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Another recent technology that’s improving manufacturing productivity is the use of cloud robotics to monitor machine activity in production facilities. With software able to detect when machines encounter mechanical issues or run out of production materials, downtimes are reduced and productivity and profits are increased. This is set to expand even more with the introduction of 5G cellular technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), as the manufacturing process can start the moment a designer begins to sketch a design with the system able to check on the availability of materials and a suitable production slot.

Cloud-based software is also more beneficial to the smaller company as well, with such software usually being out of reach of companies with lower budgets. Using cloud-based software leads to lower hosting costs, meaning smaller fees for use and an ability to licence the software over every machine in the company, as opposed to single machines only. This could also be expanded into a pay-as-you-use scenario, allowing companies access to the latest and most powerful software, but only when they require access to it. This would significantly reduce costs and allow these savings to be passed to consumers, benefiting the entire economy.

It is also hoped that smaller companies would also be able to tap into the experience of veteran engineers and designers during the design phase of their projects. This allows the smaller user to utilise knowledge that would previously have been financially inaccessible to them and allows them to refine aspects of their design or reconsider areas that may become problematic prior to production, further reducing costs and allowing a quicker time to market.