When production is efficient, life is good. When the four Ms of operation – manpower, materials, machinery, and method – are intact and things are humming, your customers get your product and your brand enjoys its good reputation. However, there are lots of things that can slow or stop production. Everything from supply chain interruptions to long lead times to quality issues can slow the manufacturing process. On the other hand, there are new technologies available that can transform your production system, increasing efficiency and your production capabilities.
1. 3-D Printing
Also called additive manufacturing, 3-D printing is fast, innovative and versatile. The process involves creating products based on a 3-D digital model. One dynamic element of this kind of production is that materials are quickly added layer by layer, exactly the same every time. 3-D printers can produce a trommel screen, a swiss army knife, toys and loads of other products.
Metals, carbon fibers, plastics, powders, resins and graphite are a few of the materials that 3-D printers can work with and transform into products. 3-D printers are cost-effective because they only use the precise amount of materials needed for the product, with minimal waste. Some 3-D production applications include:
- Surgical tools
- Custom-made prosthetics
- Patient-specific surgical models
- Shoe designs
- Musical Instruments
Nanotechnology is the realm in which science and engineering operate in the tiniest spaces with precision. It is applied in the design and production of structures, materials, systems and devices that occur at dimensions of the nanometre scale. Nanotechnology is often employed in the production of electronics parts because it facilitates the manufacture of tiny electronics.
Research shows that it can be highly effective in manufacturing and that it will soon be highly utilized in the production industry. Currently, nanotechnology is used to create:
- More dynamic high-end tires with embedded polymer nanocomposites
- Stable and effective lubricants used in industrial applications
- Transdermal patches
- Solar panels
- Food products and packaging
- Carbon nanotube body armor
Including robot technology in your production cycle will almost certainly boost production. Robots streamline the assembly workflow because they operate with speed and precision. They decrease production times while improving quality. In short, robotics was created, among other reasons, to be the perfect personnel, capable of performing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thereby maximizing production potential.
Safety is another benefit of employing robotics on the factory floor because they operate with total efficiency, never becoming distracted or making a mistake. Robotics has also been utilized to tackle dangerous jobs, such as cleaning hazardous materials off of machinery parts. Over time, they have become more collaborative and mobile. Robots have been used in the following production roles:
- Collaborative assembly
4. Cloud Computing
This technology applies to virtually all aspects of the manufacturing process. One of the most helpful elements of cloud computing is its ability to resolve issues in real-time. Effectively, all of the data involved in the manufacturing process, from the gathering of raw materials to the assembly line to how consumers use the products, is available at all times.
Cloud computing systems are easier and faster to roll out than other systems, which makes it easier for manufacturers to customize and scale according to how things develop. It helps manufacturers to access other critical 21st-century technologies, like 3-D printing, IoT, an order management system, high-performance computing and robotics.
Cloud computing acts like a giant brain for the production realm, consistently integrating new technologies and constantly evaluating data coming in from the different aspects of the production process. It helps to take much of the guesswork out of solving manufacturing issues, necessarily reducing downtime, improving quality and tightening the different aspects of production.
5. Augmented Reality
One benefit of this technology is that it can be used to help new workers quickly get trained, informed and protected. Augmented reality is used often in collaboration with human workers, allowing them to work on increasingly complicated projects because it provides them with so much data.
Production is critical to your business’s success. Incorporating new technologies can ensure that your manufacturing department is running with maximum efficiency.