Everything is going digital. You can listen to your favorite radio station online. You can read your morning paper right on your computer screen. You can even have a social life all from the comfort of your own home. Digitization provides increased speed, convenience, efficiency, and affordability.
But somethings benefit more from digitization than others. You might love the fact that social media notifies you as to what your friends are eating at anytime of the day, but that doesn’t really have much significance. Digital manufacturing, on the other hand, greatly benefits from the advantages of digitization.
Digital manufacturing takes computer-integrated manufacturing a step further. Computer-integrated manufacturing uses computers to control the manufacturing process, but digital manufacturing integrates computers to be an integral part of the manufacturing process. Digital manufacturing makes use of things like analytics, simulations, and 3D visualizations to push manufacturing beyond its traditional capabilities.
In traditional manufacturing automation is found in the machinery. You’ve got the whirring servos controlling motion control, and all of that. Computer-integrated manufacturing basically controls all of the automation of the physical components. Digital manufacturing automates practically everything. Digital manufacturing requires little to no human involvement.
Digital manufacturing is implemented in practically every area of manufacturing. It can be found in packaging, auto, industrial, and more.
This method of manufacturing has some clear advantages over traditional manufacturing approaches. Digital manufacturing is more efficient, it reduces manufacturing time, and the costs involved with the manufacturing process.
For example, instead of just running production lines until you have an amount of products that can only be narrowed down to “a lot”, digital manufacturing allows you make an exact number of products. If you have a specific number in mind before you start production, you can avoid wasting energy and materials.
The Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute is dedicated to developing, improving, and applying digital manufacturing technologies, and bringing these technologies to manufacturers.