Extending Product Development Capabilities Through Smart Technologies
As global innovators look for ways to streamline NPDI, they also seek to take advantage of advances in smart, connected technologies. These technologies provide new opportunities for manufacturers to improve operational efficiency and transparency across the supply chain. The benefits extend beyond the factory floor and into functions like product design and supply chain management. More importantly, these technologies are improving how we live, work, and play. Consumers’ appetite for smart solutions that improve their quality of life is increasing exponentially every year.
- Internet of Things (IoT): The use of IoT and sensors enables manufacturers to collect real-time data on product performance, as well as the entire production process. These real-time insights help companies optimize productivity and respond more quickly to customer demands.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: The emergence of big data and IoT makes it possible for manufacturers to apply AI and machine learning to various aspects of product development. Generative design, predictive maintenance, defect detection, and supply chain logistics optimization are just a few applications where these technologies are making a significant impact.
- Robotics: Powered by AI and machine learning, industrial robots help increase operational efficiency by performing fully automated, repetitive tasks as well as analytics-based activities on the factory floor.
- Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR): Immersive technologies like AR and VR help factory workers connect their physical surroundings with real-time visual information to perform complex tasks with greater precision and speed.
- LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging): To address the increasing labor shortage, manufacturers are adopting LiDAR technology to automate their warehouse operations with driverless vehicles that can unload and stack inventory and pick items to fulfill customer orders.
Innovation with smart product development is advancing rapidly due to these technological breakthroughs. Regardless of industry, companies are looking to make their products smarter and more interactive. Designing and producing smarter products requires greater reliance on more sophisticated designs that leverage software, sensors, and electronics. With this added complexity, companies must find more effective ways to manage the design across dispersed teams and throughout the entire product lifecycle. Today, we are at the crossroad of product development and digital transformation and taking the right path will enable tomorrow’s leaders to thrive while leaving laggards in their wake.