As companies in the manufacturing industry look for innovative ways to cut costs and maintain quality, technology will play an important role in the production of goods in the United States. As a manufacturing professional, you must understand how new manufacturing technologies will impact your employment prospects and job responsibilities. Familiarize yourself with different types of manufacturing technology to better understand the impact they will have on your career.

Manufacturing companies are now able to automate repetitive tasks with robots. Although some people are concerned about the potential workforce effects of using robotics in a manufacturing environment, firms that use this technology still need human workers to monitor the robots and troubleshoot any manufacturing issues. Instead of causing mass unemployment, it’s likely that the use of robotics will change the way manufacturing companies rely on human workers. Additionally, robots are not suited to every task performed in this type of environment. Companies that produce customized products still need human workers to review customer orders and ensure that each customer receives the right color, style and size.

Traditional manufacturing processes focused on producing parts by removing material with machines, but significant progress has now been made in this area. Additive manufacturing is one of the most advanced manufacturing technologies used in the industry. This type of technology focuses on producing parts by melting layers of materials according to a three-dimensional model. Also known as three-dimensional printing, this technology is making it easier and less expensive to produce new products based on 3-D designs and reduces the amount of waste created during the production process. NASA and General Electric are just a few of the notable organizations using 3-D printing, according to Ray Blanco, an expert in biotechnology and advanced robotics.

Another new technology used in manufacturing is nanotechnology, which involves the manipulation of atoms and molecules and is useful for creating new materials for manufacturing. Scientists can use nanotechnology to create energy-efficient materials that are lighter and stronger than the materials typically used by manufacturing companies. Nanotechnology is expected to have a significant impact on the manufacturing industry in the United States and China.

Artificial intelligence also has applications in the manufacturing industry. This type of technology can recognize patterns and perform tasks that would be too challenging or time consuming for human workers. Artificial intelligence can also help optimize production schedules and improve efficiency in a manufacturing environment.

Every manufacturing professional should have a basic knowledge of robotics, additive manufacturing, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence because this knowledge could lead to opportunities for career advancement. Taking courses in manufacturing technology is also a worthwhile investment if you plan to apply for managerial positions within the manufacturing industry.

Technology is already an important part of the manufacturing industry but new technological advances will make it possible to increase output and improve quality while cutting costs and increasing efficiency.

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