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Autodesk Veteran Identifies the Manufacturing trends for 2016

Varun Gadhok Head SAARC

Varun Gadhok, Head, Mfg, Autodesk, India and SAARC

2016 is claimed to be a miraculous year for the technology corridors as it is known to see a host of new technologies make their way to the spotlight. 3D Printing grew from strength to strength the last year and it is now moving mainstream.

The role of robotics in manufacturing cycles also cannot be understated. Technologies like Hololens and driverless cars amazed everyone with their sheer ingenuity.

To the above backdrop, Varun Gadhok, head, Manufacturing, Autodesk, India and SAARC identifies the manufacturing trends for 2016. The following are:

A Mixed Reality Workspace: Technologies like Hololens that allows you to overlay 2D and 3D objects in your real-world living and work space – will change the way industrial designers collaborate. When combined with 3D design tools, you have an industry-changing piece of technology. This helps in a wide range of potential applications, including in the enterprise, and already it is being used in the design of motorcycles, Volvos, and to help NASA scientists visualize Mars.

Empowered Customers and the Future of Manufacturing: Changing consumer demands and preferences will put greater pressure on traditional industries and create new opportunities for start-ups to deliver customer-unique value in 2016. Companies that design, create, and sell products must change how they manufacture and the way they connect with customers—or accept defeat. The Internet and the availability of information, converging industries, the growing maker movement and the expectation of bespoke and customer products – look at all of these elements, and then superimpose the speed. The velocity of change means that consumer- and industrial-product companies have to change the way they interact with customers.

Cloud and Mobility:  Cloud and the proliferation of smart mobile devices have created a sea change in the way companies do things. Access to company information on-the-go, 24*7 is creating a connected workforce. Every unit, from Engineering to Marketing to the shop floor and the supply chain, has access to data and knowledge digitally. A direct result of this is the emergence of digital technical publications, digital mockups and walkthroughs that are making several processes better and creating digital worker.

The Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Big Data: The manufacturing industry is going to continue to rely on data to make operations much more streamlined and efficient. Benefits of IoT include predictive maintenance of machinery, supply chain visibility and ‘bridging the gap’ between production and those at the corporate level. Engineering data will percolate across organizations and become a single source of truth. Every function– be it engineering, supply chain, manufacturing, aftermarket, product management, marketing, sales–will see and use the same product engineering information. All sorts of things – wearable devices, industrial equipment, drones, cars, aircraft, your seat, everything –will contribute to data. Much of the data will be real time, bringing opportunities for real time decision making and asset performance enhancements. Engineering Analytics will continue evolving, allowing us to build autonomous, semi-autonomous systems and predictive, prognostics and diagnostics based systems and also help designers to use existing data for new product designs.

Robotics and 3D Printing: The increasing affordability of general-purpose robotics is influencing the industry’s reinvention. More affordable robots will mean smaller manufacturing companies can turn to automation. The rise of robots in the manufacturing sector has sparked a debate about employment, however new roles will be created by, catalyzing a new era of innovation and product development. In 2015, we saw big advances in the quality, speed, and abilities of 3D printers. Although they have not quite become mainstream yet, it seems inevitable that new technology in 3D printing will lead us to produce products from prescription drugs to food to new homes and even human organs. The health industry is bound to immensely benefit from this technology in the coming years.

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