Manufacturers rely on technology every day to make their business a success. According to a 2018 Barclays Impact Series on Robotics, these three factors are making advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, more affordable for companies to invest in:
More power. The number of transistors on integrated circuits is doubling every 24 months, which means cheaper computing power. Computers can run simulations more quickly and cheaply using huge amounts of data.
Doubling data. Data is predicted to double every two years. Almost everything we do from buying coffee to posting on social media creates data.
Store more for less. With data processing and storage capacity limitless, costs continue to fall. That increased data leads to more innovation.
What drives companies to invest in new technology? While reducing costs is always a popular response, improving productivity, flexibility and quality should also drive a manufacturer’s decision to invest in new technology, analyst Jonathan Van Wyck says in the latest SME Smart Manufacturing report.
Van Wyck, a partner and managing director with Boston Consulting Group, says using augmented reality technology helped an automotive OEM decrease the time it took to conduct a 300-point car inspection from two days to two hours.
“That level step change in performance is what’s possible when you start with a pain point and apply advanced technologies to make it easier,” he wrote.
Customers have also seen a decrease in the amount spent on raw materials by reducing scrap and rework by using technology to make sure a product is completed correctly the first time, Van Wyck added.
During 2017, 127 Wisconsin early-stage companies raised more than $231 million in capital, according to the Wisconsin Portfolio, which is pulled together from public reports and data from the Wisconsin Technology Council and its Tech Council Investor Networks.
While that number is a 71 percent increase from five years ago, it is an 8 percent decrease from 2016.
The largest Wisconsin deals reported in 2017 were:
• SHINE Medical Technologies: $24.7 million
• UAS Laboratories: $21.2 million
• Promentis Pharmaceuticals: $17.6 million
• Fetch Rewards: $10.4 million
• Redox: $10 million