With the fourth generation of the industrial revolution being implemented across the industry, its immediate and long-term future will be defined by the development of cutting-edge technologies. Many of the technologies are poised to significantly impact the way the industry will function. Let’s take a look at a few important trends to watch out for in the manufacturing sector in 2020.
The ability to predict failures and effective equipment maintenance will reduce the downtime and ultimately increase the life of the equipment and avoid disruption of operations. However, in order to successfully build a predictive maintenance model, manufacturers have to effectively gain insights on the variables and collect enough data on the behavioural patterns that occur on the shop floor. It is also very important to have a strong data base on previous failures that can be reviewed, and then set out a plan on predictive maintenance of the equipment accordingly.
With more machines getting connected & integrated into organisations, it becomes highly important to have a robust cyber security strategy. As the industry becomes more connected, it becomes crucial for manufacturers, as it can impact them in a number of ways. Hence, companies have to spend time on educating their employees about the importance and potential consequences of cyber activities. Cyber security becomes more vital as a major concern to companies because of the increase of malware attacks by the day. Therefore, companies cannot afford to overlook this aspect and must put cybersecurity on their top priorities.
Smart factories are becoming the norm of the day. They rely on connected devices that leverage on technologies like automation, IoT, AI and more. In addition, these connected devices are capable of sensing the environs and also interact. With factories growing towards digitalisation, it’s important to adopt new networks in an efficient and effective manner. The factories of tomorrow will greatly rely on sensor technology and will prominently feature connected tools utilising the data to guide the task force. 5G’s high capacity and wireless flexibility will make a perfect choice to support modern manufacturing.
The rise of IoT in industrial applications has given rise to wearable technology. Manufacturers are increasingly looking at investing in wearable devices with different applications that the workforce can utilise. The features found in various wearable devices like data collection and transmission, even in some cases to record the actions for further analysing, only increase the workplace productivity, safety and efficiency. The wearables enhance the capacity of employers to effectively collect valuable information, track activities and provide customised experience, depending on the needs and desires.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Whether in helping process development or improvement of products, AR and VR are the real game changers. In the VR world, one can really recreate a situation much better than ever before, thanks to the technological advancement. Whereas in AR, one has limited space, as users need to be in the real location to augment their experience of reality. We will see a lot more manufacturers incorporating these technologies in their organisation to drive the future defined by digital connectivity.