Technology is embraced by every sector, including the industrial one. It is one of the crucial sectors contributing to the economy and making positive impacts on society. Therefore, we need industrial technology to improve the existing processes. It brings modernization and develops quicker ways of completing tasks. Overall, industrial technology is implemented in businesses to improve efficiency while generating more profits. It provides extensive benefits, both to the business and consumers. With that said, let’s look at the definition of industrial technology, followed by examples and applications.
Industrial technology definition
The application of engineering and manufacturing technology in improving the efficiency and productivity of industrial processes is referred to as industrial technology.
By now, businesses have realized that to stay relevant and survive in the market, they need to keep up with the increasing technological pace. Adopting industrial technology is the most sensible choice. Firstly, it improves the efficiency of the core processes.
This is done by making the work easier and faster. Secondly, it provides solutions to various problems encountered by manufacturers. That way, issues are rectified before the processes can come to a halt. Lastly, it cut down production costs, eventually increasing the profits.
Examples of industrial technology
We have covered what is industrial technology and why we need it. Now let us take an in-depth look at some prominent examples of industrial technology:
More businesses are switching to big data as it helps them analyze vast amounts of information to make educated decisions. It aids them in streamlining industrial processes and taps into the potential of underutilized data to support decision-making. Not only this, it makes research almost error-free, which gives businesses a competitive edge.
The other benefits of using big data are improved product quality and enhanced customer service. Eventually, businesses will reduce their operations costs along with improving their outputs using big data.
Most of you might have heard about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). That’s how we are making machines smarter to work in collaboration with us. AI and ML can process and interpret an enormous amount of data. That way, we get insights and predictions on consumer behavior and updates on processes in real-time.
This helps businesses stay prepared and avoid unexpected downtime. The repetitive tasks and automated decision-making are assigned to algorithms. Thus, it allows humans to focus on developing innovative solutions through research and development.
Businesses come up with various ideas all the time. However, settling on a few that will prove profitable is a difficult task. That’s where virtual reality (VR) comes into the picture. Building prototypes is not always feasible as it involves a lot of complexity.
Therefore, VR is used to create realistic models, which are reviewed by various stakeholders. It is only when the project meets the criteria that it gets sent for production. This saves a lot of time and resources along with addressing potential issues. Mostly, VR is used to reduce training costs and increase productivity.
The industrial sector is adopting augmented reality (AR) to overlay information, texts, and statistics. It helps manufacturers visualize end products. The information is made easily available to the workforce using AR. The training process can be time-consuming and incur a lot of costs. Plus, the manufacturing environment can be very risky for untrained workers.
Therefore, by using AR, inexperienced workers can be informed as well as trained, while prioritizing their safety. Whereas, for businesses, AR makes designing and prototyping simpler by augmenting the tasks and executing the changes in real-time.
In recent times, incorporating 3D printing into the manufacturing process has yielded impressive results. The best part about manufacturing with 3D printing is that you can make changes instantly. This was one of the challenges with traditional manufacturing, where even minor changes had to go through procedures that took months to implement. Also, manufacturing of this type requires one operator, unlike the traditional method where various skilled ones are involved.
3D printing uses resources efficiently, so less waste is generated. It is gaining popularity lately as it allows turning creative ideas into reality. There are no restrictions to this form of printing when it comes to using imagination. Therefore, businesses can experiment more without worrying about wasting time and resources. Additionally, it reduces the time to market significantly, thus promoting quick idea development.
Applications of industrial technology
The examples were quite fascinating, weren’t they? Now let’s begin exploring the implementation of industrial technology. The following are the applications of industrial technology:
Leads to urbanization
The integration of technology such as automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) in the industrial processes brings modernization. This has improved a variety of processes greatly. Moreover, there is a boost in productivity and improvement in the quality of outputs. It provides all the resources required to get work done efficiently.
Plus, the production run rate becomes consistent, which further helps predict the accurate date of the delivery of goods. This results in urbanization, paving the path for all the benefits that come along with it.
Brings employment opportunities
What follows modernization and urbanization is employment opportunities. Large-scale, as well as small-scale businesses, require a workforce to manage their growth. Industrial technology creates more employment opportunities, which helps combat unemployment issues and poverty. It allocates the resources to the required activities. Thus, it boosts the growth rate along with the demand for labor.
Industrial technology reduces the production time, which results in profit maximization. Firstly, it allows businesses to expand by improving their capacity to fulfill the consumer’s demands.
Secondly, it allows them to match the supply chain with the consumer’s demands. That way, forecasting is made data-driven, thus minimizing waste. Lastly, industrial technology helps businesses in product development, consequently impacting the profit margins substantially.
Improves the standard of living
The advantages industrial technology brings to society are hard to overlook. It encourages the workforce to develop the skills to stay in the job market. As the workforce moves towards specialization, there are improvements in their productivity and outputs. Even their income increases significantly. Hence, the high standard of living follows industrial technology.
Impact of Industrial Technology
Technology has impacted industries all over the world, from production to customer service, and every aspect has been affected by the implementation of technology.
Today, we are at the precipice of an era that will see the emergence of automated industrial robots and human-like AI that will further change the way industries work. Thus, it’s time to examine how exactly industrial technology has impacted our world:
Industrial Technologies Improved Production Efficiency and Quality
The introduction of automation and modern technology has allowed us to produce at a much higher rate than ever. Today, production has increased many folds across every industry, with a substantial increase in quality. We not only excel at product design but have also streamlined the entire production process.
Supply Chain Optimization
Our methods of handling supply chains and logistics have also seen meteoric changes over the last couple of years or so. It has become much leaner and more efficient. Newer technology, such as blockchain, has also come with a promise to make it even more versatile and transparent, making concepts like international trade and the global economy a reality.
The introduction of technology has also affected the workforce, as many laborious processes have been automated or handled by robots, allowing the workforce to undergo a transformation. Today’s workforce has enough time to focus on more crucial aspects of an industry. It has also made the working environment much safer.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Industrial Technology
As it is with many others, industrial technology is both a boon and a curse if misused. It has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss below. These are the advantages and disadvantages of industrial technology:
Advantages of Industrial Technology
- Industrial technology has maximized the output of several industries, be it a product or a service.
- Industries are able to handle larger volumes of products with much less time and cost.
- It has also become much easier to customize most aspects of an industry, be it manufacturing, packaging, logistics, or even customer care.
- Due to mass production, it has become much easier to keep up with demand, allowing for much cheaper products.
- Technology has also granted industries much-needed flexibility, as they can integrate smarter and more efficient systems when needed.
- The production quality has also seen a sharp increase.
- Workers have also benefited as technology has made the workplace much safer.
- Most of the decision-making has become data-centric, allowing for rational changes as per data prediction and forecasting.
- It has also allowed for the growth and emergence of newer markets.
Disadvantages of Industrial Technology
- Creativity has suffered as many people simply rely on proven methods to progress.
- The initial set-up cost of technology still remains pretty high.
- It has also severely impacted the environment and is one of the largest contributors to pollution.
- Industrial technology has also caused an increase in the number of unemployed personnel.
- Maintaining machines is a costly affair.
- At times, there can be technical confusion regarding the operation of a machine, which can impact industries.
- The demand for a skilled workforce has increased, adding to the training and onboarding costs.
- It has also created new problems, such as cybersecurity.