Top 15 Manufacturing Systems – Side-By-Side Comparisons

George Gemeinhardt

January 2, 2023

Top 15 Manufacturing Systems - Side-By-Side Comparisons

As you’re preparing to choose your new manufacturing system, it’s essential to take a look at the pros and cons of all of them. There are so many options out there that it can take time to choose which one is the best for your business. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 manufacturing systems. Each option is compared side by side to help you decide which one’s right for you.

Material requirements planning (MRP)

MRP (material requirements planning) is a system used to help manufacturers balance supply and demand. It helps determine how much inventory is required to meet customer orders and allocates resources accordingly. Using a system like MRP can improve profitability and customer service.

MRP compares the materials required to produce a product with the current inventory. This allows manufacturers to schedule production, ensuring they always have materials.

While material requirements planning is often associated with the early 1960s, the term dates back to the late 1940s. A team of influential engineers, including Joseph Orlicky, George Plossl, and Oliver Wight, first developed it.

Production planning and scheduling

A company’s ability to create a workable production plan is one of the critical factors in its success. With this streamlined approach, it may be able to solve its most pressing problems. Production planning also helps ensure that orders are met without any interruptions.

Developing a production plan involves estimating how much product a company can make in a given amount of time. This estimate is created by combining historical production trends with current market trends.

The most important part of a production plan is the ability to allocate resources efficiently. These are the raw materials, labour, and machinery used to manufacture each product.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality manufacturing systems have become a popular tool in the manufacturing industry. These systems are designed to enhance factory production by offering a more immersive experience. They also help to ensure that the proper steps are followed in the correct order.

By enhancing knowledge and reducing contamination, these systems can provide significant benefits. For example, they can help customers understand how to use a product and improve the manufacturing process by ensuring that the correct parts are used in the proper sequence.

Unlike traditional paper-based work instructions, augmented reality systems use audio cues, visual cues, and interactive real-time guidance to ensure that each step is followed correctly. The best-augmented reality solutions are adaptive and customizable, delivering a simple and intuitive visual guide.

3D printing

The 3D printing market is a growing industry. Several industries have benefited from this technology, including aerospace and dentistry. It also has applications in science and art. Unlike traditional manufacturing, it is easier to produce custom, made-to-measure parts. Moreover, it reduces costs and helps in fuel conservation.

However, it is expensive to manufacture using the technology. And the unavailability of raw materials has posed a problem. In addition, it can disrupt the supply chain. So, the manufacturers are looking for alternatives to produce components.

With the help of this technology, a new range of industrial-grade 3D printing materials has been developed. These materials have various properties, including high heat resistance, water repellency, and strength.


Cobots are a technology that allows manufacturers to collaborate with humans to increase productivity and throughput. Typically, cobots work to perform simple tasks that human workers would otherwise have to accomplish. The ability to do so is attractive because of its low cost and ability to be customized to a specific job.

Collaborative robots are used in a variety of industries. These devices allow companies to improve productivity and efficiency without sacrificing quality.

While they may not replace human workers, they are safer for them and can reduce the amount of manual labour needed. This frees people’s time, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their job.

Industry 4.0

Whether it’s 3D printing, wireless connectivity or the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 is a significant technology milestone in manufacturing. It represents a paradigm shift in how manufacturers optimize data and execute their operations. By enabling new processes and improving productivity, it’s also expected to boost revenue. But how will it affect the manufacturing industry?

A survey conducted by McKinsey in January 2015 included 100 companies from three countries, including US, Germany and Japan. For example, 92 per cent of US companies expect to experience new competitors, while 46 per cent of German companies believe they are well-prepared for Industry 4.0.

In its most basic form, Industry 4.0 is a digital representation of the product lifecycle. The key to the technology is that it is about more than just optimizing data. Instead, it enables data collection, analysis and sharing in real-time.