We are living in a digital age where the customer is more empowered and is driving demand. Customers are also driving the pressure for faster time to market, fierce global competition, and the advent of new technologies. In order to have a competitive edge, manufacturers are required to make production decisions on the spot using information captured digitally. Manufacturers can analyze everything that goes on in the plant using their fingertips without being physically present.
Hence, digital manufacturing is a method of production using computers in which products are manufactured in the desired style and in the required quantity with little or no human involvement. Using this approach, manufacturers leverage digital technologies to develop, plan, and customize the entire manufacturing process from start to finish.
The objective of digital manufacturing is to provide manufacturers with valuable insights which help them make critical decisions, increase efficiency, avoid errors, and cut unnecessary costs. This allows them to optimize the manufacturing process and respond to customer and market demands in a more agile manner.
Here are some reasons why digital manufacturing will be more important than ever in the coming years:
#1 Today’s supply chain is demand-driven. Manufacturers are required to analyze data of consumer buying trends and alter production cycles to mirror consumer trends.
#2 The ubiquity of marketplaces is pushing manufacturers to function beyond their workplaces. This can only happen by harnessing technology like the Internet and mobile devices.
#3 Incorporating mobility into new production strategies, processes, and procedures allow for greater communication, collaboration, and responsiveness to meet deadlines and delivery dates that was not possible before.
#4 For intelligent inventory management, efficient production schedules, optimizing supply chain operations, and increasing customer engagement, automation is critical.
#5 With baby boomers retiring, and millennials who have grown up in the digital era replacing them, the future of manufacturing is in the hands of a new generation. Because millennials are more digitally equipped, the workplace of the future will include technology like mobility, IoT, and Big Data.
#6 Legacy systems are giving way to advanced technologies of cloud computing for storing data, smart machines for automating processes, and predictive analytics to forecast trends.
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