The pharmaceutical sector is one of the most lucrative sectors globally, yet manufacturers are facing competitive challenges, are heavily regulated and facing increasing pressures from customer expectations and an ageing demography.
Opportunities for Intelligent Manufacturing in this industry cover all areas from R&D, formulation, production, packaging, and even looking to designer medicines in the future. The trend is very much towards continuous manufacturing, and this needs more data, and data driven rules and process insight to allow quality by design (QBD) and process analytical techniques (PAT) to be applied.
The chemical industry provides a healthy contribution to global GDP but it has a bad reputation for environmental damage, sustainability, and safety records. This sector faces incredible price competition from low cost economies, process efficiencies, energy usage and emissions challenges. The sector is also heavily regulated and faces increasing health and safety challenges around handling and transportation of hazardous materials.
Intelligent Manufacturing can help with visibility of operations, product tracing, compliance, and demand side response. This is one sector that is under heavy scrutiny from a sustainability and net zero focus.
Food & Beverage
Globally this sector is a major employer of people and is worth around five times that of the automotive sector. Intelligent Manufacturing has the opportunity to improve the performance of this sector significantly by improving production efficiency, improving traceability, create more agile and faster supply chains (JIT), improved visibility of customer demand and trends.
Significant reduction in greenhouse gas and waste streams could also contribute to achieving the net zero and sustainability targets.
The processes used in the minerals industry are energy intensive and provide good opportunities to gain competitive advantage through the application of digital technologies to reduce energy use.
Additive manufacturing is one of the major disruptors to traditional manufacturing as it enables the design process to be directly linked to the manufacturing process. This in itself is a major change that leads to cost, performance and delivery benefits.
There are many different forms of additive manufacturing, and the technologies are evolving all the time, to enable faster processing with greater material functionality. Intelligent Manufacturing can aid the understanding of the parameters effecting the creation of products and the material characteristics that are needed to ensure optimal mechanical and physical properties are achieved in the end product.
The latest generation of multi-axis programable machine centres provide opportunities to connect the design process to the manufacturing process. Along with additive manufacturing the combination of the technologies opens up endless new possibilities to create functional products at more competitive pricing and cutting long lead times.
Intelligent Manufacturing enables better understanding of how these machine centres work, and how their performance can be optimised to give agile manufacturing.
Hybrid manufacturing describes the combination of a range of new technologies that can disrupt the traditional manufacturing routes and processes. Technologies included here include nanotechnology, neurotechnology, bioinformatics, advanced materials, energy materials and the application of robotics autonomous system and data analytics.
To achieve the best from these emerging technologies Intelligent Manufacturing is vitally important in providing the understanding and insight into their operation in real time.
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