Current Developments and Future Innovations Within the Manufacturing Technology Space

Read on to discover what future innovations and current developments are emerging from the manufacturing technology space, according to leading analysts and vendors within the industry relayed by IT Reseller.

Digital Transformation

Rowan Litter, Research Analyst, VDC Research claims that Digital Transformation is the current main development within the manufacturing technology realm. He uses the example of upgrading from outdated systems or pen-and-paper, enabling an entire smart factory with automation, and machine learning and AI capabilities to demonstrate just how simple this can be.

Litter stresses the importance of the enabler of these innovations and technology. He states, “The enabler comes from connectivity and networks; what will allow businesses to adopt and connect more technologies, process data faster and provide the best security from a rise in cybersecurity threats, as well as the overall risks with digitalisation”.

He goes on to say “Private Wireless Networks have emerged as the enabler for manufacturers who are interested in implementing these new technologies. A challenge for many organisations comes from not knowing what to prioritise and where to start. With labour critical to support operations in many of these environments and organisations challenged with optimising workflows, we find that enabling the mobile worker with digital tools is the optimal jumping off point”.

During COVID-19 employees became much more aware of just how much influence they had on operations showing businesses the extent of their operations dependency on its labour force, this introduced a new dynamic and consequently was the driver of change. To conform, manufacturers have arrived at the solution of giving floor managers better visibility into operations through the use of technology, in addition to automating processes therefore minimising reliance on human labour and certifying that downtime will be mitigated in the event of another pandemic, Litter identifies.

Litter says that not only is digital transformation enabling manufacturers to adopt solutions, such as ERP, Supply Chain Management and Demand Forecasting but also magnifying the capabilities of these solutions. “Vendors offering analytics packages can give manufacturers real-time insights into operations, by collecting data on assets and using AI to find patterns that can identify issues that could cause downtime”, he clarifies.

Real-time Visibility

Litter believes that supply chain resilience is another important talking point when discussing current developments in the manufacturing technology space. “Disruption has become the new normal in supply chain operations with manufacturers and their logistics and retail partners needing to adapt”, he states. He continues, “This ultimately hinges on operations within organisations that have better real-time visibility into their and their partners’ operations and are also able to adapt faster given the unpredictable supply and demand climates”.

Graham Upton, Technology and Innovation Director and Chief Architect, Capgemini, also reflects on the extensive impact COVID-19 has had and how he also believes it was a driver for change. He adds, “Pre-pandemic manufacturers had their noses to the grindstone making product. Then, COVID hit and they realised they couldn’t really continue in the ways they had before. Depending on what type of product you’re making you could be entirely reliant on your supply chain. Many businesses outsource around 70% of their components, so they are probably only making 30% domestically and some even less than that. These manufacturers only need one of their core suppliers to not deliver parts and their whole production process can stop. So, these companies have to become more adaptive and flexible. What’s largely driving these changes is the need for more intelligence to better manage production and the supply chain”.

Managing Pressure

Jason Wise, general manager, SATO, contemplates the future as we head in to 2023 as organisations internationally are having to handle growing pressures one of which being cost hikes throughout the supply chain, that unfortunately cannot always simply be passed on to the end user. “Approaches to mitigate these pressures include boosting production efficiency and flexibility, enhancing workflow automation, reducing downtime and minimising wastage”, he says. Concerning key drivers for change, the SATO general manager feels that sustainability is a priority for users. “However, they also want streamlined and cost-effective operations and superior high-quality results”, he comments. He proceeds by stating “The ability to monitor the supply chain in unprecedented detail and keep a handle on all the goods in real time is a huge step towards avoiding wastage and mitigating issues such as scarcity, longer lead times and higher costs”.

MB Technology may be able to help you make some of these current developments within your own business and even aid you in getting ahead of future innovations with our product selection. Contact us today for a quote on 0161 250 0930 or email us at team@mbtechnology.co.uk .

References

https://www.itrportal.com/articles/2023/01/05/digital-future-manufacturing-technology-report/