Times are a-changing. It seems where ever we turn in our daily lives innovations are changing the way we work, play, and collaborate. Especially within our industries. One of the major industries that is evolving at rapid speed is manufacturing. Here’s how:
- You might be thinking, the whole concept of manufacturing is to automate, right? We use machines and assemblies because mass production would be nearly impossible in a completely manual environment. That’s true–but we’re kicking it into overtime now. In the past it was our duty, as humans, to train our machines and program them. Now, technological advancements are showing that human tune-ups are needed less and less. Our machines are learning to be (in the words of Daft Punk) harder, better, faster, stronger—and smarter—on their own. Cue robotics.
- While we’re here, we should address why mass production is at its peak in the first place. In part it’s due to mass customization. Do you need several iterations of the same product? Configurators, like the one DriveWorks allows you to create, are saving time on the design front. Consequently, businesses are booming with more production opportunities.
- CAD programs are no longer exclusive to designers and engineers. Modern product development keeps the shop floor team in mind too. Programs like SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM) or SOLIDWORKS Composer enable seamless integration so the lines of communication between designers and the shop floor are not only open, but clear. Full integration allows for less re-work and bridges the gap between conception and production.
3D Printing/ Additive Strategy
- Once perceived as more of a “cool new toy” rather than a useful production tool, the age of 3D Printing is now. If you keep a pulse on technology then you know ‘3D Printing reduces new product introduction timelines by 25%.’ No longer simply a means for prototypes, 3D Printing provides manufacturers with cost savings, time savings, and a competitive advantage. In other words, not only is 3D Printing feasible in production, it’s massively impactful.
- Plus, in the age of customization, 3D Printing has gone full Chipotle on us. There’s so many things you can do – like 3D Print in different polymers of plastic and metal (yes, I said metal); embed pieces with carbon fiber; dictate manufacturing timeframes (how fast do you want it made?); or print on a massive large scale. YOU decide what build size, by what time, and in what finish. Tailor-made manufacturing at its best!
You know what they say…if you’re not keeping up, you’re falling behind. So, where do you stand?
If you’ve already implemented some of this cutting-edge technology and strategy then we salute you. If you haven’t…then, we want to help. Contact us!
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