The manufacturing sector stands on the precipice of change. New and innovative techniques are set to transform the way companies across the world prototype, build, and maintain new products. Here are the five technologies most likely to transform the manufacturing industry forever:

1. 3D Printing

Without a doubt, 3D printing is leaving its mark on the manufacturing community. From complex medical instruments to better engineered plastic, 3D printers have the potential to change the way companies create, sell, or prototype new launches. A designer can create a fully operational 3D model from the comfort of their desk and have a tangible product in a 3D printing center on the other side of the planet within hours. 3D printing potentially has a far-reaching impact on other industries as well. It could change the way we build houses, replace human organs, or grow food too. The oncoming wave of 3D printing is one of the biggest changes to the manufacturing sector in generations.

2. IoT

With a tiny sensor and internet connectivity, the dream of creating a truly connected factory is now a reality. Machines can talk to each other and allow for greater control and deeper customizations than ever before. Systems such as the Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) could ensure machines maintain the levels they’re supposed to, work precisely on time, and function in synchronicity. Connecting all factory machines to the internet so that the whole manufacturing plant can be remotely controlled is invaluable.

3. Autonomous Robots

Perhaps the biggest revolution for the manufacturing industry is mainstream automation. Everwin Precision Technology’s smartphone assembly plant in Dongguan, China, is on track to replace nearly 80% of its factory workforce with approximately 1,000 robotic arms. Similar machines are already helping companies assemble cars, hairdryers, and aircrafts across the world. As these factory bots get more sophisticated, they can learn to memorize instructions, make adjustments, and even make decisions on par with a human worker. According to a PWC survey, 59% of manufacturers in the US are already using some form of robotics technology in their factory.

4. AI Factories

Robots aren’t just helping manufacturers build parts and products, but they’re also helping them make business decisions. Artificial intelligence can utilize big data and allow manufacturing plants to adjust production based on projected demand. They can also help companies create better engineered products by taking into account minor details such as the time of day and ambient temperature while manufacturing heavy materials.

5. Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is already helping manufactures make better chips. As the technology gradually sweeps into the mainstream, manufacturers across the world can expect unprecedented levels of precision while building products. With the help of advanced nanotech, companies can make new items with Atomically Precise Manufacturing (APM). Clothes can be manipulated on an atomic level to make them warmer or cooler and steel can be manipulated on an atomic level to make it lighter.

These five technologies are likely to have the biggest impact on the way goods are manufactured in the near future.