New technologies are advancing quicker than ever and becoming more and more a part of our daily lives. We have robots in our cars, in our homes, and increasingly playing a role in manufacturing. Here are six technologies to become familiar with that are changing your manufacturing job.
Ultrafast 3D printing
3D printing was an exciting innovation, but because it was so tedious and time-consuming, most plastic manufacturers stayed true to more traditional methods. However, Neil Hopkinson at the University of Sheffield has developed a technique that will make it much more viable to print plastic on a large scale. An ink jet delivers the plastic and fuses it all together with an infrared lamp, speeding up the process by 100 times. Expect more printing prototypes out on the market in coming months.
A recent development, light-based manipulation platform, will soon be able to make tiny electronic components for use in smartphones and computers. The light can manipulate small objects in liquid, allowing it to produce parts en masse cheaply and quickly. Electronic parts are getting smaller and smaller, but this micromanipulation technology is a good, simple way to produce the tiny pieces.
Embedded metrology is the measurement of parts within the production process. It means these parts will be automatically and routinely measured to ensure accuracy, sparing factories the time it takes to perform more traditional quality control. Suddenly, manufacturing becomes cheaper, quicker and more efficient. Sensors will replace human hands to make sure things are accurate and flowing smoothly.
The smart factory
Soon, technology will be integrated into every part of the manufacturing process to make it flexible and more efficient. Expect artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality to be fused together. Customers will be able to customize their orders for less money and in a speedier time.
Robots can be trained to do almost anything, even the smallest, most tedious tasks on the assembly line. And they’re only improving in terms of dexterity and memory, making them incredibly useful. They can even perform tasks that require large pieces of machinery that might be dangerous for humans.
Data and analytics
The more predictive, real-time data your company has, the better prepared they are for swings in demand and changing consumer information. Storing the information on the cloud gives all stakeholders access to information about supply, delivery and customer support. Production teams and customers have grown accustomed to quicker responsiveness, so they’re expectations are getting higher and higher in that respect. Companies are looking for workers skilled in science, math and technology, who can help keep their business competitive in the ever-changing world.
For more tips on how to best prepare yourself for your next job, contact our manufacturing staffing specialists today!