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How to Pair Software with Hardware in the Manufacturing Industry

Gone are the days when you could draw a distinctive line between the “physical” world of manufacturing and the “virtual” world of software and programming. In actuality, for at least a decade, these two worlds have been coming together in increasingly exciting ways, helping the world create more eco-friendly, efficient and reliable products for the mass market. In this article, we’ll look at how soft-ware and hardware can be most effectively paired in order to boost the manufacturing process of firms across the world. 

How to Pair Software with Hardware


Even before a product begins being developed on the production line, there’s software out there to help you design it. Computer Assisted Manufacturing, or CAM, is a set of software that can help you design the best, most efficient products – using a variety of materials – virtually, before making the real thing in your facility. It’s been used for decades, but in recent years updates and upgrades have made CAM designs that bit more brilliant, saving manufacturers time fiddling with physical proto-types. 

3D Printing

While 3D printing is clearly a way to make physical products quickly, it’s more of a software innovation than a hardware one. After all, the physical process involved in creating an object out of a plastic polymer has existed for decades. It’s the way these objects are made, with careful, automated ma-chine movements, which sets 3D printing apart from the crowd. In manufacturing, 3D printers are often used to produce small, specialized components for heavy machinery. 


There’s no doubt that automation is the future of manufacturing – if it’s not already the present. If you’ve seen Ford’s production line, you’ll already know that there’s barely a human to be seen on the factory floor. But now, with advanced machine learning algorithms, machines are learning new, intuitive ways to make products in a production line. This is only speeding up the production process, helping manufacturing firms gather larger profits in the process. 


The great things about software is that it’s ridiculously precise. A program will never have the human hand-wobble that can often render a product broken or misshapen. It’ll keep plugging away, time after time, producing perfect products. That’s the case with precision metal cutters from KerfDevelopments, or precision robotic arms swinging away on factory floors. Software’s precision, combined with hardware’s speed and reliability, has helped put an end to wastage caused by human error. 


Finally, another aspect of businesses that software is fantastic at is managed processes. To give an example, machinery was once maintained by human engineers, who would potter between machines looking for signs of wear and tear. But today, complex sensors, connected to the Internet of Things, can feedback to a central software system to tell manufacturers when something’s going wrong in a machine. This has helped boost the reliability of factories across the world, and means that we no longer need to wait for a catastrophic hardware error to discover a fault worth fixing. 

Clearly, software and hardware are now both vital for efficient manufacturing – helping business owners make the most of their facilities and the products they turn out. 

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