A recently released survey conducted by the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT – the folks who bring us IMTS every other year) identifies three major trends that have enormous impact on how OEMs, distributors, integrators and end users will function in the future.
AMT members can access the complete, 52-page report and non-members can download a condensed summary. The report identifies the top three technology trends, discusses each in great detail and provides insights into how these tends may affect manufacturing today and in the future.
According to the report, the top three manufacturing trends are:
Additive Manufacturing (AM). The survey participants view additive or 3-D printing technology somewhat differently depending on their type of businesses and personal experience. Their perspectives range from scoffing at such technology as a passing fancy to seeing it as a major technology shift. Regardless, the report makes it clear that the technology appears to be rapidly advancing from prototyping and R & D applications toward practical production volumes. Meanwhile better control systems, process design advantages, and the development of new materials with enhanced molecular characteristics open the door to wider acceptance.
Flexible Automation and Robotics.Industrial robots Have long been recognized for labor savings, reduced cost-per-part and improving overall productivity. In the past, some manufacturers, especially smaller CNC shops, may have been intimidated by robotic technology. However, recent advances in sensing capabilities, easier-to-program-and-use controls and data collection and analysis make robotic automation more accessible and useful.
Factory Visibility and Control. As in many industries, manufacturing data collection and utilization is rapidly becoming more important to improving productivity, product quality and reducing overall costs. The ability to gather data from all parts of the manufacturing process and make on-the-fly adjustments through more sophisticated control systems is at the forefront of this technology trend.
As a long-time AMT member, Gosiger pays close attention to these and other trends affecting the manufacturing community. Contact Gosiger for more information on how to apply the latest technology to enhance your production.