They will radically redefine the dynamics of global competition in many industries by enabling them to manufacture products faster, better and at lower cost, and will lead to a quantum leap in productivity, according to BCG.
In the last decades, the global manufacturing industry has focused on finding a competitive advantage in cheap labor, however, now that wages in China and other emerging countries are are increasing, the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies could raise the productivity of companies to compete in the global market, says the analysis Why advanced manufacturing will boost productivity? , Of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
It is at this point where technology is becoming a tool for competitiveness; Is what is called Industry 4.0 that is characterized by cyber-physical (CPS) systems and dynamic data processes that use large amounts of information to drive intelligent machines. Ford and General Electric are two of the global companies that are working with this.
It is expected that global economic conditions favor the adoption of new technologies, in fact, as defined by BCG, advanced manufacturing technologies are a set of highly flexible, data-efficient and cost-efficient production processes.
The figures show that in the next five years 72% of US manufacturing companies with at least $ 1 billion in sales are planning to invest in automation and advanced technologies.
Robotic Automation –
A new generation of automation systems links industrial robots with control systems through information technologies (IT). New robotic and automation systems equipped with standardized sensors and interfaces are beginning to complement and, in some cases, eliminate human labor in many processes. This could cost-effectively enable manufacturers to produce smaller-scale items and increase their capacity to improve quality.
Engineering of integrated computer materials ( ICME ). By creating computer modeling products and simulation of their properties before they are manufactured, instead of building and testing multiple physical prototypes, engineers and designers can develop better products, faster and at a lower cost.
Digital manufacturing . Virtualization can be used to generate complete digital plants that simulate the whole production process. Among other things, this can help engineers save time and money by optimizing the distribution of a factory, identifying and correcting defects automatically at every step of the production process, and modeling quality and Output of the product. Entire assembly lines can be replicated in different locations at relatively low cost.
The industrial internet (IoT) and flexible automation . The manufacturing hardware can be integrated so that the machines are able to communicate with others and automatically adjust the production based on the data generated by the sensors.
Additive Manufacturing . Known as 3D printing, it is already beginning to be used for the manufacture of prototypes in some industries, such as aerospace, auto parts and consumer goods. In the future, it is expected to be used to build small batches of new types of products made from a single solid piece of material.
BCG anticipates that these technologies will not have a significant impact in the very short term, adding that it is unlikely to replace labor in many industries in the next five to 10 years; However, considers that although a technological leap in manufacturing has been predicted for years, this time will be increasingly a reality due to several factors that the consultant will analyze throughout this year.