Manufacturing ERP software is helping the manufacturing industry grow rapidly and has positive spill-over effects on other business sectors. Moreover, recent technological developments in manufacturing, namely smart factories, industrial automation, artificial intelligence, and additive manufacturing, are responsible for this rapid transformation. However, the recent covid-19 pandemic has given a new perspective to manufacturing companies looking to boost productivity while reducing their workforce. As a result, manufacturing companies are investing in developing smart sensors and wearable gadgets that can replace human workers in the coming times.
This article will focus on the top 10 hottest manufacturing technologies that will bring an ocean of change in 2022.
1. Industrial Automation
All equipment and process improvements help boost manufacturing with automation. By embracing automation, manufacturing companies no longer need humans to do hazardous and repetitive tasks, making the production line much safer and cost-effective. However, for a higher level of automation, companies require more complex and expensive equipment.
But with recent innovations in robotics and control systems, the implementation has become more convenient, and the cost has gone down. Companies embracing industrial robotic systems are simplifying both complicated and tedious process. Complicated processes like assembly, machining, material handling and finishing are being simplified using robotic arms and machines. While tedious tasks like waste collection and removal are being automated using robotic dust collectors to ensure the robotics can continuously work with minimal human impact in the form of cleaning and maintenance.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Manufacturing ERP software collects critical business data from multiple sources, performs vital analysis, and provides valuable insights to make better decisions. But AI plays a pivotal role in providing the competitive advantage that manufacturing companies want, i.e., maintenance scheduling, production optimization, and asset management.
AI can analyze billions of pieces of data in a fraction of seconds, recognize trends that are oblivious to the human eye, and infer logical conclusions that are impossible for a traditional computer.
AI helps improve the following aspects of manufacturing:
- Supply chain visibility
- Warehouse & inventory management
- Quality management
- Eliminate manufacturing waste
However, the most significant benefit of implementing Cloud ERP software is predicting faulty equipment before they cause any interruption. This ability — predictive maintenance — helps companies eliminate unnecessary shutdowns and build robust customer relationships by providing timely customer service.
3. Additive manufacturing
Today, with Computer-aided designing (CAD) and additive manufacturing, you can manufacture unconventional designs conveniently, which was practically impossible a few years before. The only hurdle is that the additive manufacturing method doesn’t support mass production. However, recent developments in 3D printing allow companies to do distributed and localized manufacturing, on-demand production and produce materials on a mass scale.
4. Immersive technology
Several manufacturing processes require human intervention as they can exercise more flexibility while performing their job. But it also factors in human-induced errors that impact the final product quality. Also, expecting workers to access instruction manuals in the assembly lines is an impractical demand.
Immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) provide an effective way of dealing with this challenge. They display necessary information over a piece of equipment that helps the operator identify the problem in real-time and fix it.
Another advantage of AR is that it displays 3D equipment visuals in their actual proportion. This way, operators can learn to repair and maintain the machinery in a virtual environment, eliminating any prominent dangers in the job. Moreover, skilled workers can repair machinery from remote locations, minimizing the skill gap inside the factory.
5. Big data & analytics
“Data is the new oil” is one of the most widely used phrases of the 21st century. It’s because companies across industries need to collect and analyze vast quantities of data, including materials, customer feedback, assets, and processes, in various protocols and formats. But unfortunately, traditional data collection & processing methods fail to produce valuable insights, perform predictive maintenance, and conduct advanced analysis.
However, machine-learning combined with big data helps manufacturing companies reveal hidden data insights in real-time. This way, they can reduce machine downtime, prevent rejections, and generate predictive models to identify faulty pieces of equipment. Data also helps solve issues related to worker safety, overheads expenses, and simplifying product innovation.
Efficient human-machine and human-human coordination are necessary for maintaining the required efficiency level and ensuring a production line’s smooth functioning. Fortunately, wearable devices such as smart bands, smartwatches, and headsets connected to a manufacturing ERP software provide an uninterrupted supply of crucial data. Moreover, wearables also automatically trigger alarms in emergencies, enhancing worker safety. In addition, they monitor shop floor movement, record workers’ health conditions, and help them perform their job conveniently by overlaying crucial information over the machine.
Nishant Joshi likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of modern-day and age like ERP, CRM, Web Apps, machine learning, data science, AI, and robotics. His expertise in content marketing has helped grow countless business opportunities. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of Manufacturing ERPsoftware — Sage X3 for small and mid-sized businesses in India.
You can learn more about him on Linkedin.