Latest Manufacturing Trends Businesses Should Incorporate for Enhanced Efficiency

Latest Manufacturing Trends Businesses Should Incorporate for Enhanced Efficiency
As the fourth industrial revolution is on the verge, manufacturing companies have started preparing themselves for the upcoming business model driven by digital technologies. The emergence of disruptive technologies like AI, IoT, Robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, and VR will reshape the production, consumption, and logistic systems.
According to 2019 Manufacturing Trends Report by Microsoft, half of the US manufacturers have embraced automation in one or the other form to streamline their manufacturing process while making it agile and responsive at the same time. While others half are facing the danger of lagging in the competition if they fail to invest in intelligent manufacturing and engineering solutions.
How do you think can you handle the profound shift across the manufacturing industry?
Have you analyzed the width and speed with which these technologies will affect the business models?
How can you achieve production process optimization for aligned outcomes?
No pressure there!
Let's begin by examining the future trends that manufacturing businesses must focus on to sustain growth.
Predictive Maintenance: A proactive environment is essential to optimize the performance of equipment and reduce their rate of deterioration based on systematic engineering data. Studies reveal that firms lose $ 50 billion annually on account of unplanned downtime. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, downtime can be reduced by 50 percent when real-time data is utilized for prediction and prevention.
Rolls Royce is relying on miniature robots called nanobots for detecting errors and repairing the components before breakdown. Thus, it is imperative to deploy technologies like IoT and bots to use performance data for predictive maintenance.
Blockchain: Blockchain has the potential of transforming the manufacturing process. Because of inherent transparency, Blockchain technologies offer a highly secure way of refining the data management process and bringing more visibility and accountability in the supply chains globally. According to Forbes, Blockchain can have a positive impact on the overall manufacturing ecosystem by enabling contract and payment security, asset tracking, and transaction reporting with supply chain partners.
According to a research by IDC, by 2021, 20 percent of these companies will rely on embedded intelligence, using the Internet of Things and the Blockchain to automate processes and increase execution times by up to 25 percent.
AI Revolution: Artificial Intelligence has facilitated industrial automation, thus restructuring manufacturing capabilities. The AI-powered data analytics and algorithms infuse agility in the manufacturing process by making them aware of the emerging faults, deviations, abnormalities, and errors. AI supports the engineering process by capturing and analyzing performance and real-time environmental data from the field.
XaaS: A model-driven by on-demand services and sharing economy, Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) is a service-based model that provides solutions to the companies on subscription rather than the traditional method of licensing. XaaS covers Saas (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) under its ambit. The models allow manufacturers to adopt a service-oriented approach while building relationships with customers for viable growth.
Moving ahead, Manufacturing-as-a-Service is helping manufacturers to leverage the shared network of infrastructure that creates an impressive impact on cost curves, thus helping businesses to improve their bottom line.
Augmented and Virtual Reality: AR and VR offer limitless possibilities to the industry for making manufacturing process efficient through optimal designs and intelligent operations. AR and VR enable the users to have a look at and interact with the virtual world from all angles. The design engineers are relying on AR and VR technologies to create and optimize visual representations of shapes, designs, and colors in advance before prototyping. The production facilities are using AR for simulating the manufacturing process to analyze the overlay of machines and movement of material to remove every possibility of defect.
Robotics: Robots are ruling the heart of manufacturing and engineering systems by delivering efficiency across the production process. The density of robots worldwide is accelerating as they are collaborating with human workers at the workplace, leading to speedy operations with zero errors. Robots are programmable for continuous production on the assembly lines, thus helping firms to stay competitive with cost leadership. It is interesting to note that robots are even contributing to green manufacturing as they don't require climate control or lighting, and create cleaner spaces.
Machine Learning: Machine learning employs AI to enhance the capability of the systems to learn automatically without human intervention and improve from experience without being overtly programmed. According to Forbes, Machine Learning has a strong bearing on every phase of production. Right from improving product quality, manufacture scheduling, downtime prevention, predictive maintenance, quality testing, defect detection, sustainable and predictive analytics, Machine Learning is everywhere. Machine Learning has become a pioneer in transforming the manufacturing process.
As evident, these cutting-edge, disruptive technologies are highly impactful in offering a competitive edge to the companies during the fourth industrial revolution.

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