Manufacturing will be the part of industry that never goes away. No matter how advanced the technology gets, someone will always need to fabricate it. A business needs to remain on the cutting edge of technology to benefit from it. It’s all good modernizing when something because cheap and mainstream. By that point though they’re a step behind their competitors.
So how is technology changing the face of manufacturing?
For starters, it is making things faster. With manufacturing, time is money. The more product you can make during a working day the better. Old archaic tools get replaced with new ones. Little by little and year on year, the manufacturing process gets quicker and easier.
Part of what makes the process quicker is the inclusion of computers. Computers have managed to automate some processes.
CNC stands for computer numerical control. It can be used to automate part or all of the manufacturing process for certain items. It not only can reduce danger to manufacturers by taking over the process, it can make the items with greater efficiency and conformity to design.
Retro Systems are a company that makes and distribute CNC machines. CNC machines from Retro System include plasma and water jet technology. Water and plasma are high tech and extremely efficient ways of cutting materials that would otherwise need heated tools.
As already mentioned, technology is making manufacturing safer and more uniform. Safer manufacturing is a shared goal between business owners and the workers unions.
While every effort has been made to make the job as safe as possible, things can still go wrong. Part of the push for increased automation has been to take workers out of the most dangerous aspects of the job.
While a manufacturing plant may never be fully automated, it may at least be able to remove people from the most dangerous and potentially harmful work.
As for the uniformity, manufacturing thrives on that revolution. From a quality checking standpoint, a machine is not subject to the same slight errors a person is. A person is not able to perform the same motion over and over without any deviation.
If a piece of a larger product is not up to standards, it cannot be used. On average, a machine should produce pieces almost always in line with the reference design. This reduces waste, and will overall turn out more pieces that can be sold on or put into a large product. Overall, it is a net saving. Automated manufacturing might be an expensive up-front cost, but it pays dividends.
So where can it all go from here? Same as always. Manufacturing will get quicker and safer over the next few years. The manual work isn’t erased just yet. Some products just can’t be fabricated by a machine right now.
As technology develops in other areas though, manufacturing can broaden what it can offer. Water and plasma cutters are opening up new markets for generalized manufacturing businesses. These technologies are no longer the privilege of the few.