From taking a vehicle to receiving instant medical care, smartphones have completely changed the way people live and go about their daily tasks. Similarly, the rapid evolution of operating technology and the means of production has transformed manufacturing. Innovative companies like Tesla are the best example of how technology can bring seemingly impossible ideas to life and change our view of reality. Modern food processing equipment, robotics, sensor technology, and smart machines are no less amazing.
There is something that drives manufacturers to constantly explore ways to improve efficiency and agility. Managing market volatility is one of the biggest challenges facing manufacturers today. To successfully handle this challenge, manufacturing leaders need a solid combination of speed, agility, and responsiveness. Being agile and responsive can also help companies deal with a number of challenges, for example fluctuating raw material costs.
Most successful companies focus on improving production processes and improving customer relationships. Small businesses are even paying more attention to meeting demands for customization and improving productivity. Regardless of the size of a company, the manufacturer strives to maximize capacity utilization and achieve annual cost reductions. Carefully implementing innovative production solutions is the only way to achieve these goals.
Industrial automation technology indicates that there is never a shortage of opportunity to grow and remain profitable. A business manager has to identify strategic opportunities and technologies that can offer the greatest profit potential. It’s also important that a new solution meets a company’s competitive differentiators and core capabilities.
It is very likely that by 2020, business owners in all industries will have invested millions of dollars in a wide range of automation and manufacturing technologies. Nanofabrication, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, smart machines and the Internet of Things (IoT) will dominate the future.
Investment decisions can depend on a company’s priorities and objectives, market conditions, and forecasts. The introduction of new technologies is subject to a thorough cost-benefit analysis. The way in which the cost-benefit analysis is carried out may vary from one industry to another.
Automation technologies such as robotic welding, smart sensors, quality control systems, metal fabrication, magnetic inspection, and material handling equipment can help companies achieve the following goals:
Improved data availability
Greater responsiveness to customer expectations
Greater employee engagement
Small businesses must learn to implement automation and improve productivity profitably. Manufacturing success now largely depends on how effectively a company can adapt and meet market expectations.