You probably agree that digital technology has been a disrupter this past decade. Now digital technology is also beginning to affect manufacturing. If you are not very familiar with what digital manufacturing is but want to learn more, you are in the right place.

Keep reading to learn all the ins and outs of digital manufacturing.

What Is Digital Manufacturing?

Before we learn more about digital manufacturing it is important to truly understand what it is. In lamest terms, it is the application of computer systems to manufacturing services. The goal is to link systems and processes across all of the areas of production to make an integrated approach to manufacturing.

Manufacturing software solutions help a company analyze data and send it to product managers to prepare for product demand and requirements to deliver products.

Digital Manufacturing Aspects

There are three main areas of digital manufacturing. These are the smart factory, the product life cycle, and value chain management.

The product life cycle starts with engineering design before moving on to sourcing, production, and service life. Every single step uses digital data when making revisions to design specifications during the manufacturing process.

The smart factory is the use of smart machines, sensors, and tools to provide real-time feedback about the processes and the manufacturing technology. Uniting operations and information technology allow for greater visibility of factory processes to help improve performance.

The value chain management is what focuses on reducing resources to help create an optimal process that decreases inventories while still having high product quality and great customer satisfaction.

Advantages

One advantage of digital manufacturing is that it offers reduced costs because of its faster turnaround time across all levels of the value chain. Another advantage is that the real-time visibility it has provides improved insights for critical decisions and a faster innovation pace.

A third advantage is that there is increased efficiency. With all of the manufacturing processes joined together, it eliminates errors that are from lost data or misinterpreted data. This is common with the paper-based process and thanks to technology the problem can be eliminated.

Another advantage is that an entire manufacturing process can be created virtually, that way designers can test the process before they invest any time and money into the physical implementation.

Digital manufacturing will increase any inefficiencies a company was dealing with before. Companies will also be able to reduce operating costs, capital costs, and overhead.

Feeling Like a Digital Manufacturing Pro?

Now that you know more about what is digital manufacturing and its aspects you can see why it will continue to grow in the future. The use of information for production processes is becoming more automated every year. Embracing this change will help a company stay competitive and ahead of their competition.

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