6 Manufacturing Technologies Primed to Explode in 2020
It’s impossible to talk about the trajectory of the manufacturing industry without focusing heavily on technology. Industry is a tech-driven sector these days, and it’s only getting more sophisticated. Digital solutions are on the rise and making more of an impact with each passing year. In the upcoming year especially, tech is primed for an explosion. Several major innovations have been picking up speed and will rise to prominence in 2020. If you haven’t been paying attention to them so far, now’s the time to start.
Advanced manufacturing technologies to look forward to in 2020
With all eyes on the upcoming new year, here’s a look at what’s going to populate the tech-related manufacturing headlines in 2020:
- 5G. Telecom companies are already touting 5G for wireless customers. In 2020, the focus is going to swing hard toward manufacturing. Why? Because the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) demands more robust wireless capabilities, and 5G will provide them. 5G speeds are the key to real-time factory monitoring on a huge scale, connecting entire IIoT networks to robust monitoring platforms.
- Wearables. 2019 saw great leaps in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Wearables take things one step further. Wearables harness AR and VR technology, giving it utility on the factory floor. Expect the manufacturing wearables market to boom in 2020, powered by tech that allows professionals to do their job better, faster, and with more precision.
- Blockchain. We’ve heard about blockchain for the past few years, and slowly it’s gained clout in the manufacturing industry. Look for 2020 to be the year it finally establishes a foothold in key areas like supply chain optimization, quality assurance, maintenance tracking, asset management, IIoT device verification, and more. Past years were all about building blockchain solutions; next year is about implementing them.
- Quantum computing. How can we make computers even smarter? Quantum computing is the quest to help machines perform beyond the standards we’re used to — teaching them to compute complexities far beyond what we can conceive of as humans. For example, quantum computing may help manufacturers adjust material tolerances to such a degree that we discover new elements and alloys. Imagine being able to engineer the perfect strength-to-weight ratio for a material or tweak the catalytic properties of something just so.
- Machine learning. Machine learning isn’t a new term, but it’s one that’ll gain new traction in 2020. Expect machine learning to take a big leap, paving the way for more intuitive artificial intelligence (AI). From enhanced robot collaboration to generative design and processing capabilities, machine learning will take factory automation to a place it has never gone before.
- Drones. The use of drones varies across different manufacturing sectors, but they’re primed to be a ubiquitous topic in 2020. Not only is drone technology getting better, it’s also getting smarter. Expect to hear murmurs of automated drones performing complex maintenance — more than just the same repetitive tasks.
Every new technological progression lends itself to a manufacturing industry that’s growing smarter and more connected. In many ways, these projected innovations all lead back to the same concept: The IIoT. Factories are putting more stock in digital and using it to streamline and automate as much as possible. In the current industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), the factory that invests in technology is the factory that establishes itself for the upcoming decade of manufacturing.