From mass produced dolls to pneumatic drills, manufacturing is a process that has long been held dear to the heart of Britain, and has seen her rise and conquer through even the toughest of times. The fact of the matter is that regardless of whether you are at war or on a winning streak, there is always a consumer need for transport, energy, food, fuel and food to name but a few. As longs as there is a demand, businesses will have to keep manufacturing goods at an increasingly high rate to meet consumer requirements. Of course, the face of manufacturing looks very different today from what it used to look like even 50 years ago and we welcome advances in technology that significantly affect each and every part of the manufacturing process. Here we look at the five top changes in manufacturing and how they shape its progress today.
- Digital Development
There is no doubt that we are we well and truly submersed in all things digital, from product design, right through to execution, and the use of digital technology in the manufacturing process is changing both its efficacy and the quality of work produced. The development of computer programmed or Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) machines to aid workers in a production line enables companies to work faster than ever 24 hours a day before whilst not compromising on quality as machines churn out consistently great goods time after time.
- Automotive Accuracy
One of the biggest losses to manufacturing companies is due to waste along the production line and automated systems reduce the risk of human error resulting in fewer wrong orders. The arrival of computers also allows employees to carefully monitor their client demand to ensure that the supply chain is a continuous flow. By building to order and not building to stock manufactures have less surplus stock in storage and consumers avoid lengthy waits for product delivery.
- The Wonderful World Wide Web
The internet has truly transformed manufacturing companies across the globe, as businesses can now trade 24/7 thanks to e-commerce. By carefully aligning their online trade orders with their computer systems, businesses can facilitate seamless processes from online order through to customer delivery. What is more, these processes can now be automated so multi-million pound international orders can be processed instantly, meaning that for established brands there is very little need for human input in marketing and sales whatsoever. In fact, the internet is having such a massive effect on industry it is causing another industrial revolution.
- Safer Still
Employee safety is paramount in any company and never more than in the potentially risky workspace of the factory floor. Manufacturers use a great deal of heavy equipment that can pose a great threat of injury or even death to humans if operated incorrectly, but technological advancements are taking great steps to increase the level of safety on the production line. Modern machinery can now be thoroughly tested in controlled environments to reduce the risk of malfunction, and in-built safety cut outs will activate as soon as a machine’s calibration checks detect a fault in the system. One of the most beneficial additions to high risk manufacturing environments is the ability to control elements of manufacturing processes remotely via a services cloud, meaning that heavy machinery or hazardous substance can be operated remotely from a safe platform.
- Savvy Streamlining
The introduction of robotic automation and computerised machinery have revolutionised the manufacturing process and not least because they have reduced the number of employees on the assembly line. Excellence in precision engineering, computer activated systems and cloud enabled services allow multiple manufacturing processes to be controlled remotely by one employee meaning that vast teams of workers are now a thing of the past. Remaining employees are trained to a higher standard as they get to grips with the latest technology, gaining an understanding of mechanics and electronics and managing smooth, effective processes.