According to reliable sources, the world has now officially entered the next phase of the fourth industrial revolution. The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry has happened, and there’s no going back to a world without technology. This has had many implications on the production world, mostly positive, but some there are some new complications for managers to face as well. There have been several innovations in recent years in manufacturing and they are now becoming fully integrated into most factories. The challenge has been bringing employees up to speed and having to adapt to a new way of thinking. Here’s how to bring your production line up to date.
There are four main areas of new technology now fully functional in today’s factories. These are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, 3D Printing, Predictive Analytics, and Smart Asset Tracking and Monitoring. These have improved productivity, efficiency, and reliability.
- AI and Robotics
Factory robotic automation of machinery has been around for a long time and the majority of the manufacturing process goes ahead without human intervention. Nowadays more frequently collaborative robots or “cobots” are in place. These actually work with or alongside human workers which helps them to be more productive as well. The advanced technology enables this type of interaction. The breakthrough of AI has allowed robots to be given complex capabilities.
- 3D Printing
3D Printing has sped up productivity to record timings and manufacturing has never been so quick and flawless. The tooling process is no longer slowing down the production line. In order to improve accuracy and speed in your factory trying work with a rapid tooling company such as https://www.rapidpsi.com/rapid-tooling/ to really accelerate your manufacturing.
- Predictive Analytics
Use the power of statistical techniques, data mining, machine learning and predictive modelling to help you make future predictions and solve otherwise unknown anomalies. Big data is becoming a strategic manufacturing tool. Data analytics software helps you to understand productivity and economical data. This is the future of making big changes and seeing them in action. There are plenty of analytical tools and apps.
- Smart Asset Tracking and Monitoring
Another timesaver, smart asset software is part of an inventory management solution which allows you to have full control of your assets. This technology ensures accountability and transparency on the location of the assets in real-time.
The greatest challenge to factory owners after having implemented this new technology is the technical skills gap among workers. The advances in technology have caused a shift towards certain skills such as data science and cybersecurity. A digital skillset is required to fully understand the new manufacturing process. In order to bring staff up to date more personalized training sessions are in order. Employees need to be trained in specific digital skills. The mindset of management also needs to follow suit. There needs to be a long term strategy in place for the impact of the new technology and companies need to make sure they are ready.