Regular readers of this blog will know we’re big on technology. It always interests us to see where technology will take us next. Today, I decided to have a look at how tech affects one of the biggest industries on the planet, manufacturing. I’ve picked out three key processes, and shown how technology has changed them:
In the manufacturing industry, product design is the first step in a long production process. If you want to make something, then you need to follow a design. Back in the day, designs were sketched on paper, using pencils and pens. Nowadays, technology has made things a little different. People can get pads that connect to their computer and sketch on them using a stylus. Then, the image of their sketch appears on the computer, digitally. The ability to see digital designs is a massive thing for manufacturing companies. For one, it makes editing and tweaking the designs a lot easier. Secondly, you can see the designs in three dimensions, giving you a better idea of what needs to be produced. With technology improving the design stage, it has a knock-on effect for the rest of the manufacturing process too.
Low Volume Production
For those that don’t know, low volume production is a stage in many manufacturing businesses. It’s when they tend to make low volumes of a product, to test it. Technology has come in and made this even easier for manufacturing companies. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is the tech on-hand here. You see, there are many ways additive manufacturing helps low volume production. It’s a very cheap and quick way of producing product prototypes for testing. It can also be used to create certain parts of a product, to test it separately. It gives manufacturers more flexibility when dealing with low volume production. Life is made a lot easier because this technology is readily available to them.
After the low volume testing phase, there’s the mass production phase. As you can tell, this is when products are produced in large quantities. Usually, they’re then shipped off to different clients and customers. And, once again, technology has made life alot easier for manufacturers here. There are some key elements of mass production that are always worrisome, the time and costs. You need everything to be mass produced on time, and at a low cost. Well, technology has come in and killed two birds with one stone. There are now state-of-the-art machines that are capable of doing manufacturing work. They’re autonomous and will do the same thing over and over again. This eliminates the need for human workers on some production lines. Machines can do things a lot faster, saving companies hours in production time. Likewise, buying and maintaining these machines will cost a company less money in the long-run too. See, two birds, one stone.
As you can see, technology has changed things for the better. All three of these processes are now carried out more efficiently and effectively. As a result, the entire manufacturing process is improved. Companies can make higher-quality products, in less time, for less money.