Automation promises to transform industrial manufacturing. The production of goods would have minimal human intervention in different stages. This would make manufacturing more reliable and efficient. Robots already take part in manufacturing processes. They perform tasks that are dangerous to humans.
Manufacturing robots are possible thanks to high force industrial actuators. But we can leverage other modern technologies to improve automation. For example, we could equip machines with communication capabilities. This way, machines could interact with each other. Imagine, machines would be able to make decisions about how to perform certain tasks. And they would do it in real-time.
Machines Communicating with Each Other
It is not science fiction. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) considers this level of industrial automation. Many tasks in car manufacturing are already automated. The same happens in the manufacturing of industrial equipment. This has been possible through the use of sensors. These devices give necessary information to the control systems. This way, machines can change their operations accordingly.
Now, the next level is to exchange information between the different machines. This will coordinate the entire manufacturing process from the beginning to the end. Also, the entire production line can connect with management and executive departments. This will facilitate seamless interaction between ERP systems and production lines. This will solve most problems of logistics, supply, bottlenecks, and more.
Such a manufacturing transformation will bring many benefits to the industry. Improved compliance and availability will be some of the results. Also, there will be less waste of resources. Piloting new processes will be simpler as well. It looks promising, doesn’t it?
A Challenging Transformation
Achieving this level of automation won’t be straightforward. Companies have to acquire new tools and equipment. Likewise, their personnel must learn new skills. The management staff must get used to new ways of sharing information. This means an entirely new way of thinking. This manufacturing revolution won’t be simple for some companies. Mainly for those that are not digital “native.”
The IoT promises many benefits that most companies are eager to take advantage of. But, few are willing to implement it. Fortunately, some major players are taking the first steps toward its realization. Two main things will make this new industrial revolution possible. The first, intelligent tools. And the second, an intelligent workforce.
Intelligence tools refer to all the necessary hardware for digitalized manufacturing. These comprise many newer devices like sensors, 3D printers, wearables, and more. All these devices will have networking capabilities to communicate vital data immediately. For example, a sensor can detect an imminent malfunction. So, it will report it immediately to the maintenance department. This way, repairs won’t stop the production line for long.
For interaction with these technologies, humans must learn new skills. This intelligence workforce will be able to collaborate with intelligent machines. Machines will assist humans when necessary. This will result in faster production and better products. At the same time, the personnel will be safer. Economization of resources will be better. Ultimately, revenue will increase.
Writer’s Bio: Hayley Mann is a technology enthusiast specializing in automation methods of ergonomics devices. Her engineering background helps her to create interesting articles on technical topics, making them understandable for all readers.