This 2020 is shaping up to be an interesting year for top engineering innovations. The way products are engineered is constantly changing thanks to the latest technologies. These technological advancements from 3D printing to the best power generator, have provided numerous ways to support humans in their engineering affairs. With the introduction of these engineering trends, the engineering experts will uncover new ways of working with machines, forced to acquire new skills as well as see changes to their job duties. Things are changing constantly, industry professionals and organisations in engineering would have to be aware of the changes if they want to remain competitive. 

Here are the biggest technology trends that are ruling engineering this year. 

ELECTRIC CARS 

Electric cars have been rising in popularity and some new exciting models are expected to be released next year with increased investment from many other manufacturers. In the automotive sector, their share in the market has been growing exponentially year after year and this year should be significant. The number of electric cars on the road is expected to increase in the coming decade. The number is expected to reach 125 million on the road by 2030. Improved batteries, solar-powered electric cars and advanced software are part of the interesting trends in electric cars that are coming this 2020. 

3D PRINTING

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing is paving the way for an improved design and engineering work. It is transforming the way things are made and how business is carried out. 3D printing plays an important role in the manufacturing and design of products. This technological trend is shaping the future of engineering and is incorporated into many aspects of our lives. An example is 3D printed parts on commercial planes and those used in innovative health care applications. The prototypes are made quickly and economically. 

GENERATIVE DESIGN

This technological trend makes use of artificial intelligence and cloud computing power to create unimaginable design solutions that have been proven to solve larger engineering issues. With the input of generative design algorithms, engineers are able to collaborate efficiently into designing solutions. To begin the process, a designer or an engineer gives the algorithm design parameters for the software to run through. The software works by exploring possible combinations and offers an uncountable number of design options, then the engineer explores the effectiveness of the design solutions. Generative design has been used to design typical objects such as chairs and power toolbox including help bigger engineering tasks.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

It should come as no surprise the extent to which artificial intelligence has grown as an emerging technology. Engineers will need to understand how artificial intelligence works in order to produce improved products and they should also be willing to work with the software and machines available to them. They must also be able to adapt to changes that will be introduced in the industry by artificial intelligence. They range from natural language processing, machine automation and emergency generator.

COMPUTER VISION

In computer language, vision can be explained as computer systems that are capable of identifying locations, people or things from visual images that were taken by a camera. This 2020, computer vision is expected to take the visual selection to the next level. Its application is fundamental to the safety of self-driving cars as they will be able to detect and navigate their path when exposed to danger.  Computer vision can also be applied in the manufacturing industry. They help to detect any bad product or malfunction in pieces of machinery such as a small forklift or parts of forklift. Another application can be seen in facial recognition for access control like Apple’s Face ID software. However, there are more concerns over its potential to erode privacy as more of its applications grow.

ROBOTICS

The adoption of this advanced technology will transform the way work is performed in businesses and organisations. Robotics provides numerous benefits such as improved products, enhanced performance, and an increase in productivity levels. Robotics in this current digital age can provide much more than physical strength to perform tasks or carry heavy items around a warehouse. They can also be applied in cognitive tasks and advanced human work. There is now a reduced time and risk in engineering due to the software that is capable of simulating robotic applications and maintenance. They now have improved brain-power rather than just carrying out programmed tasks.

DIGITAL TWINS

Digital twins give you the ability to virtually design and build something. You’ll also be able to see how the whole design comes into place before you expend physical resources and find out a flaw in the design. This means you don’t have to imagine anymore. This advanced technology can create an exact replica of a physical structure with the use of data and algorithms rather than materials. Although digital twins have been in circulation for some time, the use of the internet of things makes the process affordable. The adoption of Digital twins holds great potential that the technology was listed on Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017 and 2018. Digital twins have also been used to provide design and engineering teams with real-time information about how their products will perform under certain circumstances. Even in Formula 1 car racing they have also been used to determine the performance and efficiency of new parts.

THE ENERGY SECTOR

The energy sector is another valuable market that is expected to take off in 2020. As the need for more sustainable energy sources and improved efficiency increases, the energy sector will provide more ways to see that these matters are solved. Many countries should expect a change in their energy mix as more sustainable energy sources are developed. Studies have shown that there will be an increase in the use of renewable fuels including solar, wind and hydropower. Other innovations to expect in the energy sector this 2020 are improved energy storage and better batteries as well as skilled generator technician.