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Digitalization And Automation: A Solution To Manufacturing Challenges

Digitalization and Automation: A Solution to Manufacturing Challenges

Digitalization and Automation: A Solution to Manufacturing Challenges

Manufacturing organizations across industries are facing numerous challenges that threaten their competitiveness. A societal shift away from manual, craftsmanship-based roles and concerns about health risks in manufacturing occupations have resulted in a significant skills shortage in the sector. Regulatory pressures, unstable supply chains, and unprecedented uncertainties further exacerbate the situation. However, digitalization and automation technology offer a solution to these challenges. Innovations such as Rivelin NetShape, a leader in the digital revolution of manufacturing, utilize machine learning, advanced sensors, and proprietary algorithms to transform skilled manual tasks into repeatable, traceable digital procedures. This technology significantly enhances productivity and reduces costs. By leveraging robotics and AI, Rivelin aims to unlock a local-for-local production model in metal near-net-shape manufacturing. This strategy involves manufacturing goods in proximity to their intended customers, promoting regional self-sufficiency. Digital manufacturing makes this “local for local” model a reality, alleviating the burdens of manual labor through robotics and AI. These changes in the industry create new job opportunities, such as the role of a “Digital Manufacturing Engineer,” which appeals to computer-literate, technically-minded job-seekers. The shift from manual craftsmanship to digital procedures and from overseas production to local digital manufacturing is imminent. Manufacturing occupations are traditionally associated with health risks, physical exertion, and higher risks. Younger individuals entering the workforce are less likely to be attracted to manufacturing jobs for these reasons. Instead, they prioritize purpose and meaning in their careers, seeking safer and more fulfilling professions. The skills shortage in manufacturing is just one factor contributing to escalating manufacturing costs. Unstable supply chains, regulatory pressures, and geopolitical factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, and geopolitical tensions add to the challenges faced by manufacturers. These events highlight the vulnerability of global supply chains and the need for diversification and shorter supply chains. In response to these challenges, manufacturing companies are reshoring certain industries, promoting national and regional production, and mitigating risks associated with reliance on a single transportation route or region. Overall, digitalization and automation technology offer a way forward for manufacturing organizations, enabling them to overcome challenges, enhance productivity, reduce costs, and navigate the changing landscape of the industry.

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Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

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