4 Ways to Save Money in Manufacturing process
Short history of manufacturing: from Industry 1.0 to Industry 4.0
The Art of Manufacturing Throughout Time.
The act of producing various objects has existed since the dawn of mankind. Every product created by individuals or groups can be assimilated with a basic manufacturing process. Over time, humans have managed to manufacture objects for personal use or commercial purposes, through small workshops and using basic tools.
The First Industrial Revolution (Industry 1.0)
The First Industrial Revolution (Industry 1.0) started in England in 1760 and reached the United States by the end of the 18th century. This significant shift revolutionized the way items were produced, replacing basic methods with new processes that allowed machinery to take over. The invention of machines and new methods of production marked a departure from the agrarian and handicraft economy of the past and had a profound impact on industries such as mining, textiles, glass, and agriculture.
The Impact of Reduced Material Cost and Production Time on the Textile Industry.
The textile industry underwent a significant transformation with the introduction of new production methods that dramatically reduced material costs and production time. Before this period, textiles were mostly produced in people’s homes, with merchants providing basic equipment and materials. This made it difficult to regulate, as workers set their own schedules. However, the introduction of inventions such as the steam engine, spinning wheel, and water wheel revolutionized manufacturing and paved the way for innovation that we still rely on today.
Because the demand was greater than the supply, one major downside of those times it was the pressure on the lower working class. Until 1833, almost no standards existed for workers, which meant long hours and dangerous working conditions, especially for children. This led to the 1833 Factory Act, which placed restrictions on the working hours of children and set standards to protect workers.
The Second Industrial Revolution (Industry 2.0)
The next shift in manufacturing is the period between 1871 and 1914, known as the Second Industrial Revolution (Industry 2.0), as result of extensive railroad and telegraph networks, which allowed for faster transfer of people and ideas. Introduction of electricity allowed factories to develop modern production lines. As fact, the first assembly line was patented in 1901 by Ransom E. Olds, producer of Oldsmobile cars. His method allowed his company to produce 20 units per day, which eventually increased their output by 500 percent in one year. As effect, Oldsmobile was creating more vehicles, allowing a drastic decrease of prices in the same time. The method used by Olds ended up serving as the model for Henry Ford which created his own system. Ford is now credited as the actual father of the assembly line as well as of automotive mass manufacturing.
The Second Industrial Revolution was a period of great economic growth, with an increase in productivity, but also caused a surge in unemployment since many factory workers were replaced by machines.
The Third Industrial Revolution (Industry 3.0)
This isalso known as the Digital Revolution, began in the ’70s in the 20th century through partial automation using memory-programmable controls and computers.
The central point of this phase is the mass production and widespread use of digital logic, MOS transistors, and integrated circuit chips, and their derived technologies, including computers, microprocessors, digital cellular phones, and the Internet. These technological innovations have transformed traditional production and business methods. Basically, we can say that the digital revolution converted technology that had been analogue into a digital format.
Is important to mention that Industry 3.0 is still present, most of the factories being at this level of evolution.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)
Nowadays everybody relates to The Fourth Industrial Revolution, known as Industry 4.0 - a union between physical assets and advanced digital technologies -like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, 3d printing, cloud computing and others, that are interconnected, having the possibility to communicate, analyse and act. Organizations adopting Industry 4.0 are more flexible, responsive and intelligent, therefore more prepared for data-driven decisions.
Industry 4.0 originated in 2011 from a project in the high-tech strategy of the German government, which promotes the computerization of manufacturing. Actually, the term “Industry 4.0” was publicly introduced in the same year at the Hannover Fair.
The four design principles identified as integral to Industry 4.0
There are four design principles identified as integral to Industry 4.0:
Interconnection — the ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other via the Internet of Things, or the Internet of people (IoP)
Information transparency — the transparency afforded by Industry 4.0 technology provides operators with comprehensive information to make decisions.
Technical assistance — the technological facility of systems to assist humans in decision-making and problem-solving, and the ability to help humans with difficult or unsafe tasks
Decentralized decisions — the ability of cyber physical systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomously as possible.
4 tips of manufacturing cost down
As costs continue to increase, it’s essential that companies assess their equipment and facility expenses and explore sustainable options. If you’re looking to lower manufacturing costs, here are four tips to get started:
Digital transformation can be a game changer for manufacturers, enabling them to save a considerable amount of money. By automating tasks, streamlining workflows, and enhancing efficiency, digital technologies can help to reduce costs and improve profitability. With a vast range of digital solutions available, including Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics, the potential benefits are enormous. These solutions can help to increase efficiency, improve quality, reduce energy consumption, and minimize waste.
2- Conduct an energy audit
Manufacturers can reduce energy costs by performing an energy audit to understand facility energy usage, prioritizing energy usage by machinery, and scheduling non-peak use times. Advanced technology, such as energy management systems, can provide further insight, with more advanced versions utilizing machine learning AI, predictive analytics, and sensors to automate the process.
3- Revamp equipment and insulation
upgrading equipment is one way to lower energy costs. For instance, using LED bulbs instead of traditional lighting fixtures can help reduce electricity costs and the need to replace bulbs regularly. Additionally, LED bulbs tend to have a longer lifespan.
Another helpful strategy is improving insulation. Heating and cooling equipment are significant contributors to energy expenses, so better insulation can help minimize the excessive use of HVAC equipment.
To prevent potential leaks, the National Institute of Standards and Technology recommends evaluating facilities for issues with minor components such as compressed air systems. Even small leaks can lead to as much as a 20-30% loss in a compressor’s output.
4- Transition to renewable energy
One of the most effective ways to reduce energy costs is by shifting to renewable sources of power. Some manufacturers see renewable energy as a marketing strategy rather than a cost-saving measure. But others are adopting solar panels and wind turbines to lower their energy bills.
While implementing these technologies can be expensive in the short term, manufacturers must consider the operational disruptions caused during system installations, regulatory compliance obligations, and potential performance trade-offs when switching technologies.
Fortunately, there are ways to make transitioning to renewable energy more affordable. The Inflation Reduction Act, for example, offers tax credits to companies that engage in clean energy manufacturing.
Digital transformation is crucial for businesses to remain competitive and successful in the 21st century. It involves reimagining business models, processes, and products to thrive in the digital age. Though it requires careful planning and investment, it offers numerous benefits, including increased efficiency, productivity, reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction, and a competitive advantage. Adopting digital transformation requires identifying specific needs, choosing the right technologies, creating a culture of innovation, and being adaptable. By embracing digital transformation, businesses can position themselves for growth and prosperity in the future. Also, it is a journey, not a destination. It requires continuous investment and effort. But by embracing digital transformation, businesses can build a brighter future for themselves and their customers.
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Background: Promech Digital Transformation is the go-to source for manufacturers, engineers, and companies of all sizes to bring their ideas to life and improve their efficiency, productivity, and innovation. We do this by providing a wide range of 3D services, including 3D printers, 3D scanners, and access to Dassault Systems – 3D Experience – software.