Modern advances in technology have made it possible to transform the manufacturing industry into what it is today. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT), the manufacturing industry (as well as several other industries) have been able to achieve so much.
Machine learning (ML) is a type of AI that uses specialized computer systems that are able to learn and adapt based on the memory they have stored in their systems. While not all machinery used in manufacturing (and other industries) may not utilize machine learning or any other type of AI, they’re still essential to the industry. Here are five types of machines (and equipment) that are essential to the manufacturing industry.
#1: 3D Printers
One of the biggest technological advancements in manufacturing is three-dimensional (3D) printing. 3D printing makes a physical object from a digital model by laying down several thin layers of material to form an object. Objects that can be made from 3D printing include:
- Shoe designs
In addition to manufacturing, other industries that use 3D printing include aerospace, automotive, construction, education, healthcare, marketing, and robotics. This advancement in technology has been helpful for a variety of different industries. It allows for quicker production of needed products in materials for the industries that are able to utilize it.
Centrifuges are machines that have containers that separate materials based on their density— usually to separate solids from liquids or liquids from other liquids. This separation is done by spinning the contents at a high speed, allowing the contents with different densities to separate. There are many different types of centrifuges, with some examples being:
- Automatic centrifuges
- Basket bottom dump centrifuges
- Disc nozzles centrifuges
Like 3D printers, centrifuges are used in a variety of industries, with amusement park rides and astronaut training being two other examples of human centrifuges that are used in gravity-related research. Other industries that use them include food and beverage, mining, pharmaceutical, power plants, pulp and paper, and wastewater treatment plants.
#3: Heat Staking Machines
Heat staking machines are used to join two completely different materials together. Thermoplastic materials (polycarbonate, polypropylene, etc.) are the most common materials that are heat staked, and it’s done by raising and cooling the temperature of the materials to allow them to bind. Other industries that regularly use heat staking machines include:
- Consumer appliances and electronics
Heat staking can also be known by the names caulking systems or thermoplastic staking, and these machines can be tailored to the type of material that needs the application. The best part about this machine is that it doesn’t damage the pieces it’s joining together.
#4: Industrial Mixers and Storage Tanks
Industrial mixers are machines that help blend and emulsify different and like materials, making them a very essential piece of machinery in the manufacturing industry. Some of the most common types of industrial mixers include:
- Agitator mixers
- Drum mixers
- Emulsifier mixers
- Fluidization mixers
- Paddle mixers
- Static mixers
- Tumbler mixers
Industrial storage tanks are just as important as the mixers. They’re used to store additional quantities of material. These storage tanks are usually made out of anti-corrosive material (such as stainless steel) since various types of materials have to be stored in them for an extended period of time.
#5: Material Handling Equipment
A lot goes on in a manufacturing plant, as products must be packaged before they can be delivered to their next destination. Because of this, manufacturers use material handling equipment to handle the products they’re manufacturing. Industrial storage tanks can be considered material handling equipment, as are equipment and machines used for moving, controlling, and protecting goods and materials. Any industry that handles materials can benefit from using any type of material handling equipment.
As you can see, these five machines and pieces of equipment are essential to the success and overall functioning of the manufacturing industry, as well as various other industries. So if you’re thinking about starting your own business in manufacturing or another industry, more than likely you’re going to need the majority— if not, all— of these machines.
These machines and pieces of equipment help make the manufacturing industry be as efficient and productive as possible. The manufacturing industry essentially affects all other industries in the world, including food and drink, retail, and all other industries that provide goods to consumers. As technology continues to advance, it will only continue to have a positive impact on manufacturing and countless other industries.