7 Apr 2022


Digital Manufacturing

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Academic level: College

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There are two main goals of digital manufacturing. The first goal is to provide the manufacturers with better insight into important issues that require critical decision making hence avoiding costly mistakes. Secondly, it enables manufacturers to gain efficiencies that will enable them to become vigilant in responding to various market demands. Currently, the number of companies taking advantage of digital manufacturing is still low. However, there are several efforts being made to address these gaps in manufacturing. Due to the complex and expansive nature of implementing the digital manufacturing system, experts are advising companies to begin with the usage of data to solve business problems.


Digital manufacturing is defined as a technology based process of manufacturing that uses data integration to link different processes of the manufacturing life cycle. Digital manufacturing only works efficiently when there is proper synchronization of all aspects of production. It is an important innovation because it is useful in ensuring that stakeholders make better decisions at each step of the manufacturing cycle. The focus of the discussion will be on highlighting the importance and applications of digital manufacturing and its overall impact in promoting business.

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The digital revolution that is characterized by innovations such as new computing capabilities, development of artificial intelligence, additive technology, increased artificial intelligence and human machine interactions have led to the change like manufacturing. Hartmann et al . (2015) asserted that such new technologies would transform every step and link in the manufacturing chain such as research and development, supply chain, factory operations, marketing, and sales. With the prospect of digital connectivity among stake holders in a manufacturing company such as managers, designers, consumers, and workers there will be an increased value in production hence changing the landscape of manufacturing.

The process of manufacturing has been known to be one of the biggest generators of data in the economy. However, very few companies harness the information as most of them discard the data without presenting it for further analysis and decision making. With the digital revolution, companies will be able to tap the data they generate which will provide them with valuable insights that will be crucial in driving profits and the subsequent growth of the company.

Large manufacturers have begun to employ data analytics to improve factory operations assisting the process of equipment utilization and product quality while minimizing energy consumption. New network supply management tools have enabled managers to have a better view of raw material and the overall flow of the manufacturing network. This can assist the managers to arrange factory operations and product deliveries to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Hartwell (2017) pointed out that companies that deal in consumer packaged goods are using digital tools to improve the process of distribution and building rapport with the consumers. Digital tools are now being used to respond faster to consumer preferences and the reduction of the supply chain costs. Manufacturing companies dealing with pharmaceuticals are taking advantage of their knowledge of the end-to-end processes to manufacture suites that have footprints less than half the size of those produced by other conventional factories. Digital threads are also being employed to improve quality control. Infrared technologies are also being used by a few companies in a bid to detect counterfeit drugs without carrying out destructive tests. Digital manufacturing is important in lessening risks and reducing wastages. With the help of a digital manufacturing software, companies can initiate production processes and factory floor layouts before putting up the actual physical building and making huge investments in the equipment. Digital manufacturing ensures that complex processes such as planning the floor layout, defining production resources, and the activation of the factory flow are streamlined.

Manufacturing engineers apply digital manufacturing in the production of three-dimensional model (3D models) software that is used in the designing of various tools and machinery used for specific functions in the manufacturing process. According to Chryssolouris et al. (2009), the 3D models are essential in assisting the engineers to design factory floor layouts and the production floor. Such a technique is important to the engineers because it allows them to analyze current manufacturing processes. It also allows engineers to increase efficiency in their work before the process of production begins. Other tools that are utilized in the process of digital manufacturing include the computerized numerical controlled machines (CNC). The CNC process enables mass productions and flexibility and also forms a link between computer aided model and production.

In analyzing the benefits of digital manufacturing, first, it enables optimization of parts of the manufacturing process. According to Jurriëns and Tapsell (2017), digital manufacturing also allows a manufacturing process to be created before it is implemented physically. Also, with the many innovations that come with digital manufacturing, the effects caused by tooling processes can be observed in real time. Wu (2015) asserted that further innovation has led to the development of the cloud based design and manufacturing which involves incorporation of social sites, cloud computing and web technologies that aid in cloud design services.


In conclusion, digital manufacturing is a sophisticated innovation that is taking over the manufacturing industry to enhance efficiency, cost reduction, and quality. Although it requires a lot of investment in capital and skilled labor, it can guarantee a business company profits due to its wide range of applications. The system has since been applied in many manufacturing industries such as those dealing with pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods to produce more efficient and quality products that increase the company's market demands. Further innovations are on the verge of being made, and hence digital manufacturing has room for improvement.


Chryssolouris, G., Mavrikios, D., Papakostas, N., Mourtzis, D., Michalos, G., & Georgoulias, K. (2009). Digital manufacturing: history, perspectives, and outlook.  Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture 223 (5), 451-462.

Hartmann, B., King, W. P., & Narayanan, S. (2015). Digital manufacturing: The revolution will be virtualized. Retrieved from London, England.

Hartwell, R. M. (2017). The Industrial Revolution and economic growth (Vol. 4). Taylor & Francis.

Jurriëns, E., & Tapsell, R. (2017). 1 Challenges and opportunities of the digital ‘revolution in Indonesia. Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence, 1.

Wu, D., Rosen, D. W., Wang, L., & Schaefer, D. (2015). Cloud-based design and manufacturing: A new paradigm in digital manufacturing and design innovation.  Computer-Aided Design 59 , 1-14.

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