January 19, 2021
Have you ever wondered how top manufacturing powerhouses like Tesla and Apple manage to consistently beat the competition and stay on top of the game? They leverage innovative manufacturing processes that improve operational efficiency, enable advanced demand forecasting, reduce material wastage, improve product quality, and more.
Instead of bothering their employees with repetitive, mundane tasks, they use advanced tools and technologies to automate various manufacturing processes. This enables their teams to focus on worthy functions like creating, innovating, resolving issues, and improving customer satisfaction. And the reward? They enhance productivity, increase competitiveness, increase return on investment, and seamlessly create ideas to improve or develop new products.
Are you curious to learn about the trendiest manufacturing technologies that will revolutionize product manufacturing for your company? Keep scrolling, and we'll lay your curiosity to rest.
A GlobalData research forecasts that the 3D industry's worth will grow to $20 billion by 2025, having registered a $7 billion growth in 2017 and $3 billion in 2013. This is a clear indication that 3D is a promising technology that will continue to fuel product manufacturing, especially when integrated with the awe-inspiring evolutions currently underway.
In particular, software advances and the introduction of new materials like bioprinting and digital anatomy continue to streamline prototyping and the ability to visualize future mass production. Massive success stories have already been registered in the manufacturing landscape, with 3D printing revolutionizing product building in the following sectors:
Manufacturers use autonomous manufacturing technology to seamlessly integrate multi-part assembly of various materials, including printed metal and plastic parts. The auto industry is one of the leading beneficiaries of this innovation. Thanks to 3D printing, automakers can build wear-resistant parts, print metals into plastic parts, add surface treatments, and even manufacture conductors or motors from plastic parts.
Did you know that as a customer, you can customize objects you'd like to order from a company using simplified web-based software and submit your order as a 3D printed unique design? For instance, in the electronics industry, Nokia is one of the pioneers of this advancement. The company has created a program that allows its customers to customize their mobile cases and have them 3D printed.
Coding Digital Information into a Surface Texture
Instead of relying on serial numbers, which may be rigid and challenging to interpret, 3D printing presents manufacturers with the opportunity to encode digital information into the surface. This enables manufacturers to have bigger data payloads that people and machines can easily interpret based on shape or orientation.
VR is revolutionizing the manufacturing game in ways beyond our imagination. Previously deemed a preserve for large manufacturers and the gaming industry, virtual reality is fast getting to the grassroots.
Before we drill deeper, let's start by understanding what VR entails. The Virtual Reality Society, VRS defines virtual reality as a computerized simulation of a 3D environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical manner using special electronic devices. By immersing somebody in the virtual world, they get the power to perform specific actions or manipulate objects.
So the big question is, how can VR revolutionize product building through innovative manufacturing processes? Here's how:
Workplace safety in the manufacturing space is a significant concern, often leading to severe injuries or fatalities in worst-case scenarios. But VR is fast-changing the narrative. Plant managers use the innovation to simulate the production process and converge line configurations, identifying potentially dangerous areas. Manufacturers are also using VR to immerse employees into future workstations and evaluate their behavior to determine if a task is feasible or proficient. Ford, the automotive giant, uses VR and has registered a reduction in production line injury rate by a whopping 70%.
Manufacturers are developing better-quality products by leveraging VR to make near-perfect product assemblies. Using goggles infused with cameras, depth sensors, and motion sensors, engineers can effortlessly convert mere images into tangible products. The VR goggles enable them to "see" the actual parts and instructions on how to assemble each component appropriately.
In the automobile industry, manufacturing is banking on VR to test their vehicles in the early phases of the development process. This wards off the cost and time of remodeling the designs, safety features, or tolerances.
Advancing Big Data & Predictive Maintenance Technology
Did you know that 70% of captured manufacturing data usually goes unused due to roadblocks experienced in variables like temperature, time, and pressure? That's a great deal considering that industrial machines generate billions of data points that, among other things, signal the possibility of future or partial machine failure. This is where big data and predictive maintenance chips in.
With the practical evaluation of machines' captured data points, manufacturers can point out and solve issues before they come to light, a process known as predictive maintenance, PM. Aside from extending machine lifetimes, PM saves manufacturers millions of dollars they'd have to incur in costly repairs.
But this doesn't just happen from the blues, does it? For manufacturers to revolutionize product building, they must be willing to invest in predictive analytics. That is, teaching machines to analyze multiple data points and permutations to be able to output prediction models.
After capturing thousands of data models (which takes months or even years), machines develop the ability to predict future failures accurately and consistently. And the reward for that is that manufacturers get to improve operational efficiency and lower costs resulting from machine failures.
Robotics and automation are the future of smart manufacturing. With orders for robots surging by the day, it's clear that more and more industries, established or start-ups, are embracing the technology into their manufacturing processes.
Automation and robotics have already taken a sweep in automobile manufacturing. Industry giants like Tesla and BMW rely on robotics and automation to improve operational efficiency and cut costs. Robots are also being used to perform assembly tasks that are deemed dangerous for humans.
For instance, BMW relies on robots to improve workplace safety for their employees and produce top-quality car components. Other automotive manufacturers also use robotics to perform high-speed assembly of smaller parts like motors and pumps.
As manufacturers continue to integrate revolutionary technologies into their manufacturing processes, consumers can expect nothing short of better-quality products. These innovative manufacturing trends will reduce labor costs, reduce waste and loss, and improve efficiency, making the industry more feasible and environmentally friendly.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us today at Launchpad and see how we can help you reach your business goals through innovative manufacturing technologies.