The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, but it wasn’t so long ago that the jobs we rely on technology to do were tasked to factory workers. Today, it’s no longer a matter of automating jobs, but rather finding more efficient and reliable ways to automate them, reducing friction, and improving ROI.
Around the world, state-of-the-art facilities incorporate new technologies to improve speed and reliability. Here are a few examples of industries that have benefitted by implementing the latest technologies to do more, work better, and move faster.
Imagine watching a conveyer belt of fruit pass you by. Your task? Pick the blemished fruit off the belt in time, along with a small army of coworkers who are there to find the ones you miss. The fruit not removed by hand makes it to market — but do you really think that human eyes find each blemish?
Regardless of where you stand on the topic of taste versus aesthetics, modern quality control (QC) technology has vastly improved accuracy in this field. It replaced humans with cameras that can identify a blemished piece of fruit using patterns mapped into the computer brain of the QC system. The result is much more consistent than having workers stand there and pick fruit they think might look bad.
When your business involves storing massive quantities of goods for distribution to restaurants and consumers, you can’t afford to let environmental conditions affect your goods. Food service companies tend to store their foods in temperature-controlled warehouses for this reason. However, what about when a truck departs to deliver these goods to a buyer? How do you keep the climate from changing and impacting your products’ longevity?
High-speed commercial roll-up doors have provided one solution to this problem. These doors are large enough to allow commercial-sized shipments to move in and out of a warehouse and fast enough to open and close rapidly without a major impact on the warehouse’s temperature. This technology allows purveyors to store produce, dried goods, meats and cheeses behind these secure doors and respond more quickly when an order comes in.
Few catch-phrases scream “tech of the future” like 3D printing. How does 3D printing impact dentistry, you ask? It’s being used to craft super-accurate crowns more quickly and reliably than ever.
First, a three-dimensional model of the patient’s tooth is created using 3D imaging technology. The tooth model is then brought into a computer-aided design (CAD) program. From there, it can be sent to a 3D printer and constructed using cutting-edge materials. The new 3D-printed crowns and implants remain white and maintain their hardness while also resisting bacteria. That means patients receive their crowns more quickly and can enjoy them worry-free.
Imagine you’re assembling an elaborate part. You know it will have to mate with another piece once it’s finished, but instead of using a jig or physical example of the interfacing part, you will have it superimposed in front of you using augmented reality technology. This means you can manipulate your part without having to physically hold or have any concern for the adjoining piece. While these capabilities might remind you of something out of Star Wars, they’re just around the corner.
Preparing for Technological Growth in Business
Each of these examples demonstrates how new technologies are pushing the envelope to deliver better, faster results. It might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but all of these technologies are already in use today in one form or another. It’s probably only a matter of time before they touch your life being used in a pair of sneakers, a plane you fly on, or your next visit to the dentist. Let’s hope that it’s one of the first two. No technology is exciting enough to make you look forward to a new crown.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, Hotel Online, SevenRooms, Point 2 Home and more!