If automation was not already on the rise prior to the pandemic, a global slowdown and reduction in available workforce accelerated creative thinking among manufacturing leaders around the globe. Here are some of the automation and AI trends that are transforming manufacturing today.
The Rise of “Cobots”
One of the most significant changes we are seeing is the move to collaborative robots, or “cobots.” These are robots designed to work alongside humans in manufacturing settings. One reason for the rise in popularity of cobots is that they can be quickly deployed and require minimal programming. For example, what would have taken more than a week to program a conventional welding robot, a collaborative robot may be trained to complete the same task in under an hour.
Artificial Intelligence Accelerating Optimization
Another growing trend is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing. AI can be used for tasks such as quality control, predictive maintenance, and process optimization. For example, using computer vision, a form of AI, manufacturers can inspect products for defects with greater speed and accuracy than human inspectors, or collect data about the manufacturing process, which is then analyzed by AI software to identify inefficiencies and suggest improvements.
Yet another area where AI is being used in manufacturing is in the area of supply chain management. By using AI to track and predict trends, manufacturers can optimize their production schedules and inventory levels.
The rise of automation has enabled entire factories to run with virtually no human interaction, 24/7, 365 days per year. While this hasn’t had wide adoption Stateside, it’s coming, and will be transformational for manufacturers with high-risk tasks too dangerous for humans to complete.
Augmented Reality As A Training Tool
Finally, we are seeing a rise in the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in manufacturing. These technologies can be used for training, design, and simulation. For example, VR can be used to train workers on how to use new equipment or how to perform a dangerous task. AR can be used to superimpose instructions or images onto the real world, which can be helpful when working on complex tasks.
These are just a few of the many trends that are redefining robotics in manufacturing. As we move into the future, we can expecArtificial Intelligence in Manufacturing, what’s new, what is in demand, and what will we see in the next 5 years.t to see even more innovative and exciting changes in this field.
If you’re looking to expand into smarter manufacturing systems such as robotics and various forms of industrial automation, connect with ENGS to learn how we are Moving Business Forward with equipment financing solutions tailored for how your business runs.