What is Advanced Manufacturing?

welding-2178127_960_720The field of manufacturing continues to evolve with each passing year. The advent of new processes, tools and equipment allow manufacturing companies to produce products more efficiently. This is where advanced manufacturing comes into play:

Defined as the use of innovative technology to improved products and/or manufacturing processes, advanced manufacturing is a hot topic among companies. The White also released a statement, in which it said: “A concise definition of advanced manufacturing offered by some is manufacturing that entails rapid transfer of science and technology (S&T) into manufacturing products and processes.

In other words, advanced manufacturing integrates technological processes into manufacturing to assist companies in their efforts to produce products more efficiently. One of the fundamental goals of manufacturing is to produce products in the least amount of time while also minimizing the amount of waste. Advanced manufacturing helps companies achieve this goal. According to Wikipedia, manufacturing companies producing products using advanced manufacturing should embrace the following characteristics:

  • Products are produced with a high level of design.
  • Products are technologically complex and superior to their counterparts.
  • Products are cutting-edge and innovative.
  • Products are reliable, affordable, and readily available.
  • Companies produce newer, better and more exciting products.
  • Products solve a variety of common problems faced by the user and society in general.

Purdue University further explains that advanced manufacturing involves aggressive research and development. Of course, research and development is a fundamental component of all manufacturing, it’s specifically important for advanced manufacturing. Companies must research and develop new processes to perform their manufacturing tasks more efficiently.

So, what’s the difference between advanced manufacturing and traditional manufacturing? Advanced manufacturing differs from traditional manufacturing in several ways. For starters, traditional manufacturing refers to the process of converting raw materials into a finished ready-to-sell product through the use of manual and/or mechanized transformational techniques. The end goal of traditional manufacturing is to add value to achieve the objective. Advanced manufacturing, on the other hand, typically involves manufacturing processes in specific industries such as aerospace, medical, pharmaceutical, etc., while using advanced techniques and equipment.

Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of advanced manufacturing. Basically, it’s a technique that involves the use of innovative processes and/or techniques to improve the manufacturing of products.