Many of the world’s manufacturing fundamentals have stayed constant into the 21st century. The way to make a screw or a nail, for example, is pretty much the same way they did it a century ago. However, this is far from ascertaining that manufacturing is somehow immune from the changing nature of 21st century computer technology.
The management, analysis, and adjustment of these time tested manufacturing processes are themselves what has been on deck for rapid technological advancement.Throughout the industrial revolution, humans were utilized to handle the ever varying nature of managing huge manufacturing systems. Factories employed hundreds, sometimes thousands of individuals to tend to tasks.
It was necessary, but consumed a large portion of revenue to maintain year in and year out. The result was slow and steady mass migration of manufacturing jobs to other countries where wages were lower.
Nowadays, manufacturers around the world are looking for the next stage of maximizing profits by reducing overhead: the implementation of sophisticated computer technology to eliminate the need for humans on the factory floor.
To help manufacturing operations successfully outfit themselves with computer technology, the following components are critical:
A completely humans free factory is probably another 25 years away, at minimum. There will remain a need for staff to monitor these systems for many more years to come. The implementation of panel pc technology throughout plant corridors will be key to this process. The panels must be heavy duty, capable of functioning full time in a wide range of temperatures.
Permanent touchscreen portals throughout the factory are just one part of the user end. The swift growth of mobile device usage across the world has created an unofficial mandate for computer systems technicians everywhere: your plan better factor in these products. Manufacturing employees of the next decade are going to be refined down to the few necessary professionals, often multitasking throughout the day. They need direct access to systems data and fast response time no matter where they are at that given moment.
Another thing to consider is the need for smart fail safes written into the program. What this means is that a certain level of autonomous problem solving must exist within a manufacturing operation’s computer works. The highly responsive nature of supply chain management in today’s global economy means the place of origin for components has to perform in an equally elastic fashion. This, in turn, drives up the likelihood of conflicting details between pre-programmed protocol and the current situation. The system ought to have the ability to judge on its own the right path to take. Otherwise, dependence on human intervention will make the system practically useless.
Then there is the strong belief that current manufacturing computer systems must factor in the inevitable Internet of Things. Engineering the coupling between computer and machine will require a consideration for the ability to someday sync machines from across the globe to one another. For some situations, this doesn’t amount to much more than installing a respectable number of USB ports. For others, this will take a bit of creative troubleshooting before getting right.
The world’s factories and manufacturing plants are seemingly not much different than they were 20, 40, or even 80 years ago in some cases. Yet look more closely and you will soon learn the industrial revolution is still well underway into the 21st century. The focus has shifted away from the machinery, which a century’s worth of persistent refinement has practically perfected, and toward the technology capable of replacing the humans traditionally needed to manage the systems at play. Computer technicians are tasked with not only bridging the gap between traditional manufacturing and modern digital technology, but designing the plans for the next bridge intended to connect today with the future.