Advancements in technology are quickly changing the landscape of virtually every industry, especially that of manufacturing. Modern advances are enabling factory operators to streamline production processes, innovate at a faster pace than ever before, and deliver higher quality products to meet changing demands. Because of the versatility of these technologies, there are a number of areas within manufacturing where the tech is being harnessed.

One example is additive manufacturing – more commonly known as 3-D printing – which has a variety of applications in the world of manufacturing. As it becomes increasingly affordable, factory managers are using it in their production cycles to produce high-quality components, while keeping costs down. The ability of 3-D printing’s customization is one-of-a-kind.

Another area that is having a tremendous impact on manufacturers is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). With IoT tech, machinery and devices can “talk” to each other in real time and adjust accordingly. If a problem arises with a device, other equipment on the network are informed and can react based on the situation. This means decreased downtime, less waste, and lower costs while keeping quality and output high.

IIoT goes hand in hand with artificial intelligence (AI) too. AI can help technicians determine how well a machine is working. The technology is able to predict when a piece of equipment may break down or malfunction. This type of IoT technology is the future of predictive maintenance.

Other technological advances include robots that perform assembly and material handling as well as dangerous or repetitive tasks; remote performance monitoring sensors that can track manufacturing cycles and sense possible maintenance issues; and computerized maintenance management systems, which help reduce the need for on-site personnel. The accompanying resource describes some of the innovative ways that the manufacturing industry is relying on these advances.

About the Author:

Tate Pearson is the Senior Director of Engineering and Technical Support Services. Since joining Advanced Technology Services (ATS) in 2010, Tate has served in several leadership positions to drive consistent operational excellence and growth. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Purdue University along with an MBA from the University of Iowa and is a certified Safety Trained Supervisor.