Tag: future of manufacturing industry

workforce management

Drilling Down the Workforce Management Challenges of the Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing industry in the U.S. has made impressive strides in the past couple of years. The country has witnessed a rise in public awareness about the modern manufacturing industry, increase in jobs returning to the country, and also the advent of new technologies that are driving the industry forward. However, the ongoing struggle to find skilled labor due to the rapid retirement of baby boomers from the sector is proving to be a major workforce management challenge for companies in the manufacturing sector. Apart from this, there are several other challenges that manufacturing companies must tackle in order to sustain the future scalability of the sector.

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Top workforce management challenges

 Hiring the right workforce

Manufacturing operations today are largely different from what it was a decade ago. The advent of digital technologies including robotics and advanced enterprise software are paving way for a new manufacturing environment. The modern workforce must have the skills and expertise to handle the digital systems which have become a part and parcel of the manufacturing sector.  Fewer schools offer shop classes and more students shy away from manufacturing, posing as a workforce management challenge for manufacturers to find the right talent.

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Consistent training and education

With rapid changes taking place in the manufacturing industry, even well-trained employees may face difficulties in keeping pace with these disruptions. Another key workforce management challenges for companies in the manufacturing sector is to ensure consistent training and education that would ensure that employees are up-to-date with the new tech trends and other market changes.

Overcoming stigmas related to manufacturing jobs

Throughout the United States, manufacturing has fallen out of style. High Schools, teachers and parents alike are steering children away from a career in the industry. This sector is currently bogged down by outdated stigmas such as being a dark, dangerous, and an ominous industry creating serious workforce management challenges for this sector. 

Cybersecurity threats

Technology continues to change how manufacturers develop products and interact with customers. As a result, information technology security risks have increased. Despite this, several manufacturers fail to take the necessary steps to protect their data. The number of connected products in manufacturing operations is on the rise, consequently, external and internal vulnerabilities are also increasing in the industry.

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Top 3 Challenges Facing the Manufacturing Industry and Ways to Tackle Them

Leading players in the manufacturing industry are confronting uncertainties in the face of digitization and new customer expectations. The manufacturing industry is one of the important wealth-generating sectors of the global economy and accounts for a significant share of the global workforce to develop materials needed by organizations across various industries. Moreover, as the drumbeat for innovation and digitization grows louder, companies in the manufacturing industry are facing the need to plan new strategies and invest more in technology to gain a stronger foothold. Consequently, the advent of technology is posing a new set of challenges before the industry, which need to be addressed in order to maintain the growth momentum. In this article, we have discussed some of those challenges and have suggested a few measures to tackle them effectively.

Challenges in the Manufacturing Industry

Challenge #1: Shortage of skilled labor

With the baby boomer generation entering the phase of retirement, the manufacturing industry is facing an acute shortage of labor. Today, employers in the manufacturing industry need employees with a different set of skills. There are certain tasks that have become automated and machine sensors have become more commonplace. This has created the need for manufacturers to collect large amounts of data and is opening up new avenues for employment.

Solution: To tackle this challenge, manufacturers need to plan their strategic workforce smartly. Also, they should focus more on recruiting millennials who have technical skills and ‘know-how’. Additionally, there must be an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills to streamline recruitment initiatives.

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Challenge #2: Management of project

In the manufacturing industry, projects are typically cost, time, and quality sensitive and, as a result, tend to be rigid and tightly controlled. Such rigidity and tight control mean less ability to make adjustments or update scope as the project progresses.  Many of these projects need a design commitment, with little flexibility to alter as requirements change or new information pops up.  This becomes quite frustrating for a team that wants to produce the best product but is handcuffed by deadline constraints.

Solution: To deal with such manufacturing industry challenges, the team leader needs to ask for dedicated resources. Also, utilizing the project service automation software that includes universal resource scheduling can help the manufacturers to quicGet More Infokly find resources that are available and adjust the schedule based on the predicted completion date of the project.

Challenge #3: Analyzing the data

With the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT), the manufacturing industry is facing difficulties in aggregating and analyzing the data. While many organizations may have smart machines already on their shop floor, they lack the systems to extract and analyze the data being captured by these systems. This forces manufacturers to miss out on quality.  Therefore, manufacturers are facing the dire need to improve their data mining capacities to improve real-time decisions.

Solution: Implementing an IoT solution designed to help maintenance of predictive analytics, as well as remote monitoring, can help companies in the manufacturing industry to analyze their data in real-time. Also, this can help in predicting the time when maintenance of an asset is required.  Consequently, manufacturers can shift from replace or repair maintenance model to a fix and predict model.


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5 Trends to Expect in the Future of Manufacturing

The shifts in consumer demand coupled with the changing economics of production and distribution are compelling manufacturing companies to explore radically new ways of creating and capturing value. In fact, manufacturing is no longer limited to simply making physical products. Modern customers demand personalization and customization in their products. The new age industrial revolution also termed as industry 4.0 is powered by innovative technologies such as smart manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are expected to be major driving forces in the future of manufacturing. Furthermore, today most industries are increasingly becoming automated and software driven, reducing the human intervention involved. The application of advanced technologies such as nanotechnology, cloud computing and (IoT) is turning tables for manufacturers in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. Request Proposal

Future of manufacturing

 

future of manufacturingNanotechnology

Aerospace and biomedical sectors were the first industries to reap the benefits of nanotechnology. However, this technology has slowly made its way into the manufacturing industry, promising to be a prominent resource in the future of manufacturing. Manufacturing companies are using nanotechnology to manufacture lightweight stronger materials for boats, sporting equipment, and auto parts. It is also used in the production of personal care items such as eyeglasses. This technology is believed to be of a significant importance in the future of manufacturing.

Predictive maintenance and big data

Measuring big data in real-time to improving productivity and efficiency will go mainstream in the future of manufacturing. With the help of predictive maintenance technology, manufacturing companies can predict snags and defects and thus cut downtime and costs. The future of manufacturing will witness big data and predictive maintenance in various aspects of the factory.

Leveraging supply chain

Delivering more value to the customers than the competitors is the key to sustain in the future of manufacturing. While pricing is extremely important, savvy players in the manufacturing industry will continue to distance themselves from price wars by leveraging new technology that simplifies supply chain management. This, in turn, would deliver many competitive benefits that include – being able to operate your business more efficiently, more visibility and control over inventory, reduction of operational costs, and improved customer satisfaction and retention.Ask An Analyst_IR

VR and AR in the future of manufacturing

Advanced technologies such as AR and VR are expected to make a mutually benefitting relationship between man and machine in the manufacturing industry. VR technology can be used to step up the future of manufacturing by interfacing seamlessly with computer-aided designs. With the help of VR, product developers can quickly make modifications and additions to products during the product design stage before they go into modeling and manufacturing processes. AR and VR technologies can also decrease inspection time and assist in detecting errors in addition to improving workers’ sight line, which enables them to complete tasks faster. For instance, by using AR devices such as electronic glasses or goggles, computer-generated graphics can be placed in a worker’s field of vision that provides him with real-time help when it comes to performing a task.

3D printing

3D printing can ensure less expensive and faster production in the future of manufacturing. Rapid prototyping in 3D printing is a highly cost-effective way for product designers to test and troubleshoot their products. In addition, it enables manufacturing companies to produce items on demand rather than manufacturing and warehousing them beforehand. Also, the 3D printing is also playing a great role in transforming the expensive and time-consuming process of tooling for manufacturers. 3D printing enables tooling to be cost-effectively completed on-site, in days and has already been embraced by the automotive and aerospace manufacturing industries.


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Why Should You Be Using AR in the Manufacturing Industry?

When you hear the word augmented reality, the first thing that comes to your mind is AR gaming. The application of augmented reality is not just limited to gaming. Its ability to turn the surrounding into an interactive virtual world can augment the experience and performance of any task. Manufacturing industry, in particular, is blessed by such advances in technology, as it increases the process efficiency and helps cut down on production downtime. So what Request Free Proposalare the benefits of using AR technology in the manufacturing industry?

Increase speed of work

It usually takes a lot of time for people to learn assembly and manufacturing skills. This is particularly true in the case of fighter jet engineers who go through years of training to assemble an aircraft. AR technology can hasten the process as it can overlay images in the real world using sensors and cameras. Such information helps engineers to see renderings of bolts, part numbers, and cables with specific instructions on assembling a specific component.

Solving problems

Whenever a problem arises on the shop floor, every team requires real-time access to solve the problem at hand. However, it cannot be possible for all teams to access the problem due to their location. Manufacturing operations employees can directly show all the issues at hand and explain it to the maintenance teams and engineers with the help of AR. Additionally, they can also keep track of the progress of diagnostics processes remotely.

Easy data access

Apart from projecting vital information within a user’s field of view, AR technology also allows service engineers and manufacturers to access data regarding the product or the manufacturing process easily. This includes information on the object’s location in the inventory, lead times to procure them, and their detailed specifications. Also, it is entirely possible to scan QR codes to view live videos, graphics, and images that can assist the engineers in the manufacturing process.

Decreased maintenance time

Augmented reality can project graphics and video in such details that the users would be able to carry out maintenance tasks just by following the instructions. The automotive company Bosch has collaborated with AR firm Reflekt to develop common augmented reality platform (CAP) that can help users with maintenance.

Reduction of production downtime

Production downtime can cause thousands of dollars in losses and incur an opportunity cost in a manufacturing firm. Augmented reality can help maintenance teams and engineers to identify the flaws and prevent downtime from occurring quickly. Teams in the manufacturing setup can use mobile apps to identify the problem on the shop floor and resolve it immediately.

Training uses

AR is one of the most preferred tools when it comes to training and simulation. VR is already extensively used for simulation training for aircraft pilots, military operations, and advanced surgeries. AR can be used in training to facilitate the learning process.

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4 Manufacturing Technologies That Are Trending Right Now

The latest disruptions in manufacturing technology are bringing about a change in the industry. Modern manufacturing companies are slowly accepting that being exposed to the most recent technological trends in manufacturing is less of an addition and more of a necessity to the business. This has resulted in the gradual shift of several companies from manual manufacturing processes to digital manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing technologies such as nanotechnology, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the face of the manufacturing sector. The execution of cutting-edge innovations in manufacturing has brought about a change that would have been unfathomable a decade ago, resulting in increased precision, speed, customization, and efficiency. Here is a look at four manufacturing technologies that are changing the look of manufacturing as we now know it:Request Free Proposal

#Manufacturing technology 1: 3D printing

The proliferation and application of 3D printing technology in the manufacturing sector have been one of the biggest news making headlines in the recent times. 3D technology can produce almost any component using metal, plastic, mixed materials and even human tissue. Aerospace manufacturers like NASA, GE, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin are already producing critical system components using 3D printing for their engines and systems. With the improving ability to print metal materials in 3D, large and small industrial manufacturers are starting to experiment with this technology to identify how to it can be beneficial for their business.

#Manufacturing technology 2: Light-based manufacturing

Recently, an international team of researchers formulated a light-based manipulation platform with which electronic components for use in smartphones and computers can be manufactured. This manufacturing technology will help replace expensive robots with light for assembling parts. The light-based method relies on devices that use light to manipulate small objects in liquids. This technology has the potential to mass produce electronic parts cheaply and quickly, which could overhaul the way items such as circuit boards are manufactured. At present, expensive robots are required to place and solder minute parts of circuitry into place. When electronic components get smaller, it becomes a time-consuming and challenging process. Micromanipulation manufacturing technology such as light-based manufacturing could prove to be a cheap and simple alternative.

#Manufacturing technology 3: Simulation

The capacity to simulate the production of a part from its design process to its final production will help reduce the present issues encompassing 3D printing in manufacture. Presently, additive manufacturing has mostly been based on trial and error, which can result in a costly development process as companies must tweak the system until they get it right. But simulation provides accurate predictions of how parts will behave, which, in turn, will eventually reduce errors and cut costs. Hence, integrating simulation into manufacture from the beginning to the end will help unleash the full potential of 3D printing in the manufacturing industry.

#Manufacturing technology 4: Smart factory

From smartphones to smart TVs the word ‘smart’ is slowly being prefixed to most of the things around us. We can expect to see this trend in manufacturing companies too in the form of ‘smart factory.’ Smart factories will integrate advanced technologies into every part of the manufacturing process. Companies will gradually start to use manufacturing technology in the form of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the internet of things. This will result in fully connected, flexible and hyper-efficient manufacturing systems.


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How is Technology a Boon in the Supply and Demand of Natural Resources?

In recent years, technology has transformed our lives drastically. While technology can be considered as a sword with two edges; for now, let us focus on the mounting benefits that it has offered to the human race.  For many years we have been depleting the natural resources for our uses. However, technological advancements have made it possible to reduce exploiting natural resources and switch over to other alternatives. Technological innovation such as robotics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and data analytics are hugely transforming the supply and demand of natural resources.IR_Brochure

Shift to Energy Efficient Technology

Over the years, consumption of energy has become less intense and more efficient as people have started resorting to energy efficient technologies in homes, businesses, and transportation.  In addition to this, technological innovation has helped bring down the cost of using natural resources for generating renewable energy; thereby influencing their demand-supply ratio. With the advent of technology, it has become much easier for resource producers to deploy a range of techniques into their operations, making the operations more efficient by shifting to predictive maintenance and using data analysis to discover, extract, and manage resources.

Technology in Enhancing Productivity

Machines can perform the same operations as humans in a much lesser estimated time and are more accurate. This is one of the main reasons why in many industries, such as mining, some of the crucial operations have been replaced by machines and technology. Technology has made industries much safer as well by reducing the risks involved in dangerous processes by replacing humans with machines in such activities. When the productivity of industries dealing with natural resources is increased, it will result in better supply and demand balance in the market.

Make the Right Decisions

Various advanced technologies such as data analytics, IoT, and predictive analytics can be employed by companies dealing with natural resources to determine the optimum level of extracting and using the resources with minimum costs and wastage. The demand and supply of natural resources can also be adjusted based on the data analyzed, giving the companies more room to plan and execute the operations and arrive at an equilibrium between the demand and supply of resources. Better analysis of data using technologically advanced techniques also helps companies to reduce the maintenance and repair costs in the long run.

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How Does the Future of Manufacturing Industry Look?

A growing economy and a flourishing manufacturing industry are directly linked to each other. The increase in investments in the manufacturing industry has a compounding effect across the global economy. As a result, increase in productivity, employment, and growth opportunities can be witnessed in the manufacturing sector as well as across several industries including oil and gas, telecommunications, IR_Brochureand retail. Technological advancements, innovations, and the increase in competition drives the manufacturing companies to scale new heights. Industry 4.0, the manufacturing industry buzzword, is a process of revolutionizing manufacturing activities by integrating technology such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence; thereby, offering the best of the physical as well as the virtual world. Not only are the developed nations reaping benefits of Industry 4.0 but the developing economies have also recognized the many benefits of sophisticated manufacturing techniques.

Factor Driving Growth in the Manufacturing Industry

For any industry to grow, it requires an educated and skilled workforce. Without one, the manufacturing companies lack the talent as well as the innovative capabilities to develop new processes and products. Any company in the manufacturing industry requires a skilled workforce at every stage, right from engineering to production. The manufacturing companies can opt for a public-private sector partnership that will help them bridge the talent gap through industry-based and on-the-job training. Apart from this, the government and regulatory authorities across the globe are developing policies aimed at building capabilities and improving competitiveness. Policy makers are increasing engagements with the private sector players in the manufacturing sector to drive skill development, innovation, and improve trade policies.

Industrial Sector – Future Possibilities

The manufacturing and industrial sector uplift the standard of living across the world by driving GDP growth and facilitating lower unemployment rates. There are numerous possibilities and growth opportunities that the manufacturing industry can bring to both the developed and developing economies in the world. The policymakers must identify the best practices adopted across the globe and integrate those drivers to transform their manufacturing capabilities and improve the industrial sector.

 

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