Machine programming, a field of artificial intelligence in which software is automated to create additional software, could help with developing self-driving vehicles, says Justin Gottschlich of Intel Labs. "Through machine programming, we will create many jobs, perhaps millions or hundreds of millions of jobs," he argues, as programming will be opened to more people.
Aircraft component manufacturer Moog has successfully used 3D printing in combination with blockchain to manufacture a part ordered for an airplane within hours. The company is continuing to research the best ways to use the combination.
Outer space provides the ideal environment to manufacture fiber-optic cable, 3D-printed organs, metal alloys and meat, Prachi Patel writes. Although the cost of such manufacturing is expensive, making fiber-optic cables "would pay for itself and drive a profit," says Austin Jordan of Made in Space.
Chemical manufacturers can get the most out of their "tail" spending on raw materials -- the bottom 25% of their budget -- by using advanced data analytics and automated procurement, writes Marc Sommerer of McKinsey. He lists four steps to follow, including gathering and standardizing procurement data and using an e-procurement system for requests for information.
Digital twins can help manufacturers optimize maintenance and product quality, but only if they are "anchored in a solid business case and linked to a production-driven purpose," Louis Columbus writes. Metrics and key performance indicators must be well-defined and used for accountability, he notes.
Manufacturers need to look ahead to the future when building systems to handle all the data collected by the industrial internet of things, writes Matt Schnugg of GE Power Digital. He recommends having good data governance in place that involves proper data modeling and infrastructure.
Additive manufacturing can reduce waste and carbon emissions, both by itself and through the parts it creates, such as lighter automotive components, writes Camille Caron, director of education and sustainability for HP's 3D printing and digital manufacturing business. "The longer-view promise is that highly optimized sustainability practices, enabled by 3D printing solutions, will tip the benefits into regeneration, where we move beyond minimizing impact and begin to actively replenish our resources," she writes.