The manufacturing industry is among the first to adapt to new tech and trends. After all, machines fill factories and there is a need for constant updates and monitoring. Technological changes can significantly impact productivity, quality control, and employee safety.
Different innovations grace the manufacturing landscape each year, paving the way for better, faster, more efficient, and often more sustainable production methods. Here are some of the technologies that have been particularly disruptive in recent years:
Virtual reality (VR) superimposes computer-generated images in the real world. However, VR creates an entirely immersive experience that allows users to interact with virtual objects as if they were real. VR has potential applications in every stage of the manufacturing process, from design and testing to training and marketing.
According to statistics, one in three manufacturers in the U.Sstarted adopting VR tech in their operations in 2018. This technology can help with product design, employee training, and marketing.
Virtual Reality gloves are one example of VR tech currently making waves in the manufacturing landscape. These gloves track the user’s hand movements and translate them into digital commands. This allows for a more hands-on interaction with virtual objects, which can be very useful in design and testing processes.
These high-tech gloves make use of force feedback technology, which enables users to actually feel the density and size of the virtual objects they are working on. This allows manufacturing brands to create prototypes and test products without developing actual physical prototypes, saving time and money.
If you think your business will greatly benefit from investing in VR gloves, be sure to find a reliable supplier whom many brands already trust. Find smart gloves that your employees can quickly wear, is adjustable in size, and has haptic technology. Know that many reputable companies supplying these virtual reality training gloves also offer special pilot programs so you can try out their products first before making a decision.
Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) you can control remotely. They initially became famous for military and law enforcement purposes but have since found their way into various other industries, including manufacturing.
You can use drones in manufacturing for a variety of tasks. For instance, you can use them for aerial photography to get a bird’s eye view of your factory floor. You can also use them to inspect equipment and products, as well as transport materials and products within the facility.
Drones have sensors and cameras that allow them to capture high-quality images and videos. This data can be beneficial for monitoring and improving factory operations. In fact, many manufacturing brands are already using drones to collect data and make their processes more efficient.
3D printing is creating three-dimensional solid things from a digital file using 3D printing technology. The advantages of 3D printing for manufacturing are manifold. Perhaps the most amazing perk is allowing for a shorter production cycle because designers can iterate and test prototypes quickly and cheaply.
Let’s say you want to create a new product. With 3D printing, you can create and test a prototype without investing in the tooling and machinery required to mass-produce the product. This can save you lots of time and money in the long run.
3D printing can also create highly complex geometries that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional methods. This allows manufacturing brands to develop products with unique designs and functionality.
By using 3D printing in your manufacturing business, you get to enjoy all these benefits and more. So if you’re not using this technology yet, now would be a good time to start investigating how you can incorporate it into your operations.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings— connected to the internet and each other. In manufacturing, IoT can help track assets and connect machines so that they can share data and optimize production processes.
IoT can help you increase transparency and visibility in your factory operations. For instance, you can track the location of assets in real-time, which can help you prevent downtime due to lost or misplaced equipment. You can also use data collected by IoT devices to improve preventive maintenance schedules.
Sensors attached to machines can collect data about how you use those machines and send that data to a central database. You can then analyze this data to identify inefficiencies and optimize production processes accordingly.
You can also use the IoT to track inventory levels and automatically reorder materials when stocks are low. This allows you to avoid production delays caused by insufficient raw materials.
Some manufacturing businesses are also using IoT-enabled robots to automate tasks. These robots can work alongside human workers to boost efficiency and productivity.
The IoT presents a lot of opportunities for manufacturing brands. If you’re not using IoT in your business yet, now would be a good time to start investigating how you can incorporate it into your operations.
Technology is always evolving, and manufacturing brands must keep up with the latest trends to stay competitive. The above technologies are just some ways manufacturing brands change how they operate. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends, manufacturers can keep their businesses running smoothly and efficiently while reducing costs.