In recent years, more people have been making the move from offshore manufacturing to local high-tech manufacturing. Whilst these offshore manufacturers offer cheap labor, local manufacturers are finding ways to cut costs with state-of-the-art machinery – offering a more ethical solution as well often greater quality. If you’re a manufacturing business, now may be the time to start getting involved in this revolution. Here are just a few technologies being adopted in the trade.
3D printers are now being used to cheaply manufacture intricate small parts. Such parts may have previously needed to be hand-made due to being so intricate or have required specialist machinery. A 3D printer can be used to print off countless shapes – doing the work that multiple specialist machines might have once done. It can also be used to create customizable shapes, with some manufacturers making 3D-printed custom ornaments their sole trade due to its success. The initial cost of a 3D printer – particularly an industrial one – can be high, however, you will make a swift return.
Similar to 3D printing, laser technology has opened up all kinds of new possibilities. Lasers can be used to carve out small complex parts, make customizable engravings and reduce waste. A laser cutting machine is very costly, although some companies such as Laser Light Technologies can be used to outsource laser cutting tasks more affordable. Say goodbye to rustic saws and chisel drills and embrace the future.
Machinery is now going digital. The newest trend is smart analytics as provided by companies such as Datameer. Sensors in machines are able to make complex readouts which can be read remotely on a computer or tablet. These readouts can be turned into charts and graphs which show how much exact wastage is being produced and whether parts are suffering wear and tear. These analytics can be used to finely tune machines to get the best output and to cut costs by reducing waste and preventing faults.
All these analytics can be stored on the cloud. This allows them to be read on any device from any location. If a manager wants to check stats on his phone whilst out of the office, they can. Cloud servers can also offer more security. If a disaster strikes in the manufacturing plant such a burglary or fire, important analytics will still be backed up on the cloud. Cloud servers are also protected with far greater security than your average computer could ever afford, making them safe against hackers.
Nanotechnology has allowed microchips or computer parts to be built smaller. This technology has opened up new opportunities. It can incorporated into clothing, allowing it to heat and cool depending on the temperature. It can also be incorporated into tools in order to keep track of them and maintain their condition. Essentially, anything from a hammer to a pair of socks can now be fitted with computer technology in order to make it better.