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How Technology Improves Productivity and Efficiency in Manufacturing

Whether it’s the food takeaway industry deploying mobile apps or indeed if it’s sports events managers using video-assisted officiating, technological advances continuously help our world progress and improve. And then there are computer systems of course, such as CRMs, that can assist you in the planning of your workload as efficiently as possible, while analytics allow you to judge what updates would be required and when they’d be needed. Technology continues to evolve across every business, allowing companies to bump up their productivity and efficiency.

3D printing

Automated printers, such as those which are used by Voodoo Manufacturing, don’t need to be manned anymore and can continue to operate 24 hours a day. Robotics isn’t meant to replace humans, but rather at making the jobs of employers easier.

The cost of human error can be very high in any manufacturing company. That’s where the potential of 3D printing comes into play. While the technology is still in its infancy, it has the potential to have a massive impact on practicality. It’s expected that nearly every industry will be transformed by this invention as it changes how manufacturers will do business and will impact material costs, the traditional assembly line as well as product pricing strategies.

Embedded metrology

The quality control process can be a very time-consuming and expensive project. There would be randomly selected machine-made parts that would be individually tested, after which process the batch it came from would be validated if they passed the test.

Obviously this process could never be too reliable, as faulty parts may well be produced in a batch and mange to slip through after the checks. That’s why the constantly improving embedded metrology will continue to help manufacturers produce a better product. This quick and convenient solution offers a lot more accuracy, requiring very little human interference.

Drones

Ford has begun to use drones to aid in the performance of risky inspections on the factory’s equipment in its Dagenham engine plant. This is benefitting the company massively, saving almost 12 hours on each inspection and reducing the time it takes to check the equipment from 12 hours to only 12 minutes. Not only are the drones capable of providing a quick and thorough inspection, they also eliminate the health and safety risk of someone needing to scale up to 150 feet for the viewing of gantries.

In addition to making sure the equipment is still in a good enough condition, the drones provide the company with video and still footage that can be stored to allow the plant to compare its findings over a period of time so as to monitor any changes or patterns that are noticeable. This has grown to become an indispensable tool for the factory, with the drones greatly improving productivity and efficiency.

Bodysuits

Ford’s Michigan plant also uses innovative technological developments to help its workforce. It was announced in 2017 that line workers in the plant would be piloting exoskeleton suits — wearable technology that can help support a worker’s arms while they undergo tasks above their heads. These suits can also be adjusted to support different weights, depending on the needs of the wearer.

While such suits were more likely to appear on the big screen in movies like Iron Man only a few years ago, the creation is enjoying positive feedback from its users, with many claims that they aren’t as sore after a shift if they’ve been wearing the tech.

It’s anticipated that this human aspect can be removed completely in future, with technology helping to provide a fully integrated and fully automated form of quality-control. While some of the public are concerned that jobs will be lost as it keeps progressing, it can only be a good thing for manufacturing companies as it continues to help improve productivity and efficiency. It will be really interesting to see what we welcome to factories next! Technology continues to amaze us in all realms of this life. It’s no different for the automotive industry either which is taking advantage of new inventions. It’s not only our cars that are benefitting from technological advances, though — the manufacturing industry is, too.

Lookers, who offer a variety of Ford disability cars, epitomise this.