Ushering in of the new millennium nearly two decades ago was not just a chronological milestone in the Gregorian calendar but it coincided with the dawn of a new era — the era of everything digital. The marketplace has changed and how.
Gone are the days when manufacturing was entrusted to a few giants. The entire manufacturing environ is democratic and run by a consumer-centric approach. Globalisation in the 21st century has increased competition monumentally with numerous markets opening up for everyone who has a product to sell. The internet has only exponentially magnified this feature.
Technology has improved efficiency, productivity, and swiftness of the entire industry. During the course of 21st century manufacturing units will change further and these changes will have a strong impact on the creation of jobs, required skills, scale of innovation, policies with regard to economy, and stability of the entire industry.
A major contribution of technology into the manufacturing industry is the concept of LEAN manufacturing. LEAN manufacturing is the approach to manufacturing in which, the manufacturing process promotes efficient, maximum work output, while ensuring that the organisation achieves their targets of cost effectiveness and ensure the delivery of quality products across the clientele base.
The Role of Mobile Applications
The world has gone from being an inaccessible place of unknown lands to being virtually in the palms of a mobile device user. The world has changed and manufacturing for this new world has also acknowledged the need for change.
Mobile applications are a necessity for most businesses if they wish to survive the increasing competition in the sector. With mobile applications, employees can be tracked, while GPS technology allows management and safety officials to know where they are in a plant, and how long they have been at that spot. In case of any emergency, the knowledge of where an employee is in a factory can translate into the difference between life and death. The tracking feature of these mobile applications can also be used to track the productivity of employees. The integration of mobile application in the system can help create a reliable system of accurate data that is accessible in real-time. Business processes can be substantially simplified with pre-filled forms, required fields, and computer-generated mathematics, thus minimising the chances of human error.
The Role of AI
The manufacturing industry can benefit heavily from the implementation of artificial intelligence; therefore, its adoption has also been fairly quick. For many manufacturing units the economic recession of the 2000s still bears a lot of impact. As a result, automation has been a win-win situation. Artificial intelligence has realised the potential of manufacturing units to enhance and extend the capabilities of humans, and help businesses achieve more, faster and more efficiently. The growth of the manufacturing industry is now dependent on its adoption of artificial intelligence to keep inventories lean and reduce the cost. Automation will help the manufacturing industry reach a level of accuracy and productivity that is even beyond human ability — working in environments that are otherwise dangerous, tedious or complicated for humans.