Like other major industries, manufacturing is leaning towards innovation and technological advancement. Customers’ expectations are high, and trends are continuously changing, therefore, the manufacturing industry must stay ahead of the game using digital transformation.
Digital transformation comes with a lot of advantages which include:
- increased efficiency
- better customer satisfaction
- reduced cost
- more efficient use of data
Many manufacturing companies are adopting trends that can spur digital transformation to achieve these.
Digital Transformation Trends in the Manufacturing Industry
Over the past few years, the manufacturing industry has shifted towards automated technology to replace manual processes. Furthermore, in 2022, this transformation is even more apparent as manufacturing companies continue exploiting many trends to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant to customers.
These trends include:
A.I. involves the use of software to replicate human behaviors. This software deliberately learns human patterns and responses to mimic them. This is a tremendous problem-solving tool in the manufacturing industry. Machines rely on data collected over a period to act quickly and more intelligently. Consequently, this can help with tactics for revenue generation and company growth.
An example could be robotic process automation, a “robot that listens to an email account when an A.P. invoice arrives, then processes the A.P. invoice, recognizing if there are purchase orders or good receipts related to it and reconciling the transactions. The exact process could be done for automating sales orders being processed as a result of a sales quote.
Internet of Things
It connects networks of physical objects. Basically, it helps them interact by using sensors for exchanging data. IoT is already around us, smart T.V.s, lightbulbs, Alexa, etc. In the manufacturing industry, the machines are interconnected to form a data-driven system that performs predictive tasks. This innovation has changed product manufacturing and delivery in the industry. This is another great area. In manufacturing companies, this connects machines to the ERP by obtaining the exact parameters of a production batch recorded in the production order. So you will know the collection, the day, the time, the raw materials, and the machine configuration and parameters.
Using 3D printing technology, manufacturers can make prototypes faster and at lower costs. Many companies can now produce cost-effective parts of a trusted quality, designed to their taste and for the proper purpose.
Employing Key Skilled Workers
Like every other innovative trend in the industry, the set of employees working in the organization also matters. New technologies have to be handled by people who understand them. The world is skewed towards using data to transform every space and make things more efficient. Hence, manufacturing companies now look for people skilled in data analytics, R&D, automation, IoT, programming, and digital marketing, to mention a few. These are much-needed skills in any company seeking to stay relevant in today’s world.
On the other hand, the use of bots is becoming more and more practical. Chatbots are now being used to book vacations for the employees. It takes time to approve them and control the days available, but these still need programmers and people to monitor them.
Besides creating things, manufacturing companies also have to deal with infrastructure maintenance. Before now, manufacturers had to depend on results from routine checks to determine faults and engage in repairs and servicing or scheduled regular care, but sensors are directly embedded in machines to trigger alarms when there is a fault. This way, things can be resolved on time to prevent further damage. It also saves companies a lot of money.
Machine learning is advancing as a way to predict maintenance. Ultimately this data is and will be the most cost-saving for companies.
These trends and many others are being adopted by the manufacturing industry and will be around for a very long time. As the sector fights to embrace digital transformation, more and more of these technological trends will arise.
If you’re ready to start down the path of digital transformation, Consultare is here to help.
Contact us to learn how we can integrate digital transformation into your business.