One of the primary objectives of engineers this century is to fully automate all means of manufacturing, including repetitive processes, hazardous processes and simple processes. The economy will transition and the vast majority of employment will move into the third and fourth sector reducing the manufacturing employment and focusing on research and development.
Technology is underway and for the next two decades this transition will mostly take place, enabling facilities managers, investors and entrepreneurs to focus on technologies to enhance local capability to create products such as automobiles, vehicles, electronics and common goods.
Here are the technologies that will shape industrial development the next decades:
1. Facility & Energy Management Systems
Facilities and energy management is a fundamental part of a factory to maintain its operational objectives. Software, SCADA and EMS integration will provide the facilities engineers and managers to monitor and execute tasks efficiently, with preventive and predictive maintenance automated capabilities to identify possible failure or fatigue.
2. Machine Monitoring System
Just as the Energy Management System, the MMS or Machine Monitoring System will allow the maintenance engineers to perform predictive and preventive maintenance tasks efficiently. MMS will integrate with Intuitive Troubleshooting System that will guide the engineer to repair the failure.
Such system are already starting to being developed, pioneered by the automobile and aerospace industry maintenance, repair and overhaul procedures that now run fully or semi-automated, to alert of a failure or replacement.
3. Cloud-based training and repository
As corporations become global, the requirement for a repository of information, training and data is fundamental to perform tasks uniformly and globally with the same standards and quality. Such system will require being part of a private or open cloud repository depending on the needs.
4. Unmanned Processes & Telemetry
No industry will become fully unmanned as some predict, even the “lights off factory” need maintenance, control operators and so on. Nevertheless unmanned processes and telemetry will become a higher trend to develop products. These systems are being developed right now such as the famous “automated warehouse” where you see robotics systems delivering efficiently the packages and storing them properly.
Such systems integration will be part of the future development of the industries and their factories and manufacturing facilities.
5. Modular Automation
Modular technology is becoming a high trend in manufacturing with technologies such as additive manufacturing options to current CNC Technology, which means there will be a progressive transition to replace the technology enhancing the capability of equipment.
These options would not be conceive in the past decades, but now it is a trend and an opportunity to develop technology from available platforms that provide such arranges to being made in equipment.
6. Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing.
This is the most important breakthrough of the century in manufacturing. Addictive Manufacturing equipment will fully disrupt manufacturing as we know it. We can print electronics, embed electronic systems, create a full frame of an automobile, any vehicle, and even in time shipbuilding, drones and aero-building as I call it due to the fact of the diversity we can know develop in the aerospace industry.
7. Automated costs analysis system
Costs are one of the most predictive processes in finance; with automation and knowledge and information coming from all around the world, we can have fully automated systems that can even automate tax procedures.
Such systems will be at service of financial analysts that will determine the projects, the requirements and needs to reduce costs, enhance savings and operate with excellence.
8. Private Cloud Based Lean Operating System
Lean Management is the core of the industrial development of the past 30 years, we need to create systems that may comply with the Lean Operating System to integrate corporate efforts to monitor all the company, to transparent all the tasks being made, to enhance the capability of recognition of talent, and to provide the knowledge and know-how to the project engineers to improve the manufacturing processes.
9. Industrial Computed Tomography / 3D scanning.
Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing need their counterpart to perform quality assessment automated procedures to verify the product in guideline with the quality manual or quality policy. Computed Topography is a tool that can help both Operations and Manufacturing to achieve their goals of either quality assurance or preventive maintenance.
10. Crowdsourcing Manufacturing Technology Projects
This may not be seen as a technology but it is part of all technological efforts and development to succeed in the modern industrial development. Crowdsourcing certain projects such as processes improvement help the industry to excel the opportunities of industrial development while ensuring that their engineers focus on R&D, Projects and Maintenance. This is a win-win for manufacturing; creates opportunities for more technology to be developed and also enhances the capability of a company to perform efficiently.