Different Ways Technology Is Changing Trends in Manufacturing

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Different Ways Technology Is Changing Trends in Manufacturing

Technology has changed everything from how we communicate, learn new information, and more. It’s creating new trends in manufacturing, too! Click to learn more.

Let’s say you’re a Production Supervisor or a Supply Chain Analyst. Or maybe you’re a Maintenance Mechanic / Electrician or Quality Assurance Manager.

Your company breaks its budget getting some new tech in. You walk into work one day, and your heart sinks. As you watch the impressive new tech being installed on the floor, your inner monologue chatters away:

Uh oh.

The robots are coming.

Does that mean it’s time to update my résumé and brace for layoffs?

A new study by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that automation may cut 800,000 jobs worldwide in just over a decade. The specter of unanticipated new trends in manufacturing lurks around every corner.

Welcome to the modern era. These trends can be worrisome for CEOs and workers alike. How can anyone hope to compete or adapt when technology seems to be outpacing them at every turn?

Let’s check out some examples where the tech of the future may be creeping up on you.

Box Erectors and Palletizers are Improving Factory Production

The more menial aspects of labor are being replaced by automation at a frightening pace. This means that having a more advanced skill set is essential to stay ahead of the curve.

Cobots are popular additions to many modern factory floors. They make factories more efficient by operating alongside workers.

New manufacturing technology is enhancing their productivity even further. For instance: the XPAK ROBOX™ is an example of a powered box erector, an enhanced robot that automates the process of making boxes.

The bigwigs know that fumbling with packaging materials slows down production. You can bank on this kind of technology replacing some human hands in the future.

The ONExia PalletizUR™ is another example of an enhanced cobot. It uses graphic software that helps get pallets filled fast. A group of sweaty humans with bad backs would have a hard time competing with this one.

The good news is: These cobots still need humans to program and operate them. Employers want to see that you are eager to learn and adapt to this environment.

Trends in Manufacturing are Modernizing the Old Ways

Maybe you already have some pretty advanced skills. But what if all your knowledge is tied up in older tech that is likely to be replaced?

A lot of older factories were dependent on hard-wired systems of relays and timers. Making routine adjustments to these old systems was very costly.

The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a new manufacturing technology that is replacing these aging systems. PLCs are essentially computers that are built to operate in harsh factory environments.

People skilled in maintaining old systems will need to evolve. Those who are skilled in programming PLCs are in a better position to succeed.

Also: Most motorized machines operate on fixed-speed loads today. Your whole business is beholden to these speed limitations.

An industry-wide study suggests that new Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) are gaining a foothold in the industry. VFDs have a projected compound annual growth rate of 7% by 2022.

VFDs allow voltages to be gradually increased or decreased, instead of being stuck at a fixed rate. This decreases energy costs and power usage, while also allowing greater flexibility.

VFDs may change your work environment in many ways. For those hoping to adapt, it will be important to anticipate those changes.

Don’t Let Industry Catch Up With You

At JSK Recruiting, we know that workers are the heart and soul of a company. We also know that sometimes current trends in manufacturing can be troubling.

Many factories are now operating with no humans in the building at all. Instead, they operate in the dead of night with the lights turned out, and with the heating and air conditioning turned off.

To an aspiring worker, this may sound less like an industry with lucrative career paths and more like the set of a horror movie! But all is not lost for those who are ready for a challenge.

You may be reading this and thinking about hiring a skilled new worker to pair with an enhanced cobot. You may also find that you’re suddenly interested in partnering with a cobot yourself. Either way, get in touch!

We’re in the business of matching industry with talent. We want to help you catch up with industry before industry catches up with you.

Let’s take the next step together.