This article aims to provide an overview of what advanced manufacturing is, and how it will change Australian manufacturing businesses.
The video below from the CSIRO Roadmap for Advanced Manufacturing, provides a good overview of how these technologies will affect manufacturing processes.
Increasing Levels of Customisation
Advanced manufacturing technologies allow for ‘mass-customisation.’ This is where materials and products can be individually customised at a high volume and at a relatively low cost. Doing away with the standard sizes of mass-produced elements. This changes the way consumers interact with products and creates new and exciting opportunities for businesses.
Advances in Digital Networks and Analytics
It’s not just the physical capacity of these technologies, its also about the capacity for technologies to make decisions. Which, as the video says, ‘Blurs the lines between manufacturing and service provision.’ This means that smart manufacturing technologies are able to do more than just repetitive tasks, they can interpret and analyse data to make complex decisions. As part of the Design Robotics project we are working toward making robotic arms ‘see.’ Vision Robotics involves providing the robot with ways to see via cameras and scanners, and with this scan data, robots can make decisions about work processes. There are also lots of different ways that robots can access data for analysis to make working decisions.
The Need for More Sustainable Operations
Probably one of the greatest contributions Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) make is the facilitation of more sustainable practices. Less waste, more efficient practices and better material usage through increased accuracy are all ways AMT contribute to more sustainable operations.
There is so much that Advanced Manufacturing has to offer. The purpose of this article was to introduce the broader benefits and aims of these technologies in the Australian Manufacturing sector.