3 Manufacturing Technology Trends for 2018

Your manufacturing facility may look very different in the years to come. The technological changes that started just a few years ago are becoming readily available and more affordable in 2018. It’s time to start thinking of how you, too, can take advantage of Industry 4.0, aka the “smart factory”. Your company could become more efficient and your employees more productive when you take advantage of some of the technology that is changing the manufacturing industry.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

IIoT, in the simplest sense, is a collection of sensors that can be used gather data from just about anywhere. The following uses are up and coming in the Manufacturing industry:

  • Moving to a ‘repair before failure’ model with remote diagnostics
  • Parts that can monitor and evaluate their own performance and even order their own replacement
  • Real-time monitoring of materials, equipment, and products in use or in transit
  • Increased optimization and intelligent decision making using IIoT with enhanced data analytics

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality

Augmented reality uses special glasses or goggles to augment or enhance your current reality. This technology will continue to see lowering costs in 2018, making it more affordable for more uses. Some interesting uses in Manufacturing are:

  • Hands-free access to manufacturing assembly instructions directly in your field of vision
  • Maintenance support technology – step by step instructions to fixing equipment
  • Real-time expert real-time technical assistance
  • Leveraging the IIOT sensors to provide immediate information to workers without needing to be in front of a computer

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality

Virtual reality uses closed goggles to immerse you in another visual context. Just like the augmented reality, the cost of this technology is continuing to go down. The following virtual reality uses are increasing in manufacturing:

  • Expanded training programs that put you right in the middle of the factory floor
  • Ability for engineers and designers to interact with their designs in a real-life
  • Capability for customers to view immersive 3D version of your product
  • Planning a factory floor with virtual reality for clear usage and optimization