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Infographic – Technology Transforms Manufacturing

Factory of the future

Click on image for full-size view. (CB Insights)

29 June 2019. We’re hearing a lot about advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and blockchain, including here on Science & Enterprise. But other than occasional dire warning about the toll they’re taking on jobs, we’re not seeing all that much in the popular media on the application of these technologies in manufacturing.

Our friends at CB Insights issued a report on Thursday that pulls together many of these developments on the remaking of manufacturing with advanced technologies, the source of this weekend’s infographic. The report says the use of these technologies is even eclipsing the “lights-out manufacturing” trend that began in the early 2000s, with advanced systems taking on more and more functions:

  1. Product R&D
  2. Resource planning and sourcing
  3. Operations technology monitoring and machine data
  4. Labor augmentation and management
  5. Machining, production, and assembly
  6. Quality assurance
  7. Warehousing
  8. Transport and supply chain management

I’m not surprised advances in manufacturing are largely flying under the radar. In the 1990s, I was part of groups writing industry standards for applying the Internet to manufacturing and supply-chain management, and later wrote about these advances that vastly improved business productivity. At the time, much of the leading news media, even the business press, located on the U.S. coasts, were oblivious to these important changes going on in the heartland, and only realized their impact much later.

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