To say that manufacturing methods have undergone a change over the past few decades would be an understatement. Between 3D printing, innovative ways to produce phones, and the rise of China, it’s been quite a revolution. However, you may well be wondering why these methods matter and what exactly each one does. You might also be thinking about the future of manufacturing and how these changes will affect your business. This post will cover some of the more prevalent methods of manufacturing currently being used today.
Over The Past Decade, How Has Manufacturing Changed?
Despite the fact that the outcome remains the same (to create a product), the process of doing so has evolved along with technology. These days, companies can boost productivity and revenue by using technology such as digital winning to find issues before the first item has even rolled off the production line. A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical entity. It can be used to update the status, record data, and optimize processes.
This can help companies better understand their products, services, and processes without investing time and money into building them physically. One area where it can improve the manufacturing process is via plant modeling. This is the process whereby a digital twin is created in the factory in order to find and rectify inefficiencies in production. The digital twin could also be used to judge when a process is ready for production. For example, if the digital twin shows that a part is not ready for production but the company wants to move forward with it, it would provide additional data that would allow them to make an educated decision. With the help of digital twins, companies can improve their manufacturing processes and increase the quality of products by reducing errors. Digital twins can help companies save time, reduce costs and be more efficient in the future of manufacturing.
What Are The Current Manufacturing Methods Used Today?
Advances in automation, new materials, and developments in digital technology have led to radical changes to our production system. The production process is now more efficient and streamlined, with fewer errors occurring during the manufacturing process. This allows companies to produce products at a much faster rate than before. With these changes, companies can focus on innovation and cost-effective solutions for their consumers. The main focus of this section will be on how these advancements have led to radical changes for businesses and consumers alike.
Job Shop Manufacturing
Job shop manufacturing (JSM) is a production process that uses a combination of automated and manual systems to produce a product. The computerized work is done using computer-controlled machines, while highly trained individuals often do the manual labor. In most cases, this process focuses on smaller batches of items for less product-intensive industries. For instance, a factory that creates only specific parts for an aircraft could be considered a batch shop manufacturer. While human labor is still required for many of the processes, technology is creeping in as it tends to be far more efficient and cost-effective. For example, a 3D aluminum printer can create far more precise items than a human could hope to achieve. The only real drawback at the moment is the speed at which these machines can produce things.
Discrete manufacturing is often used to describe the entire production and design of an item or product, such as a car, airplane, computer, or machine, instead of continuous manufacturing. In essence, it is a process that allows for multiple variations of a product in the same production facility. This makes this type of production a very flexible option for companies that develop products that need to be similar but different. Discrete manufacturing is currently experiencing a resurgence due to global trends and a growing number of small businesses requiring high volumes of customized goods. It is also used as an alternative to traditional manufacturing methods, which can be very complex, expensive, and time-consuming.
This is the gold standard of what could be described as mass production. However, it is a little more complicated because this process can scale up or down per requirement. Repetitive manufacturing is a process that can be used to create specific goods using a preset of processes and components. These goods can be made from various materials and are the standard manufacturing process for many companies worldwide. It provides an efficient way for the company to make goods quickly and in volume.
Batch Process Manufacturing
A batch process manufacturing is a production method in which multiple products are made in the same process. Batch processing reduces waste and helps companies increase productivity and lower production costs. Companies that produce batches of products at intervals will often use this technique.
Continuous Process Manufacturing
Continuous process manufacturing can be considered somewhat similar to repetitive processes, except it is used for far higher volumes. The continuous process has various advantages, including standardized product quality, faster production, low unit cost, and reduced inventory. It is flexible as its technology can be used for other sectors like healthcare or aerospace, where the production time is measured in weeks rather than days. Continuous process manufacturing also yields cost savings by reducing the number of employees required for production.
3D Printing Manufacturing
3D printing manufacturing is a process in which a digital model is created and converted into materials using additive manufacturing. It is used in automotive, aerospace, defense, industrial, and medical industries, in which custom items must be made and must also be extremely precise. Recently, this type of manufacturing has grown exponentially with falling prices for equipment and materials. The process is expected to revolutionize manufacturing and create new kinds of products.
Finding a manufacturing method that works for your design or product is one of the most critical steps in bringing an idea from concept to market. The different manufacturing methods vary in how much they cost, how quickly they can produce a final product, and the quality of the final product. Before you decide on a technique, it’s helpful to understand all of your options.