We’re back with the second installment of our 2019 predictions – trends in manufacturing technology. Today we are experiencing what many refer to as the fourth industrial revolution, or “Manufacturing 4.0.” Whatever you call it, there is no denying that a shift is occurring within the manufacturing industry as companies have the opportunity to combine information technology software and hardware to bring tremendous value to their customers and businesses.
We have scoured the internet for the top manufacturing technology trends we can expect to find in 2019 and here’s what we found:
Industrial Internet of Things
Most everyone has heard of Internet of Things (IoT) at this point – but it’s more focused on consumers and how objects in our homes connect. According to the Per the Spec blog, Industrial IoT (IIoT) is revolutionizing industrial environments like power plant and factories, making them smart and efficient.
Medium.com thinks that for the manufacturing industry, “the ability to automatically track, log, and transfer data saves time, money, and the headaches of manually tracking all that information.” While some facilities may not find it cumbersome to do everything manually, as IIoT becomes more prevalent potential business partners could be looking for companies that are moving faster and more in tune with innovation.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the act of imposing digitally-created images onto real-life objects from within a smart device. So how can this be used in manufacturing? Uses range from complex assembly, maintenance, expert support, quality assurance, automation, and more.
- Allowing the creation of visual designs without needing to build prototype – saving time and money during the development stage
- Training – manufacturing jobs can be dangerous, with AR training sessions new employees can learn everything they need to know without stepping foot on the factory floor and risking injury to themselves or others
Blockchain technology has garnered a lot of hype recently (KCMA even had a speaker on Blockchain at our 2018 Spring Conference!) Medium’s layman’s definition is “blockchain technology distributes information among thousands of computers to reduce the threat of hacking one central point of entry. It’s like having your money in 10,000 banks instead of 1. It would take a lot longer for you to get robbed, if you did at all.”
As with any business, for manufacturers blockchain technology would have the most impact in finance, according to Medium.com. However, supply chain management is a more exciting application we might see in 2019. Think secure product tracking, automated reporting of movements and transactions throughout the chain, and certification registrations that’s automated and accurate. One application might be tracking lumber sources to ensure compliance with the Lacey Act.
Click here to check out our previous post on 2019 kitchen design predictions. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the final installment of our 2019 predictions series.
KCMA is constantly on the look-out for the latest industry trends and news – visit our website to learn more about becoming a member so you can be the first to hear what we learn!