Keywords: information technology, manufacturing, production, cultural change, changes in industry and society, product innovation, productivity enhancement, simulation
Impact of information technologies on manufacturing
The article defines and describes the impacts of Information Technologies on manufacturing, where manufacturing is understood as the process of producing the product capabilities according to customer needs, covering all the steps in the value adding chain. The first impact describes changes in society and industry with a focus on employment and industrial relations. The second impact is on dynamics of technological and business processes by usage of simulation as an interdisciplinary acceleration tool. The third impact deals with both electronics and software as value adding core elements of products. A fourth impact may be identified on classic products, where sensor technologies speed up production processes with a significant quality enhancement. Finally, the impact of information technology on the human user itself is addressed. Cultural change is shown to be necessary and inevitable to tackle the future economical risks of the information age.