The global manufacturing industry is responsible for delivering high-quality and competitively priced products. Although manufacturers don’t have to worry about a lower demand for new and improved products, there is one thing they do have to be concerned with: their competitors. Having a leg up on the competition can mean the difference between success and failure.
Innovations in manufacturing technology present new opportunities to gain an edge over other manufacturers. This is especially important for smaller, lesser-known companies that want to survive in a competitive market. Consequently, it’s hard to ignore the importance of technology in the manufacturing process. Here is where IT comes into play.
The purpose of technology is to make life easier by providing solutions to common problems. But how can technology improve operations for manufacturers? For businesses in the manufacturing sector, technology can be used in various ways. That includes automation, data insights, cybersecurity, internet-connected machinery, and more.
Integrating technology into the modern manufacturing process is often called smart manufacturing. This is a technology-driven approach to enhancing workflows. For example, by connecting machines to the internet, they can communicate with each other to reduce errors in the supply chain.
With the emergence of smart manufacturing, however, has come new complexity in traditional manufacturing processes. You have all of this technological assistance, but nobody to keep it up and running. And no matter how advanced your technology is, it can become less efficient, less accurate, and more prone to crashes over time. The use of IT in manufacturing optimizes your technology, so there are minimal issues when you use your equipment.
Automation refers to minimizing human input through the use of technology. This solution often works well for simple, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks. Since there tends to be a lot of these types of tasks along the supply chain, automation is a valuable solution for most manufacturers.
IT supports automation in the modern manufacturing process. Machines can be programmed to follow a specific set of instructions that speed up the movement of products from one stage to the next. The only human input necessary is from the IT administrator, and that input is minimal.
By replacing workers with automated machines and robots, manufacturers can maximize the efficiency of their supply chain. At the same time, their workers can handle more important jobs that automated machines can’t handle. Plus, automation often results in higher accuracy and quality of manufacturing engineering.
It can be argued that data is a company’s most valuable asset, and that includes manufacturers. One of the most important uses for data in the modern manufacturing process is predictive analysis. This is the gathering and analyzing of data to provide insights that help you predict potential problems. Predictive analysis is extremely helpful for businesses that can’t afford interruptions in their operations.
Understanding how important data is to your business, you can use IT to improve the way you manage it. Through data backup and recovery services, you can protect your information and limit any damage caused by an unforeseen event.
In addition to automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are growing in popularity. AI is the ability of a computer or robot to perform tasks traditionally done by humans. This term can also be applied to machines that exhibit traits typically associated with the human mind, like problem solving.
Machine learning is a subset of AI in which computer programs learn and adapt through the input of new data—without human intervention. Both solutions provide an opportunity to improve the modern manufacturing process.
With AI and machine learning, machines can be taught to make complex decisions. For example, your equipment could learn how to identify defects in your products or predict when those products need maintenance. This is a step up from the previous pre-programmed approach, as AI and machine learning can pick up on patterns and learn from experience.
It’s important to keep in mind that, while these solutions require minimal human assistance, they still need to be monitored. Monitoring allows you to verify that everything is running as expected. A managed service provider (MSP) like Net3 IT can make sure all of your IT is operating properly.
The more you rely on your IT solutions, the more important it is to protect your network from cyberattacks. In a study from Deloitte, it was found that 40% of manufacturers were affected by cyberattacks and only 36% of those attacks resulted in damages of $1 million or less. Regardless of the size of the business, no manufacturer can afford a cyberattack. You need IT support that can keep your company safe from a wide variety of cyberthreats.
Net3 IT is the leading IT service provider in Knoxville, Tennessee. We work with clients in a variety of industries, including manufacturing. We leverage our knowledge and experience of this sector to deliver the support your company needs. Our team offers a wide range of services to cover all of your bases, including network monitoring, cloud solutions, IT consulting, and more. And since every business is unique, we tailor these services to fit perfectly with your operations.
Contact us today to learn more.