TechsPlace | Manufacturing develops so fast, one could believe we’re living in the world of science fiction. Looking at self-driving cars, supercomputers, Artificial Intelligence, and robots, one cannot fail to wonder what exactly will come next. Predictions say that in the year 2018 the digitalization of enterprise will be most aptly aided by technology revolving around data procession and analysis. This particular field of development will allow to maximize the benefits brought to the industry by automated machinery.
Three main trends we shall see spearheading the manufacturing digitalization in 2018 are:
Automated Data Gathering
One trend that has already been going strong but will only get exponentially greater is the so-called ‘data downpour’. Simply put, this is technology dedicated to collecting vast amounts of data. This encompasses everything from work process analysis to market developments.
The solutions dedicated to automating these processes are extremely varied. That’s because so is the data they aim to collect. The actual information gathered by them can then be used for innovation development, increasing the efficiency of the current systems, and market trend predictions.
Today’s data gathering technology includes not only software but also drones, sensors, and other similar devices. For the manufacturing industry this allows for a more precise analysis of dangerous environments and efficient automation of complex industrial processes. Most importantly, the data can be collected long-distance, which plays into the current trend for manufacturing decentralization.
Data Analytics Software
All the data collected by new more sensitive and accurate devices must be processed. Improved analysis software is meant to do that. It’s also meant to increase the depth, accuracy, and efficiency of the analysis.
Predictive software is a part of this package and as advanced as it gets, the trends pointed out by these solutions can be completely invisible to humans. A very important part of the modern data analysis software is its ability to identify and categorize information. This means it can ignore irrelevant data, which increases its predictive ability.
The insights provided by this software, that is able to work with bigger amounts of data, are invaluable for maximizing the efficiency of the manufacturing process. However, for all its incredible analytic ability, this software needs humans to make the final decisions.
Virtual ‘Infrastructureless’ Offices
This third trend in manufacturing digitalization enables human workers to make the most of the data processing and analysis performed by technology. This kind of tech is basically making remote communications more advanced. An ‘infrastructureless’ office doesn’t need to have a single physical location. It can connect professionals using some type of network and enable them to monitor and manage the manufacturing process.
These solutions allow industrial businesses to cut their costs, which frees more money to invest in the most advanced equipment. This approach also enables companies to employ more experienced professionals as they aren’t limited to the few experts currently seeking employment in the area.
Is Your Enterprise Ready for Digitalization?
That is the question every manufacturing business owner should ask themselves. ‘Being ready’ in this case means not only having the funds to invest in suitable technology. The company itself must be structured in a manner that will make integrating those solutions possible.
The exact preparation process will be difficult for every business as it’s based on its current level of digitalization, plans for improvements, budget, types of manufactured product, location, and many other factors.
The first and most important thing one has to do in order to ensure their digital transformation succeeds is research. It’s imperative to learn everything there is to learn about the available technology, its benefits, and its limitations. Next, one should think through how exactly this tech can be integrated into their manufacturing process. Only after identifying all possible benefits and problems, and weighing them against each other, can one make a decision.
One thing is sure though, implementing the three most rapidly developing manufacturing technology trends will make the digital transformation easier. These particular trends allow for such a significant boost in efficiency that they will free up the funds to invest in further technological development. The important thing to remember for a successful digitalization is that it starts with data, not hardware. Without laying down a solid base of information one cannot hope to make good use of any expensive automation equipment or other technological assets.
Author: Jeremy Swanson is a writer for DO Supply.