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What's Available in Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing tools from IoT to mobile robots and generative design to predictive maintenance are varied and plentiful – and now they’re affordable.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a plethora of manufacturing technology. IoT and collaborative robots are becoming more common, as well as PLM design for manufacturing and data analytics.

Much of this technology has been around since the beginning of the 21st century. At that point, it was mostly the purview of the largest 2% or 3% of manufacturers. That has changed significantly. In the last few years, we’ve seen this technology become democratized.

The hardware is less expensive because of efficient manufacturing processes. The software has come down in price because of advances in both memory and processing power. And the ability to deploy these tools has become much easier. Low-code and configuration-based programming mean that small manufacturers don’t need to employ pricy programmers or integrators. Consequently, small- and mid-size manufacturers can now afford the deploy much of the advanced manufacturing tools.

Take a look at this wide range of advanced manufacturing tools.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cybersecurity. For 10 years, he was the owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.


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