You don’t need to gaze into a crystal ball to ascertain what’s on the horizon for manufacturing as the innovations of tomorrow are being made possible today through greater adoption of transformative technologies. Many are a cluster of technologies under the umbrella of Industry 4.0, which is often defined as the fourth industrial revolution in which communications and production operations reside within two worlds— the real world and the digital or virtual world. They run the gamut from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to 3D printing (additive manufacturing) and augmented reality/virtual reality. Other innovations are non-technical but equally impactful.
As unique as these innovations are, they each contribute to making process intensification (PI) more viable and valuable. Here are some trends to watch for: