Manufacturing is being Transformed by Digital technology - Technological Advances in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is being Transformed by Digital technology

Manufacturing is becoming leaner and smarter thanks to digital technology. The prospect of an American Industrial revival is not so remote.

Welcome to the New Industrial Revolution—a wave of technologies and ideas that are creating a computer-driven manufacturing environment.

Companies with big budgets can now invest in groundbreaking technologies and a multitude of tools that are designed to build smarter, streamlined factories filled with innovative materials and techniques not dreamed possible before now.

Then in turn, thanks to the prices dropping, small companies are also able to access better and cheaper manufacturing design tools and equipment too.

A new wave of supercheap electronic sensors, microprocessors and other components means that facilities require almost no human assistance to get their jobs done and can collect huge amounts of data along the way. Managers can get instant alerts about potential problems or study the numbers to find ways to boost efficiency and improve performance.

Manufacturers are now able to invent completly new ways of creating things in a way that is very different from the classic production line model with 3D additive manufacturing leading the way in this revolution.

3D printers of varying degrees of complexity mean fabricating a three-dimensional object of virtually any shape from a simple digital design is now possible for anyone to do from a consumer at home to a multi-billion dollar manufacturing plant. Almost every material under the sun can be used and limitless objects can be created, whether it be clothing, furniture, architecture replicas or even human organs.

These factories are now so advanced that the machines are doing everything, and what they are making is other machines. A 3-D printer now has the ability to replicate itself.

Nike Flynit 3D Manufactured

The Nike Flyknit is the world’s first mass-produced consumer product made using additive manufacturing,” says Maurice Conti, director of strategic innovation at Autodesk, which worked with Nike on the Flyknit project. “It’s a hugely significant advance, not the least because, once you start doing things this way it obviously takes a lot of the labor cost out of the equation.

In 2012 Boston Consulting Group published a report predicting that as much as 30% of America’s exports from China could be domestically produced by 2020. President Obama gave a nod to this hope in his State of the Union address in February when he said that the popular additive-manufacturing technique called 3-D printing “has the potential to revolutionize the way we make just about everything.”

 

Further details can be read at: the Wall Street Journal.

 

 


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