Every business is finding itself evolve thanks to technology. Whether it’s a food takeaway industry introducing mobile apps for an ordering system, or sports events using video assisted refereeing, technological advances are quickly allowing the world as we know it to progress. There are many computer systems, such as CRMs, that can assist you in effectively and efficiently planning your workload. Analytics can also help you judge any updates that are needed.
Automated printers, like the ones used by Voodoo Manufacturing, don’t require humans to man them anymore, meaning they can be working 24 hours a day. The use of robotics isn’t aimed at replacing humans, but more so making employees’ jobs easier. In any manufacturing company, human error can be extremely costly. That’s where 3D printing can come into play. While it’s still early days for the technology, it has the potential to have a massive impact on practicality. It’s expected that this invention will transform nearly every industry as it changes how manufacturers will do business and will impact material costs, the traditional assembly line and product pricing strategies.
This process isn’t thought to be the most reliable – faulty parts may well be produced in a batch and slip through after the checks. That’s why the ever-improving embedded metrology will continue to help manufacturers produce a better product. This quick and convenient solution is a lot more accurate and requires little human interference.
Traditionally, the process of quality control can be extremely expensive and time consuming. There would be randomly selected machine-made parts that would be individually tested, and if they passed the test, the batch it came from would be validated.
In Dagenham, the Ford engine plant has started to use drones to perform risky inspections on equipment in the factory. The company is benefitting massively, saving almost 12 hours on each inspection and reducing the time it takes to check the equipment from 12 hours to 12 minutes. Not only can drones provide a quick and thorough inspection, but they eliminate the health and safety risk of someone needing to scale up to 150 feet to look at gantries.
As well as checking to ensure that equipment is still in a good enough condition, the drones are being used to provide the company with still and video footage that can be stored to allow the plant to compare its findings over a period of time to monitor any changes or patterns that are noticeable. This has become an indispensable tool for the factory, with the drones greatly improving productivity and efficiency.
The Ford plant in Michigan, USA, is also aiding its workforce by using innovative technological developments. It was announced in 2017 that line workers in the plant would pilot exoskeleton suits — wearable technology that can help support a worker’s arms while they undergo tasks above their heads. These suits can also be adjusted to support different weights, depending on the wearer’s needs.
While you may associate such suits with movies such as Iron Man, the creation is receiving great feedback from its users; many are claiming they aren’t as sore after a shift if they’ve been wearing the technology.
It’s anticipated that this human aspect can be completely removed in the future, with technology helping to provide a fully integrated and fully automated form of quality control. While some of the public are concerned that jobs will be lost as it keeps progressing, it can only be a good thing for manufacturing companies as it continues to help improve productivity and efficiency.
In the future, it will be interesting to see what we welcome to factories next! Technology is continuing to amaze us in all walks of life. The automotive industry is no different, either, taking advantage of new inventions. It’s not only our cars that are benefitting from technological advances, though — the manufacturing industry is, too. Lookers, retailers of Ford Disability Cars, is an example of this.