5 Technology Game-Changers for Manufacturing
- By /
08 Apr 2019
The Siemens factory in Germany is more than 70 percent automated. The Bosch factory in Germany has achieved a 10 percent increase in output by leveraging automation. The fourth Industrial Revolution is already here. Several manufacturing giants like Siemens, Bosch, Airbus, Caterpillar, etc. have already started seeing a tangible business impact of their Smart Manufacturing initiatives.
In India also, with strong support from the Government through its initiatives like ‘Make in India’, there is a strong push for smart manufacturing. A lot of efforts are being spent on the Research and Development in this area. Technology and the automation achieved through that is at the core of Industry 4.0.
Let us take a look at the top five technologies which are redefining manufacturing -
Internet of Things
The manufacturing industry is one of the very early adopters of embedded sensor technology. It is no surprise that this sector is IoT in a big way. IoT enables manufacturers to use sensors and devices along with the existing equipment and improve their factory efficiency and performance. By interconnecting the machines, products, computers, and enabling a smoother collaboration between people, IoT helps manufacturers innovate better, come up with products more quickly, gain better visibility over the production cycle, accelerate their planning, streamline the supply chain, and achieve faster time to market. IoT is also helping them enhance their post-manufacturing support and service through predictive maintenance.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is helping manufacturing companies turn their humongous amount of data into insights and insights into actionable items. Things like AI-enabled Intelligent robots and intelligent machines are set to transform the manufacturing by lowering costs, improving productivity, and reducing the downtimes. It is estimated that by 2019, there will be 2.6 million operational industrial robots in factories! When used on the shop floor, AI helps in quicker defect discovery, workflow automation, quality monitoring and analysis, and helps in enhancing the overall process efficiency. By analyzing the product demand patterns across various geographies and demographics, AI can also help manufacturers accurately predict demand for their products and thereby; manage their supply chain and production process more optimally.
Big Data Analytics
According to a report by McKinsey & Co., for the manufacturing industry, Big Data is worth more than tens of billions of dollars. The global manufacturing big data market is set to grow at a pace of a CAGR of 16.87% between 2016-2020. Manufacturers around the world are using the power of big data and analytics to take more informed real-time decisions, enhance customer experience, and improve their operational efficiencies by identifying patterns in their data. By gathering insights from the structured and unstructured data hidden at the most granular levels, big data analytics is allowing manufacturers to identify inefficiencies and fine-tune their processes to optimize the output. By providing greater visibility over the supply chain, big data analytics is helping the manufacturing companies in gaining greater vendor understanding, tracking their performance, and optimizing the inventory to ensure timely and accurate delivery. Using advanced analytics, manufacturers can also gain deeper insights into their machines’ quality and performance, which helps them in scheduling timely maintenance and avoid unplanned downtimes.