The manufacturing industry is defined by technological advancements, processes and digital transformations. Every year, new advancements are revealed that shake up the industry even more. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and IoT were some of the top trending technologies that made waves in previous years–but what will be the focus in 2020?
As a new decade rolls around, manufacturers are looking ahead to new trends and technologies that are soon to come. Here are the top five trends that are predicted to take over the industry this year.
5G wireless technology began to roll out in 2019, but with limited access. This year, it is expected to become completely accessible to everyone in the US. This network will play a major role in providing high bandwidth, reducing latency and creating a reliable network for real-time communication on a massive scale.
For manufacturers, 5G will allow for the increased implementation of sensors, centralized tracking, cloud usage and quality inspection. Smart manufacturing will be much easier to achieve as 5G becomes readily available this year.
The rise of industrial IoT has paved the way for wearable technology. Devices containing sensors and various electronic features will bring a whole new dimension to data collection in the industry. Some of the most noteworthy benefits that wearable technology will bring to manufacturing are the ability to increase workplace productivity, new tracking capabilities, and gaining new insights on safety and efficiency.
Wearable technology is also predicted to play a major role in employee health. Improvements in bio-sensing features now allow for health monitoring, such as body temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen levels. This will give company leaders new insight into the working conditions of their employees and allow them to take preventative action against workplace injury.
Performing preventive machine maintenance is a critical part of any successful manufacturing facility. In 2020, predictive maintenance, or the ability to predict future equipment failures, is extremely valuable in limiting unscheduled downtime. Research suggests that one single hour of downtime can equate to $100,000 in losses. Manufacturers will now be able to optimize their maintenance in real-time, which will ultimately extend the lifespan of their equipment and prevent further operational disruptions.
Increased Popularity of Mobile Robots
While mobile robots have already hit big e-commerce companies like Amazon, they are predicted to become more accessible for all industries. These autonomous robots can be programmed to move materials to specific locations on their own, which proves especially helpful in warehouse management. Many companies are looking to mobile robots to help increase productivity and cut down on extra labor costs in 2020.
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