Manufacturing companies across the globe are embracing the Industry 4.0 revolution with the implementation of disruptive technologies. Smart manufacturing leverages one or a combination of such technologies to support existing practices on the shop floor and drive the adoption of new automated industry practices.
In a previous blog, we looked at 5 disruptive smart manufacturing trends that will mark 2019. Here are five more trends that manufacturers need to look out for in the coming months.
1. AI will foster better decision-making
In the manufacturing industry, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will contribute immensely by providing real-time data (retrieved from sensors), which can be used in tandem with legacy data to optimize production and maintenance processes. By aiding manufacturers to predict trends, AI allows for better planning and execution. Modern supply chains generate a huge amount of data, which can be leveraged to optimize manufacturing processes when used with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms.
2. Additive manufacturing will by-pass the assembly line
3D printing, which was used in creating prototypes, is now increasingly being used to make final products. Referred to as additive manufacturing, it enables the creation of ready-made objects, even complex ones, cutting down production time and cost. This is a powerful capability compared to legacy assembly lines that did not allow for customizations. 2019 will see a rise in this technology becoming more affordable to manufacturing designers. This helps cater to customer demands, thanks to the flexibility and quick customization offered by additive manufacturing.
3. Digital twins and IIoT will enable product customization
A digital twin is a virtual representation of a product or equipment that is even more effective than a real-world model. Coupled with data from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors, digital twins enable manufacturers to predict product efficiency, test equipment performance, and monitor maintenance processes. The analytics derived from Industrial Internet of Things can be leveraged while planning for asset management, design, and production. Digital twins will also enable the customization of products, empowering manufacturers to meet customer demands without exorbitant cost implications.
4. Cybersecurity will become imperative
The adoption of disruptive digital solutions, particularly Industrial Internet of Things, has led to increased connectivity to facilitate seamless data transfers between remote networks. This has led to a host of cybersecurity issues that raise security concerns for implementing disruptive technologies and transformative solutions. Manufacturers will need to focus on creating company-wide cybersecurity strategies to protect themselves from the risk of threats, forgery attempts, and security breaches. Therefore, the coming year will see manufacturers allocate special budgets for implementing solutions related to security, compliance, and training.
5. Edge computing will enable faster connectivity
Gartner says, “Edge computing represents an emerging topology-based computing model that enables and optimizes extreme decentralization, placing nodes as close as possible to the sources and sinks of data and content.”
Edge computing allows shop floor devices to communicate with applications on the cloud – irrespective of whether it’s public or private. Therefore, manufacturers are moving towards the Edge ecosystem by placing their data storage and analytics on the cloud. Its benefits include reducing response time, greater coverage, deep analysis of critical processes, and attending to production issues at the right moment.
Early adoption of disruptive smart manufacturing technologies can give a head-start to companies looking to maximize the operational efficiency of their processes. InApp has more than 15 years of experience implementing transformative solutions with the latest technologies for the manufacturing segment. We cater to manufacturing businesses of varying scales and complexity. Get in touch with us to explore our offerings.