Pros and Cons of Technology in Manufacturing.
Pros and Cons of Technology in Manufacturing
Pros and Cons of Technology in Manufacturing
June 9, 2021
Rapid technology developments substantially impact the manufacturing industry. Though manufacturing technology improves production, operations and processes to make work easier for companies and workers, there are concerns about a machine’s ability to do manufacturing work and deliver precise results.
Although there are pros and cons of automated tech in manufacturing, these advanced technologies have incredible capabilities that can complete nearly any task with ease.
Positive Impact of Manufacturing Technology
Technology in manufacturing has many positive outcomes. Automation can:
- Improve quality: Automation controls the schedules and production lines without human interference. The program can optimize the schedule to reduce defects and inefficiencies, creating better quality products.
- Reduce costs: Technology can operate with better efficiency, less waste and fewer workers, creating long-term cost savings.
- Decrease production time: Manufacturing technology expedites the production process, so more batches can be made more quickly. You can create more products in less time and have a consistent run rate.
- Optimize the supply chain: The entire supply chain benefits from procurement and production that follows the delivery schedule.
- Have more consistent results: Automated technology is more consistent and eliminates the mistakes error-prone humans are more likely to create.
- Foster a safer workplace: Machines can do jobs that are dangerous for workers, preventing injury and risk. Technology can also identify risks and develop safety measures.
Negative Impact of Manufacturing Technology
Despite the many advantages, companies have some concerns about adding automated tech to their manufacturing facilities, including:
- Lost jobs: Unemployment is a common concern with tech in manufacturing since machines can replace human labor. However, the jobs that automation takes over are generally repetitive and low-value tasks, so employees can instead have critical, high-value jobs.
- Limited creativity: One machine operation setup can limit your production to one task or process, and limited space may prevent innovation and expansion into new areas. For make-to-order departments, the one-use setup saves time and boosts productivity.
- High initial cost: A costly investment is required to purchase and install automated technology in your manufacturing facility. However, automated technology does provide significant cost savings after that.
- Environmental concerns: More technology in your facility means more fuel consumption, especially if your machines have a high output. Manufacturing facilities can take certain measures to minimize the environmental impact while benefiting from automation technology.
- Machine breakdowns: Frequently used machines may have a breakdown, causing decreased productivity and downtime. Automated technology that is regularly inspected and maintained should run optimally and avoid the risk of frequent breakdowns.
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Brian Reed is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Summit Steel & Manufacturing Inc.
The Manufacturing industry has come a long way with the adoption of new technology meant to optimize processes and increase efficiency. It is now one of the most heavily reliant sectors on technology, with various tools playing a role in the production process from start to finish. While technology can be incredibly beneficial, it is important to understand the potential pros and cons of utilizing it in manufacturing.
One of the main advantages of technology in manufacturing is the capability to increase production speed and efficiency. Many manufacturing processes can be automated, which eliminates the need for manual labor and can drastically reduce the amount of time needed to produce a product. Automated processes also help to reduce the chances of human error, which in turn can lead to increased product accuracy and consistency. In addition, manufacturing processes can be monitored more closely and set up to quickly detect any potential problems, alerting problem solvers of issues quickly to minimize further damage.
At the same time, however, technology can also present a number of challenges to manufacturing. The cost of technological equipment can be quite high and may constitute a significant financial burden. Furthermore, while automation can reduce the time required to produce products, it can also lead to job losses in certain industries, as those previously occupied with tedious, manual tasks may be rendered obsolete. In addition, technology can be vulnerable to various cyber security issues, which can lead to financial losses or disruption of the production process.
Overall, technology can be of great benefit to manufacturing, as it can lead to increased speed and efficiency with improved accuracy, but it must be implemented strategically in order to minimize any potential drawbacks. As technology continues to evolve, understanding the pros and cons of its utilization can help businesses to take full advantage of its potential.