Manufacturers have long been at the forefront of technology. Today, this trend continues, but with new, innovative tools that are designed to make business more efficient and workers more productive. This technology has helped much of the manufacturing sector despite costs continually rising, supply chain interruptions, and other variables. Let’s take a look at some of the major technology changes that have fueled manufacturers during the past few years.
Manufacturers typically take materials and turn them into consumer goods or components for other manufacturers to use in their process. Many manufacturers have begun the process of digitization; meaning that they now are using digital systems to manage their business, interact with customers, and handle all the automation that has been tabbed to make their process more efficient. Most manufacturers have been using digital technology for quite some time, but some of the shifts that make these changes innovative include the leveraging of robots to do collaborative tasks.
Artificial intelligence fuels this trend by using machines that are colloquially called “cobots”. Over 40% of manufacturers use robots and with smarter software the “cobots” can work alongside human workers rather than outright replacing them. This means these robots are much more affordable than traditional robots that typically replace human workers.
Another digital evolution for manufacturers comes from the Internet of Things. These sensors may not be built specifically for manufacturers, but they hold considerable value for them. The biggest benefit comes in the manner of predictive maintenance. Sensors can keep track of components and maintenance schedules, which can cut down on maintenance costs by a whopping 25 percent. If you consider that downtime can cost tens of thousands of dollars an hour, the more you can do to keep systems functioning as intended the better your business will be.
Another use of AI in manufacturing is called machine vision. It lets companies automate their quality control processes on each end of their business. Basically, it allows a manufacturer to run their operations faster than they would if they relied on humans to run point over their quality control. With machine vision detection, manufacturers can increase production and maintain a level of quality they expect from their process, a win-win for any manufacturer.
Technology can help any type of business, but if you’re a manufacturer that could benefit from innovative new digital tools, reach out to the IT experts at Point North Networks at 651-234-0895 today.