Technology is slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives, allowing us to do things that were mere science fiction ideas only a decade ago. This is no different in the realm 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.
Examples of these technological advances are additive manufacturing (3-D printing), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), robotics, remote monitoring systems and many, many more. 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 managements 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.