Practically everything we use today, from computers to coffee machines, is the product of automation.
But when it comes to manufacturing, traditional methods have remained steadfast throughout the ages. After all, the basic actions of lifting, repositioning and transporting goods, not to mention construction will always remain as they are, at least in principle.
That said, automation is something that’s impossible to ignore, regardless of the application or even the industry in question. Specifically, a number of trends are emerging as we enter Industry 4.0 that manufacturers need to be aware of.
In today’s post, we will look at how automation will shape the future of manufacturing to see what changes are set to come to the forefront.
Within manufacturing, there are a growing number of interconnected devices known as the industrial internet of things. These devices are used to collect and transmit data to sensors, which can be used within the manufacturing process to help understand the performance of any given task. For example, data from interconnected devices within manufacturing can be used to optimise certain processes, reduce machine downtime and predict failures within any components.
A digital twin in manufacturing refers to a replica of a particular component. Digital twins are used for the planning and ongoing optimisation of processes and will be further adopted by the manufacturing industries to improve productivity. That’s because digital twins allow for the reduction in machine fatigue, plus they tend to have a greater accuracy while reducing costs for the business.
As we’ve just established, machines don’t get tired and generally have greater accuracy. Therefore, another future trend is that some manufacturing operations will become entirely automated to create so-called ‘dark factories’ that operate without any direct human intervention. Some sites may even be operated completely remotely, depending on the nature of the manufacturing operations.
Robots And Cobots
Alongside completely automated factories, robots will become more commonplace on factory floors. The term cobots refer to humans and robots co-working together. The challenge with cobots is allowing for both humans and technology to work fully side by side, with the robots designed to streamline the manufacturing process and implement human instructions.
Sustainability has long been on all of our minds as we look to reduce the implications of climate change. Automation will help in the fight, especially as consumers are now becoming ever more aware of the issue, meaning their choices will be implemented by how green a company is. As well as analysing data, automation can help businesses to understand their impact on the environment, along with providing solutions to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible.
Manufacturing Products UK – Metreel
Metreel is a leading supplier of manufacturing products, tools and accessories in the UK. Based in Derbyshire, we operate not just across the East Midlands but on a global scale.
If you are interested in learning more about how automation could shape your future business operations or want to find out more about our manufacturing products and services, then you’re in the right place.
You can also download our free brochures to discover more about our product specifications by visiting our product brochure page. We specialise in overhead cranes and other forms of handling equipment so if you’re ready to place an order or have any questions, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010 or email us at [email protected].