Manufacturing was the leading job trend during the Industrial Revolution. Nearly 2/3 of the labor force was employed in factories, with workers described as strictly “blue collar.” This was the common perception; manufacturing being a strictly blue collar industry, with workers grinding with their bare hands to get a job done. Now, times are changing and recent developments in technologies promise innovation and excitement. The implementation of advanced technologies has brought change to an industry that defined us a hundred years ago. The new trends in the industry bring increased speed, customization, precision and efficiency to ensure goods are manufactured pristinely and of the best quality.
One of these current technologies is 3d printing: the ability to design and create virtually anything using metal, plastic, and even human tissue. This has changed the way we build things and has brought many benefits; reduction of design-to-production times, reduction of manufacturing lead times, individual and small lot products from machine parts to prototypes are much easier to produce and there is less waste, ensuring cost efficiency. 3d printing is still a very new technology that will only get better in the coming years for manufacturers.
Next, the Internet of Things (IoT) has increased connectivity with machines and humans, ensuring better communication, faster response times and greater efficiency across the board. IoT enables data to be transmitted wirelessly, assisting workers with maintenance cost, increased production and prevention of mistakes.
Americans have desired interconnectivity, since the early days of the Industrial Revolution and the internet of things takes this objective to a whole new level with machines, sensors and humans working closer together than ever before.
Next is nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter on atomic or molecular levels. For manufacturing, this entails enhancing materials to make them last longer and give them new properties. While this technology has mostly been used in space engineering, it is on its way to providing greater solutions for manufacturers.
Cloud computing is another emerging technology in the manufacturing field that will assist in improving connectivity across multiple plants. Companies are able to share data across the globe, reducing on both cost and production times and the shared data will help with quality and consistency between the plant operation facilities.
The fifth new technology is one of massive debate; the rise of robotics. There has been much talk of implementing machines into the workforce to increase productivity, but this has concerned workers because it would potentially eliminate jobs. This doesn’t to appear to be the case, as robots are being used to complement human workers and make their jobs easier. While many believe it undermines the achievements of an individual, there is no denying robotics will play a pivotal role going forward.
Lastly, augmented reality has a lot of potential in the manufacturing field; real time instructions/guidance, real-time notifications, real time monitoring of worker tasks, improved safety warnings, more effective training and quick data retrieval. This is an emerging technology that will likely garner attention a few years from now, but nevertheless, it is important for manufacturers to research and potentially implement it.
One of these new technologies is currently being utilized by Rotor Clip Company Inc. Rotor Clip offers 3d printing as a service to buyers. Engineers can now take their design ideas and produce them in a matter of hours. Also, they can design custom retaining rings for the customer so they can test for fit before committing to full production. Additionally, there is a visionary system called Keyence, a visionary system used to determine the different dimensions of a ring. These new technologies have positioned Rotor Clip at the top of the manufacturing industry.
It is clear manufacturing is going in an exciting direction. With new emerging technologies, production is likely to increase significantly and the industry that was considered blue collar during the Industrial Revolution is now transforming into an efficient, computerized medium. Humans now have greater means to create materials and it won’t be long before we start seeing robots and humans working together in factories. Until then, we can celebrate knowing manufacturing continues to innovate and implement the best resources to ensure successful delivery to the customer.
Justin Arbadji is a Marketing Assistant for Rotor Clip Company Inc.