Companies may hesitate to introduce a new product that is desperately needed simply because they cannot sell enough units to justify the cost of production. However, that trend appears to be changing with the help of micromanufacturing. What is this process and how will it allow more products to be brought to the market?
What is Micromanufacturing?
Micromanufacturing is the process of making minuscule components to be used in a wide range of products. In the past, attempting to create items of this size led to a host of problems arising. However, with the introduction of new technology, such as laser micromanufacturing, more products can be produced using cost-effective means.
Why is This Occurring?
The market for miniaturization is expanding. Electronic devices continue to get smaller and medical components have advanced to the point where more can be fit into less space. For this reason, many manufacturers looking to keep up with this demand are turning to micromanufacturing to fulfill orders in a timely manner without any loss of quality.
How Are Manufacturers Adjusting?
Many companies are currently adjusting current technology to meet the growing demand for micromanufacturing. However, it is not always possible to scale current machines to allow for this process. As a result, other companies are obtaining new tools designed specifically for this purpose.
What Technology is Being Used to Enhance This Process?
Cost is one explanation for the lack of micro manufacturing in the past. However, new technology has been developed to help companies produce small items in small batches without suffering a loss in profit. Digikey, a system that allows manufacturers to learn about components and order directly through the internet when the right piece is identified, is one example of how technology is making this process possible.
Who Will Benefit From This Trend?
While it does not appear America will be responsible for making most iPhone components in the coming years, as China has perfected the process of doing so at very little cost, specialty companies find they benefit from the growth of micromanufacturing. Inventors are now finding funding sources for their projects on sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter and need a manufacturer once the project has obtained the necessary funds. Factories offering micro manufacturing in the country will be able to fulfill these orders for the inventor and consumers love stating they purchased a product Made in America. All benefit in this situation.
What Does the Future Hold?
More money will be spent on improving the micro manufacturing process, as people come to realize how valuable this technique is in the overall scheme of things. Better measuring systems will be needed along with a new generation of tools suitable for this purpose. These are only two of the ways micromanufacturing will take the production of products into the future and there are numerous others to be watching for.
Micromanufacturing is expected to increase in popularity in the coming years as more companies learn how to benefit from this process. The automotive and aerospace industries are currently looking at ways to incorporate this technology into their products and others will follow. As a result of this growing trend, every business owner needs to be familiar with the process and consider how it will impact their operations in the future. A failure to do so could lead to a loss of sales to competitors, which should never be considered acceptable.