In the manufacturing industry, technology has evolved at a rapid pace. New technology-based processes and equipment make complex manufacturing steps possible, improving efficiency and workplace safety at the same time. For manufacturers in the state of Utah, understanding technology advances is just as important in managing risks as is the role of Utah manufacturers insurance. By harnessing technology, and by applying the lessons learned in risk management, the manufacturing industry can efficiently produce goods to meet shifting global demands.
Advances in Technology: Benefits for Manufacturers
No matter the type or design of new manufacturing technologies, each was developed for one overarching purpose: to boost productivity. Even safety-oriented developments of manufacturing technologies aim to increase productivity by protecting workers from harm, thus ensuring smooth, efficient operations. Manufacturers that invest in new technologies gain the benefit of productivity, along with:
- Improved efficiency
- Advanced capabilities
- Enhanced workplace safety
Technology supplements the risk management protections of Utah manufacturers insurance, helping to reduce the frequency and severity of claims against insurance policies. By improving manufacturing processes and by adding safety features to the workplace, manufacturers can ramp up production to meet business growth targets.
Technology in the Manufacturing Workplace: Standouts
There are numerous technologies that have been developed for the manufacturing sector. Automated or robotic manufacturing tools, such as multi-axis robotic arms and automated welding/machining centers allow faster and more accurate production of goods, including agricultural, automotive, and industrial equipment. Robotic technologies have become ubiquitous in the manufacturing sector, yet there are emerging tools and technology that will have a dramatic impact on operations. Some of these technologies include:
- 3D Printing
- Quality Control Devices
Developed for military and national security applications, drone technology has been adopted across industries. From recreational pursuits to real estate, commercial shipping, and more, drones have been pressed into service for many tasks. In the manufacturing sector, drones may be used to provide detailed inspections of large equipment or machinery – inspection of which used to mean putting employees at risk of falls or other injuries. Today, drones affixed with cameras can be flown to inspection areas while the operator remains safely on the ground. As a result, injuries associated with climbing in manufacturing facilities have plummeted.
3D printing technology is an exciting development that continues to evolve at a rapid pace. 3D printers saw their first uses in manufacturing as a means of creating rapid prototypes of complex parts; before such printers were available, prototypes were laboriously constructed or machined by hand. With this technology, several different prototypes may be produced, then tested, in a fraction of the time. And, as the 3D printing technology has grown to incorporate powdered or sintered metals in addition to plastic filaments, these devices are now used to produce parts and fixtures for a wide array of manufacturing applications.
Quality control in the manufacturing process is a critical step. This is especially true for parts and equipment that rely on tight tolerances, such as those used in the aerospace and military sectors. Measuring tolerances used to be a time-consuming process that was prone to error. Today, advanced technologies are used to eliminate errors and to ensure better end products. Metrology, or the science of measurement, has been incorporated into several automated measuring tools, including laser, camera, and ultrasound sensors that measure parts as they are being manufactured. Adding these quality control technologies also enhances the protections of Utah manufacturers insurance, reducing liability risks by providing accurate measurement of products before they leave the factory.
Exosuits seem torn from the pages of science fiction novels, but, they have already shown real-life promise in manufacturing. The Ford Motor Company tested wearable exoskeletons on assembly lines in 2017. The suits helped to support workers’ arms as they completed overhead assembly tasks. Exosuits can be adapted to enhance strength or grip, provide support, and offer protection for workers subjected to strenuous or dangerous manufacturing processes. While this technology remains new, it should gain acceptance across facilities in the coming years.
Utah manufacturers insurance is the foundation of any risk management strategy for manufacturers located in that state. Similar policies protect business assets and workers no matter where they are located. With this insurance, and with an eye toward improving workplace safety and efficiency, technology is shaping the future direction of manufacturing operations around the world.
About BTC Insurance Services
Founded in 2011, BTC Insurance Services has proudly served Utah businesses with comprehensive and custom-tailored insurance coverages for a decade. We pride ourselves on fostering long-term client relationships with a personalized and hands-on approach, and have established a reputation built on quality and transparency. For more information about our products and services, we invite you to contact one of our reputable agents today at (855) 944-3457, or send us a message here.