Machine health and condition monitoring with sensors

Machine health and condition monitoring with sensors

Following a turbulent few years, smart manufacturing technology is expected to be at the forefront of manufacturing industry trends in 2024 as facilities look for new and creative ways to increase productivity and efficiency while being ready for unforeseen events and disruptions. In 2024, there will be a plethora of new smart manufacturing ideas and technological applications that you should be aware of, following the turmoil of 2020 and the rebound that followed. In this section, we'll look at such trends and how they can improve your operations and support the stability and health of your company.

The "new normal" and recovery are undoubtedly at the center of 2024's smart factory trends, but they also build on technological advancements and breakthroughs that have long been in the works, separate from anything else that may have been happening in the world. Among these developments in smart manufacturing are:

1. More opportunities for remote and off-site operational work

There are many, growing reasons for this tendency, including convenience, safety, and flexibility. Facilities are keeping remote work choices available and are still looking into methods to integrate even more remote access into their operations, such as cloud-based technology, storage, and analysis, even if social distancing has become much less of a worry. Adopting cloud-based solutions is now required in manufacturing due to the enormous volumes of data utilized in smart manufacturing and the potential for off-site activities. Through the use of digital twin and Industrial Internet of Things technologies, sensor monitoring, virtual maintenance, and troubleshooting, the industrial sector has demonstrated that efficient operations may occur even in the absence of humans at the plant. This pattern will only intensify as communication technology advances.

2. An increased focus on the partnership between manufacturer and customer

Regardless of the product, trust and confidence will be key themes in manufacturing in 2024 as a result of the unpredictability of the previous two years, which has increased the need for relationship-building and communication beyond transactional, commodified commerce. It is becoming more and more required of manufacturers to function as genuine service providers rather than just as equipment for manufacturing. Furthermore, since consumers and producers both face pressure to reduce costs, there is an increasing demand for flawless quality and error-free production, making automation and precision vital.

3. Machine health and condition monitoring with sensors

For many years, industry has seen an increase in condition monitoring. A critical mass breakthrough in 2024 will see sensors becoming more widely used at ever-more-affordable prices. As more facilities employ sensors to enable continuous, real-time machine health and condition monitoring, which results in more efficient maintenance, longer equipment lifespans, and higher-quality output, the return on investment (ROI) for those sensors will increase.

4. Safeguarding profit margins through increased proactivity and efficiency

Additionally, sensors make it possible to employ strategies like predictive maintenance, in which machine performance data is analyzed to identify slight variations in parameters like vibration that may portend later, more serious issues, and enable the facility to take care of these issues when it is most convenient. By taking a proactive stance, unplanned downtime is reduced or eliminated, enabling facilities to operate their equipment at full productivity.

5. A more predictive approach — beyond the maintenance function

At the macro level, a predictive approach to operations will be highly sought for in the event of a worldwide catastrophe. that makes sense that manufacturing companies want to be ahead of the next big thing, whenever and whatever that may be. Big data mining and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will be used more frequently to simulate worldwide catastrophes in an effort to forecast and prepare for them.

6. AI and VR exploration and adoption

Along with related technologies like machine learning, the role of AI in manufacturing is anticipated to take center stage in the upcoming year as well, ready to deliver on the promise of years of gradual acceptance. AI technology can help with more precise forecasting and planning of maintenance, manufacturing capacity, inventories, sales, and other areas in the battle to return profits. Virtual twins have also been developed as a result of the popularity of virtual reality. Technicians may see layouts and operations in these real-time updated simulations of production environments, which are powered by IIoT device data. They can therefore maximize performance even while they're far away.

7. Changing personnel functions — and opportunities to learn

Far cry from the concern that AI would replace humans, the evolution of AI technology will require talented people to implement, manage, and make sense of it. Workers in manufacturing have a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow in their jobs as a result of the upcoming AI boom. As businesses increasingly rely on resources like workforce partners to optimize the value and efficacy of those tasks, manufacturing personnel operations may also alter.

8. Cobots on the rise

Similar to this, even though technology is becoming more and more common to make manual production processes easier, human workers are still an essential component of such operations. One such example are cobots, or collaborative robots. These are adaptable automation devices with smart features and safety mechanisms that allow them to operate alongside human workers, completing tedious, hazardous, or otherwise unwanted tasks so that staff members can concentrate on higher-value duties.

9. Industry 5.0

Apart from the influence of cobots on intelligent manufacturing, there are also additional domains where technology is bringing about transformation. The convergence of modern technology like big data and the Internet of Things with human labor is referred to as "Industry 5.0." These developments aim to improve workers' capacity to perform their jobs, not to replace human labor.

10. Technology-driven supply chain transparency and accountability

The supply chain will be impacted by smart manufacturing technology as well since, in the wake of recent disruptions, consumer demand for dependability, transparency, and flexibility has never been higher. The supply chain will change as a result of technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and vendor management software. It will no longer be an unmanageable, monolithic process but rather one that promotes greater accountability and choice.

11. A new take on scenario planning

It is the responsibility of managers and staff to prepare for potential future manufacturing disruptions, even with smart manufacturing technologies like artificial intelligence and big data offering additional insight into these scenarios. Manufacturers can see additional details about industry trends and plant conditions with data visualization, for instance. They now have a clearer idea of what it takes to achieve this.

These situations would usually be restricted to immediate catastrophe response, etc., but persistent disruptions in the supply chain and shifting market dynamics have demonstrated the need to address longer-term issues as well. As a result, these planning exercises will consider employee relations, long-term recovery, agility, flexibility, and resilience in addition to rapid response preparation.