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Key Technology Trends Shaping Manufacturing Industry

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Automotive Manufacturing


Over recent years, technology has rapidly evolved and has led to greater heights of efficiency in the manufacturing industry among many others. For instance, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can help with quality control, which is essential when it comes to working with aerospace components. During the manufacturing process of printed circuit boards, Altium describes how working with multilayer metal core PCBs can be a complex process. However, Quality Control and Quality Management are two apps that can help with the accurate placement of components and double-checking thermal conductivity loads. In addition to this software, several other trends are currently shaping the future of the manufacturing industry.

A Shift to the Cloud

With the impacts of the pandemic, it is likely that the manufacturing industry will accelerate its shift towards digitization. An article from Automation World explains how the increasing rates of work-from-home policies, greater emphasis on remote troubleshooting, and global supply chain development are contributing to this movement. Manufacturers need to consider how older and newer applications will function in the cloud, as some may not be compatible. In addition, the National Institute of Standards and Technology describes how organizations need to overcome a learning curve when it comes to adjusting from outdated systems and promote a greater focus on cybersecurity.

The Role of 5G

With the increasing adoption of 5G, manufacturers can improve the way they use cloud technology, centralized tracking, and quality inspection. An article by Forbes outlines how greater speeds can reduce latency between systems and provide higher bandwidth, improving the efficiency of communication on a larger scale. As smart manufacturing evolves, its high capacity, wireless applications, and minimal lag have many applications. Furthermore, 5G-connected sensors can convey real-time data about equipment performance, ranging from vibration to noise. This can alert workers when equipment needs replacing, minimizing downtime.

Working with Wearables

Smartwatches and fitness wearables are rising in popularity, and it’s likely that they’ll make a significant impact on the manufacturing industry in years to come. As they become more affordable, there are multiple ways in which they can improve worker safety and boost production. An Industry Week article on manufacturing trends illustrates how they can be used to detect worker fatigue so that a supervisor can be altered. Virtual and Augmented Reality have already proven to be incredibly useful in terms of training applications, and can also pave the way towards the widespread acceptance of wearables.

Robotics and Automation

At the very forefront of innovation are companies that work with robots that provide supplemental aid to workers on the factory floor. For instance, CANVAS has recently developed an autonomous robotic cart that comes equipped with stereo cameras that present a full 3D view of the factory, sensors to detect object proximity, and LED lights that alert people to its presence. In order to boost efficiency, it stores and sends out real-time information regarding route times, bottlenecks, and issues that can impact workplace safety and efficiency. Lifting heavy objects and moving them around the factory floor quickly is also another benefit of robotics. With the advent of the digital era, manufacturing companies are growing more aware of the many applications of technology trends that are impacting the industry. Adjusting to these changes and recognizing the growing need for cloud technology and automation will help your organization improve its bottom line.

Article contributed by: Sarah Grenier

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