As efficient as modern manufacturing processes have become, owning and operating a smart factory is not without its challenges. Finding ways to produce goods more quickly, with a greater degree of safety, at a higher quality, and at a lower cost are all facets of manufacturing that are urgently being iterated upon, even by industry leaders in the automotive sector.
1. Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or often referred to as Industry 4.0, is currently underway in all aspects of the global economy. Industry 4.0 represents the ongoing automation of both the traditional manufacturing processes and other industrial practices across non-manufacturing sectors of the economy.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is constantly and rapidly evolving. New technological advancements in industrial smart factories seem to be happening all the time. This article will take a look at some of the biggest current tech trends in industrial manufacturing.
The beginning of this, the third decade of the new millennium, may have started out rather bleak, but it does not mean that things like innovation or advances in technology have come to a grinding halt. In fact, quite the opposite is true. As we find ourselves in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (more commonly referred to as Industry 4.0) the adoption of automated machinery in the manufacturing sector shows no indication of slowing down.
The world is changing, and so are its energy needs and sources. The current energy grid was designed around centralized power plants that generate a one way power flow.
As we find ourselves firmly entrenched within the digital revolution, we have seen it permeate the manufacturing sector while simultaneously continuing to disrupt the media, finance and healthcare, amongst other sectors.
Most people use HMIs regularly in everyday life. For instance, when they’re adjusting the temperature controls in their vehicles or homes, they’re engaging a human-machine interface. In industrial applications, HMIs are often more complex interfaces capable of handling the volume and complexity of inputs and outputs necessary to operate industrial machinery or plant-wide operations.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two of the ways tech changes the way we look at the world. Whereas AR enhances our experience by superimposing digital images on our reality (think Pokémon Go), VR creates a completely different reality with a simulated environment. While both are typically used in technology for entertainment, they can also help improve industries such as manufacturing.
Everybody knows that increased automation on the factory floor dealt a severe blow to manufacturing workers everywhere. Now, white collar jobs are also about to undergo quite a few shakeups as automation begins to take over offices, schools, hospitals and research labs everywhere.
Electromechanical switches are devices designed and used as additions for electrical circuits. They register over current, over-voltage, reverse power flow, and frequency. All of this is done in order to reduce the risk of major accidents or flashovers related to the electrical system within a structure or in machinery. Essentially, they work by tripping the circuit breaker when a fault is detected.
It's been a rough few years for the manufacturing industries, highlighted by the end of the first decade in the twenty first century where the most serious recession since the Great Depression affected most, if not all of the world’s economy. Most sectors seem to have rebounded, and the manufacturing industry is no exception.
The face of aviation is expected to change drastically over the next several decades. New regulations are driving the demand for electric and hybrid aircraft that produce fewer carbon emissions. Organizations like NASA and Airbus are leading the way to cleaner aviation by researching and designing green aircraft propulsion technologies.
A recent technological breakthrough in the efficiency of the electric motor could mean that the average family’s grocery bill is about to drop – significantly. QM Power, a technology firm located in Kansas City, Missouri, recently broke the news to the world that it had developed an electric motor that promised to be at least 80% more efficient than Tesla’s (the man, not the automaker) induction electric motor.
One of the more remarkable consumer technologies to really take flight in the last few years are drones; but the one that is really turning heads is Parrot’s Oculus Rift compatible drone, Bebop.