Five Technologies that are Redefining Manufacturing

Vishal Pratap Singh | Sunday, 11 July 2021, 18:35 IST

As part of India’s push for domestic manufacturing, the Union government has launched six technology innovation platforms. These platforms will facilitate industry (including OEMs, tier1 tier2 and tier3 companies, and raw material manufacturers), start-ups, domain expert or professionals, Research & Development institutions and academia (colleges and universities), to provide technology solutions, suggestions, expert opinions etc. on issues involving manufacturing technologies. Further, it will facilitate exchange of knowledge with respect to research & development and other technological aspects.

Manufacturing technologies bring unprecedented transformation from big data analytics to advanced robotics to computer vision in warehouses. “Manufacturers are moving away from Industry 4.0 and embracing Industry 5.0 which is all about connecting humans and machines”, says Harsha Kadam, President Industrial Business, Schaeffler India. There are many manufacturers who are already leveraging sophisticated technologies for manufacturing purpose such as the internet of things(IoT), 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) etc. which are helpful in improving operations’ speed, reduce human intervention and minimize errors.

Technologies Being Leveraged by Manufacturing Industries

The Internet of Things (IoT)

This technology is very helpful in manufacturing as it employs a network of sensors to collect essential production data and turn it into valuable insights that throw light into manufacturing operational efficiency using cloud software. Also, IoT has enabled technicians to understand a problem at hand and come up with solutions even before arriving at the job site so that they can get in and get out faster. Internet of Things facilitates mass customization by providing real time data essential for forecasting, shop floor scheduling, and routing. This technology has helped in reducing operational costs and created new sources of revenue.  As a result, this connectivity has brought machines and humans closer than ever before and led to better communication, faster response times and greater efficiency.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is another trending technology which has been leveraged by manufacturers. This technology allows organizations across the globe to share data within seconds and helps in reducing both cost and production time. The data which has been shared by Cloud Computing also helps to improve the product quality and reliability between the organizations. It is helping the manufacturers reduce manufacturing costs of their products, innovating new things and increasing competitiveness. Cloud Computing is transforming virtually every facet of manufacturing from designing and making products to integrating supply chains.

Robotics

Everybody is aware about the Robots and the day to day complex jobs performed it. One can program robots to work 24/7 and get their job done before the time. Robots are considered to be highly cost-effective even for small manufacturing units. It is highly flexible and efficient enough to handle raw materials and do the packing of finished products.  Day by day robotics technology is becoming more advanced. In the coming future, it is more likely to become cheaper, smarter and more efficient.

3D Printing

3D Printing is well known in the market and it is considered to fuel the next industrial revolution. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D Printing is a production technology that is innovative, faster and agile. It helps in reducing the manufacturing lead times drastically and simplifies production of individual and small-lot products from machine parts to prototypes. Most of the car manufacturers use 3D Printing to produce gear sticks and safety gloves. The 3D Printing industry is expected to reach USD 63.46 billion by 2025.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificiall Intelligence proved to be a game changer for industries. Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered demand planning and forecasting is developing continuously and will help manufacturers in aligning their supply chain with demand projections to get data that were not possible previously. There are a lot of manufacturers who implement Artificial Intelligence for inventory planning and logistics whereas some implement it for production scheduling and customer relationship management.

The way forward

Technology is an ever-evolving field, constantly mixing in new iterations and innovations to create exciting new opportunities for manufacturers.  5G will bring major transformation for the devices that are driving the automated industrial process and have a tremendous impact on the manufacturing industry. This technology will be more efficient compared to 4G and will help to generate a lot of data that will open new avenues of cost savings. Although this technology will take some more time to get adopted by India, but one thing is sure that it will reinvent the way of working of people.

There has been a significant focus on developing infrastructure over the past few years. Every manufacturing company needs to embrace these latest technologies if they want to remain relevant and competitive in the market. The use of these technologies will decrease labour costs, improve efficiency and reduce waste, making future factories cheaper and more environment friendly. Also, improved quality control will ensure superior products that will be beneficial for the consumers as well as for manufacturers.

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