven our world for more than a century. Globalization has changed jobs, and automation has brought a new revolution in the skilled workforce in the last few decades. In the 21st century, the manufacturing industry is not slowing down, the way products are being built and delivered is changing how our economies are working for the future.

The revolution in manufacturing we are experiencing today is commonly referred to as Industry 4.0. This new version of engineering is powered by artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart manufacturing. IoT is a game-changer, with predictions of $267 billion dollar investments by 2020. The new manufacturing industry is evolving in five dimensions.

Simulations

Companies are now able to develop and test products & situations in virtual environments; this is with the aim of testing the design and assembly line processes before the creation of the real product. Product simulations help to cut down the production time and ensure that the correct product is manufactured to the client’s request.

There is also an advanced level of augmented reality solutions that allow for remote assistance. People in different locations can troubleshoot a product in live-view using a real-time Augmented Reality glasses. This makes it possible to solve problems with ease and reduce travel costs.

Cloud Computing and Smart Sensors Creating Intelligent Industries

Environments in factories have become advanced, thanks to smart sensors and cloud computing. Data can easily be converted to measured units; machines can communicate with each other to provide performance statistics and provide feedback on devices that are not functioning well, and also shut down devices that are not being used for safety and performance improvements.

Additionally, product quotas can be analyzed and tracked by IoT, control rooms can be consolidated and new models created for predictive maintenance. IoT is in the front seat to ensure that correct information is used to make appropriate decisions.

Cloud computing is used to collect and analyze product line information. Data from customer feedback and virtual reality significantly impacts how R&D is done. This makes the manufacturing plant create products that customers want, delivering them faster and reducing the costs which finally drives innovation. Companies like Keyedinerp and others are tasked with the mandate of ensuring manufacturing plants have intelligent systems.

Advanced Automation

Automation is a crucial aspect of manufacturing industry. Companies that offer cloud ERP manufacturing software ensure that more than 50% of your industry’s manufacturing processes are automated. The level of accuracy and productivity in automation makes human abilities look timid, but the best part of automation is how environments that are unsafe for humans are handled properly by machines. Capabilities like image and voice recognition help humans to interact with machines easily to recreate complex tasks. Even though some jobs are eliminated by robots, it creates new jobs that require skilled workforce.

Printing

3-D printing has revolutionized the process of manufacturing. 3D printers allow you to design parts easily and use fewer materials to create a product. They also reduce waste, and they reduce the time wasted when waiting for shipping of a replacement part. 3D printers have made it easier for mass production of toys and medical devices with ease.

Robotics

The use of smart equipment for data analysis, robotics and augmented & virtual reality are building advanced manufacturing industry. Even though more challenges face this aspect of robotics, the bulk work of robotics is used in work that is regarded as unsafe for humans. This makes robots to complement human workers to increase the production line output.

More people will still be needed to manage the robots, new operation and even in maintenance. The Forrester Research company has estimated in a study that close to 15 million jobs will be available by 2027 in the U.S, because of artificial intelligence and automation. Robots are here to increase manufacturing efficiency. Smart manufacturing will help to reduce operating costs which translates to more profits for companies, new jobs for a healthier workforce and a new era of goods production.

These five tech trends are revolutionary, and many other tech systems are being created to make manufacturing a smart ecosystem. When industries create quality products that are needed in the market, consumers feel important, and they can purchase the items designed for their needs. With the changes Industry, 4.0 is bringing; manufacturing is getting closer to our doorstep.

Photo by Fabian Irsara on Unsplash

I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.