It should be of little surprise that factories and industries increasingly rely on technology to undertake large-scale production of various goods and equipment. This has been the case since the dawn of the industrial revolution when technology such as the spinning jenny was used to great effect to make the production of fabrics far less time-consuming and more efficient. Whilst this technology may seem basic by today’s standards, it was instrumental in creating the concept of mass production, which allowed capitalism to flourish. Factories have, therefore, played a key role in allowing many people to enjoy the lifestyle and purchase power that they have today. In this article, three key uses of technology in the factories of today will be discussed in detail.
In many types of industries and factories, dust and fumes are commonplace in the various manufacturing processes. Factories that involve welding parts or grinding pieces of raw materials to make finished products will constantly create fumes and debris and, as a result, most will use an Industrial Fume Extraction System. This will clean the waste products from the air and result in an environment that is far safer to work in for employees. Extraction systems are a common feature of many different industrial sites and many use HEPA filtering systems to make the air exceptionally clean after it has been passed through the extraction device, typically collecting over 99% of minute particles in the air.
Most people will be familiar with seeing factory production lines with robot operatives in the car manufacturing industry. This technology has been used for many decades to enable the efficient and accurate cutting, welding, and finishing of various parts used to make motor vehicles. Robots offer distinct advantages over their human counterparts in that they can work without needing breaks and to an extremely precise level of accuracy at speed. Today, in Japan, the concept of robotic workers has been taken to the extreme by Fanuc, where a team comprised of entirely robotic workers produces other robots at the rate of fifty a day. In this factory, there is no need for heating and the robots can work entirely unsupervised for up to thirty days at a time. Such factories have become known as “lights out” factories and run non-stop production shifts.
The use of specially adapted drones in factories and industries is a recent trend in manufacturing that is likely to become more widespread soon. Drone technology is especially beneficial in production processes where chemicals or hazardous conditions are present (such as extreme heat or cold) and are often used to check and inspect machinery and to enable quick and safe fault locating. A drone operator will guide the vehicle via remote control and will be able to undertake a thorough inspection of industrial machinery in a range of locations and heights efficiently without any danger posed to the employees. Drones can also be used to accurately determine the nature and severity of any chemical spills in manufacturing processes without needing to put a human operative at risk of exposure to the substances.
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