5 Technological Applications Impacting Manufacturing Innovation

A manufacturer can also be innovative in several ways beyond the use of technology. Innovation can also include the utilization of new business models, the development of new processes and services, and the enhancement of existing products too.

Technology does also support and drives innovation. Technological advancements can also allow manufacturers to create higher quality goods faster than before; with less expense and also help them realize more efficient operations to become more competitive.

Innovators and engineers are indeed constantly improving upon existing technologies in order to fulfill unmet needs, provide goods for untapped markets, and most importantly, also look forward to stay ahead of the competition.

1. Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing was indeed actually developed in the 1980’s, but has no doubt picked up more significant interest in the last few years. It does cover any and all processes involved in printing a 3-dimensional product and is commonly referred to as 3D printing. Additive manufacturing does include a technique that is referred to as cold spraying, which does involve blasting metallic particles through a nozzle at high speeds, binding particles together to form shapes. This does create a part by building materials layer by layer through the of course the control of a computer. Because the end result is a high precision replica of an original design, there is less waste during the production process and can also save the manufacturer money.

2. Advanced Materials

The focus is on energy efficiency or alternate energy devices, new materials to counter resource shortages, next-generation consumer devices, and new paradigms in chemical safety and security which depends heavily on advanced materials as well as these advanced materials that will fuel emerging multi-billion dollar industries. This no doubt includes advanced composites, which have to date been largely restricted to make use of in a limited number of high-cost applications. However, efforts are underway to develop manufacturing processes that do lower cost and speed production such that advanced composites are integrated into a much wider range of products and applications in the future.

3. Cloud Computing

Cloud-based computing does make use of network-connected remote services in order to manage as well as process data. Life in the cloud will indeed gain momentum, but security concerns need to be continually addressed. Companies are increasingly making use of this technology all across various geographic locations in order to share data to make better business decisions. Cloud Computing does help reduces costs, improve quality control and shorten production times.

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

Smart technology is not a new concept, but is steadily developing into the wave of the future for manufacturing.

One can imagine a workplace where connected equipment will indeed be able to communicate via the Internet and computerized manufacturing machinery that will be able to “talk to each other” and send/receive notifications about operating conditions. Once a problem is detected, a notification is sent to other networked devices so the entire process can indeed be automatically adjusted.

5. Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology does deal with matter between 1 and 100 nanometers; a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Nanotechnology was traditionally made use in the aerospace and biomedical arenas but is now being made use of manufacture lightweight stronger materials for boats, sporting equipment, and auto parts, as well as being used in creating personal care items such as eyeglasses.

Nano-structured catalysts do make chemical manufacturing processes more efficient by saving energy, reducing waste and will indeed also have increased applications in healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

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About the Author: Jaya Nandini

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