Manufacturing is constantly changing and evolving. From the first industrial revolution to Industry 4.0, manufacturing has a long history of embracing and adopting new technology to produce more and better products all the time.
Smart Technologies in Manufacturing
Smart technology in manufacturing is useful across many different industries but is particularly responsible for many advances in healthcare manufacturing.
Smart technology in manufacturing is about much more than producing smart products and devices. It’s about a fully digital and interconnected manufacturing process that improves every aspect of the industry. Better health and safety, increased productivity, and better product testing capabilities are only the beginning.
For example, smart technology could automatically monitor stock and raw materials and order more raw materials as needed. It could automatically instruct connected equipment to complete jobs as required and even track and manage your distribution networks once those products are available to ship.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is a big buzzword in manufacturing at the moment. It’s the term being used for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a new way of working that encompasses digital technology and takes a future-forward view of manufacturing that embraces technology. Examples of this technology are automation and the Internet of Things.
The first industrial revolution drove a plethora of technological advances and a vast increase in productivity, but Industry 4.0 goes beyond the manufacturing process itself and encompasses newer, smarter ways of gathering and using data as well as better, faster, cleaner methods of producing products.
Robotics and AI
Robotics and AI are a vital part of Industry 4.0. While the UK is lagging behind with adopting robotics and automation in comparison to countries like Germany and Singapore, there’s an acceptance among industry experts that robotics and AI are the future of manufacturing.
Industrial robots have the ability to handle complex tasks as well as simple repetitive ones. In many ways, the only limits on robots are the capabilities of the programmer – and with the advent of 5G and other supporting technologies, robots are here to stay.
There are several barriers to companies adopting robots, including costs and worker’s fears over the impact of automation on jobs usually performed by humans. However, the automation revolution brings with it more need for skilled workers, and there is potential for human workers to be upskilled to fill those new roles, offsetting any potential job losses while increasing productivity.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The most obvious symbols of the IoT are smart home speakers and wearable devices like fitness trackers. Yet the Internet of Things (IoT), encompasses much more than these items. There’s a vast appetite for tech items that can connect ‘smart homes, but it’s not just in people’s homes where the IoT is making a real difference.
The industrial IoT connects devices and machines across multiple industries and enables manufacturers to use real-time data to make better business decisions. The IoT potentially allows for incredibly robust inventory control, as well as digital twin capabilities that can enhance testing and even allow for predictive repairs.
At Nexus, we’re proud to work with manufacturers that are delivering innovative products using up to date technology and methods. We’ve been helping product-based businesses with smart solutions since 2012, and we’d love to see how we can help you.