8 Key Technologies Used in the Manufacturing Industry

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the manufacturing scenes? Technology is constantly evolving, and there is more going on than just robots replacing the traditional workforce. So, what technology is currently used in the manufacturing industry, and why and how is it essential in today's new digital age?

1. Robotics or Artificial Intelligence

If you've ever wondered what robots are in the production field, they are artificial beings built for work that cut back the human workforce. However, they are greatly beneficial to the manufacturing industry regarding maintenance and quality control.

Four types of robots can be employed. First, articulated robots. These robots are versatile and can adapt to any working conditions, such as being mounted onto a ceiling. They can assemble, weld, package, inspect, remove material, tend to other machines, and more.

SCARA robots are next on the list and are the cheaper alternative. They are lightweight, fast, and good for cramped spaces. Thirdly, Delta robots, which are also known as "spider robots." If mounted, they are known for their swift movements in high-speed workplaces. Lastly, Cartesian robots. These are more difficult to work with intricate tasks, but they can still speed up the overall system. How amazing is that?

Artificial intelligence has a range of benefits, including a less risk to workers and prevention of injury on the job, faster decision-making due to a quick data processor, around-the-clock production, and reduced costs since they don't need to be paid a salary. Industries they are used in include healthcare, logistics, insurance, and finance. Looking to experiment using robots at home? Check out the best Raspberry Pi robotics projects.

2. Big Data

If you've never heard of Big Data, it's a collection of data that is too big for any software to process. It is essential in manufacturing, sort of like a legal cheat sheet for companies to help them analyze the market.

Companies will collect valuable information from machines to benefit their production phases, assist with their overall performance, predict machines failing, cut back costs, increase product quality, improve customer service, help with research, and more. If you're a business owner and want a leg up against your competitors, this is a good way to do it.

3. Augmented Reality

AR allows you to see the real world and the virtual one simultaneously, but how does this help the manufacturing industry in terms of productivity? With augmented reality, factory workers can be trained easily using workplace equipment, and employees can mentor others remotely in real-time. This is great for people who work from home.

What other types of remote assistance can come into play? For example, markers or text annotations, technology can be maintained using a screen, and products can be developed by using 3D models. Imagine how much the industrial manufacturing industry can benefit from this technology. If you'd like to experience this firsthand in the comfort of your home, try out some iPhone apps to redesign your home using augmented reality.

4. Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a robot that operates on a smaller scale and builds things molecule by molecule, helping with the design and materials of small electronics and devices. It's also a very useful space for car manufacturing such as motor oil!

Other items that can be printed include electric textiles, gas sensors, plastic solar panels, and even nanoID devices to create products for the medical industry. The scope of products that can be created is endless.

5. 3D Printing

3D printing produces objects of any kind by using an image as a reference. This new form of printing became mainstream in 2005, but there have been a lot of improvements since then, especially when assisting the consumer goods, defense, medical and aerospace fields.

How is 3D printing beneficial in the manufacturing space? It helps to reinforce supply chains, boost production and get products to the people quicker, saving a lot of money and time. If you're an aspiring business owner, a powerful 3D printer would be perfect for helping create your prototype. Eager to learn more? Here are some types of 3D printing you didn't know existed.

6. Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing? This is access to data on demand, and industries can store software and important information using the internet. With everything being online now, this is the most secure option for keeping track of all business-related operations.

The process for industries is more reliable than the average computer. Cloud computing saves money as there's no need to pay for servers, is easy to scale, offers competitor advantages, doesn't need to be updated as often, and is easy for the entire company to manage.

Overall, this helps to increase productivity and deliver products quickly. If you work in the networking space and are looking for better places to store data, here are some tools you should use as a Google cloud expert.

7. Internet of Things

With the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), things can be better managed in the manufacturing industry, which benefits customers receiving products and the experience of workers.

The IoT assists with quality control and stopping faulty products, managing inventory and logistics, predicting if machines need fixing, keeping track of employees and their health metrics as they work, and creating smarter packaging, including sensors or QR codes.

8. 5G

5G is not only used for connecting our phones to a powerful internet source, but the manufacturing spaces use this too. Since it can monitor in real-time, 5G improves connectivity in the workplace as well as the collection of useful data.

5G assists with automation of tasks with sensors, remote monitoring of production, maintenance of machines, augmented reality troubleshooting, fast 3D printing, automated portable robots or those who pack and unpack, camera-based analytics, location of inventory, and so much more. 5G is very much a step forward in revolutionary for the manufacturing industry, as it keeps a large portion of things running smoothly.

The New Digital Age of Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has changed significantly over the years, and this is only becoming more and more beneficial to the workforce and the consumer.

If you're interested in working in this industry, you'll be happy knowing there's a lot of progressive technology to create a safe, secure and productive environment. Furthermore, artificial intelligence is one of many things that will play a part in shaping the future of technology.