Also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, digital engineering is pushing production practices into the future.

Science fiction fans longing for flying cars may live to see their dreams come true through the digitization of manufacturing.

Digital engineering. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Both of these terms represent the current trend gaining traction in modern production. Technology is opening the market entry for emerging entrepreneurs. As innovations become more disruptive, fantasies of the future are becoming part of real life.

Furthermore, they’re characterised by the combination of sophisticated analytics, robotics, sensors, cloud computing, and the Internet of things (IoT).

Also referred to as Industry 4.0, it pushes the application of data in manufacturing and automation technologies.

What’s digital engineering all about?

At the core of these futuristic production techniques seems to be a very simple motivation: reducing time and cost.

This basic sentiment is by no means unique for any production manager. However, the raw beauty of its simplicity has driven technologies and practices that can save up to years of manufacturing time.

The Vanguard Roadster is the newest motorcycle in the biking scene, and encapsulates the spirit of digital engineering. Crafted through 3D design and computerised engineering systems, it only recently existed in digital form. The brainchild of a small start-up based out of Brooklyn, modern simulations enabled its manufacturing in one year, as opposed to multiple ones.

While only one model currently exists as a prototype, the Roadster illustrates how the combination of data and production reduces the cost of entry for companies with modest investing power. Thus, the result is cheaper automation, and an expanding playing field for interested entrepreneurs and start-ups.

On a socio-economic scale, the growth of digitised manufacturing would revitalise flagging industries in nations such as America. However, experts are not yet sure what percentage of the population would be eligible for employment.

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