Impact on industry

Technology continues to be developed for manufacturing processes in order to improve quality and speed of making, while maintaining customer satisfaction.

Automation

Automation has been developing in factories since the Industrial Revolution, with machinery being used to complete tasks previously done by humans. Automated machines are programmed to carry out a procedure multiple times, eg repeatedly creating the shape of a car door using a press, to improve production time. The cost of setting up machinery is high but, when they are operating, less waste is produced and running costs are lower.

An automated conveyor system in a factory featuring a robot arm and cardboard packaging.
An automated production line used for packaging

Robotics

The use of robots is just one part of automation. The difference between robotics and automation is that robots use artificial intelligence (AI) to collect information and improve the performance of a particular procedure. Robotics has proven popular because of their ability to increase efficiency and handle harmful materials that humans can't, but they are very expensive.

Multiple yellow robot arms working on building a silver car in a manufacturing plant.

Specialist buildings

Smart technology has improved the efficiency of buildings, with many factories using renewable energy sources to try to minimise environmental impact. Modular buildings can be erected quickly and at a low cost, and improvements in stock control mean less storage space is needed.

A model building plan design of a stylish home placed on top of drawings of floor plans.
Modular building and plan