Current situation and challenges
54% of global energy use is attributed to manufacturing, as well as one fifth of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
But sustainability is not the only challenge here. Consumer demands are changing rapidly with new technologies evolving. The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, has already started and there is a whole new world of possibilities to explore.
Digitalization has already changed and will further change the way human workers interact with each other, how machines interact with each other, and also how machines interact with humans. A continuously improving connectivity enables a massive amount of data on real-time performance and analytics paving the way for numerous applications.
As the manufacturing sector needs to face the challenges of a faster and harder competition, disruptive technologies and a change in customer demands, the entire manufacturing process and product development cycle will be undergoing many transformations.
Freigeist’s view on technologies
Computer vision, AI, industrial sensors, drones and robotics will enable a superhuman level of productivity and accuracy while continuously reducing the risk at work. Augmented Reality will change the way of manufacturing with guided maintenance and introduce new ways of global collaboration with reduced travel costs, to name only a few applications.
5G, cloud and edge computing will accelerate the arrival of the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and with it smart factories, where networks of devices are connected and make decentralized decisions. Together with real-time data used for a wide field of applications like quality control or obtaining a greater schedule accuracy, IIOT will make production processes more efficient, which will save energy and resources and increase the quality of the products.
Furthermore, real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance can help increase the lifespan of manufacturing machines and equipment and save maintenance costs. 3D printing will fundamentally shift the boundaries of design and production. By eliminating production steps, it can help save energy and reduce material consumption. Also, being able to print parts anywhere makes decentralized manufacturing a possibility, reducing the need for transportation and thus, emissions.
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