The future future of manufacturing looks bright. Manufacturers around the globe are very optimistic about the future of their industry .Manufacturers are working hard to improve their performance in the production process, improve their relationships with customers and finding skilled workforce to overcome these challenges. To remain competitive, manufacturers are embracing new trends, especially in technology. These trends are set to change the future of manufacturing as we know it. Take a look at 5 manufacturing trends of the future.
1. Mass Customization
The mass production wave brought forth affordable and consistent goods. Mass customization emerged in the 1990s as a solution and a bridge between mass production and customization. The efficiency associated with mass production is merged with the personalization that goes into customized products. With the many technological advancements today, mass production is well on its way to change the future of manufacturing. It is now possible to create small products tailored to meet specific needs without incurring massive costs as would have been the case before.
2. Industrial Automation
Automation is set to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. It increases productivity and enables companies to attain intriguing levels of accuracy. It is widely believed that improved efficiency will lead to a bright future in manufacturing. Shifting to smarter manufacturing methods will save a lot of money for companies and increase profit volumes. It will create more jobs and help in building a healthy economy.
Contrary to belief, automation will not kill all human labor. Just like the shift in the early 20th century where people moved from the farm to the factories, new workers will be needed in almost every sector. There will be a need for hardware, software and firmware creators; robotics and automation designers and people who will maintain these equipment. Research estimates that 15 million new jobs will be created as a result of automation in the next decade. Automated machines will still need to be designed, programmed and serviced. These processes will require people.
Robots have become an important aspect of automation. They are being uses to complete repetitive tasks and those that pose danger to humans including deburring, part inspections, bin-picking, etc. The robots on the market now are not only easier to program but also easier to operate. With added capabilities such as image and voice recognition, it is now simpler to re-create otherwise complex human activities. The advantage with robots is that they are programed to follow commands. However, people will still be needed to program, manage and maintain the robots.
4. 3D Printing
3D printing will be a significant pillar of manufacturing in the future. Since its advent, manufacturers have been able to reduce production costs by eliminating many unnecessary steps in the manufacturing process. It has also cut the number of players in the production process to just three or four: A designer, the manufacturer (printer) and raw material suppliers.
3D printing technology has significantly reduced the amount of time it takes for engineers and designers to imagine, create and test new prototypes. Trends depict 3D printing technology will increasingly be incorporated in everyday business operations.
5. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is increasingly becoming popular among manufacturers around the globe. Many companies and their workers often face undue pressure to competitively increase accuracy, process speed and capitalize innate intelligence due to the nature of the job. Using the cloud in modern manufacturing can give people some breathing space.
By using cloud based strategies, companies can now be able to utilize their knowledge and innate intelligence to deal with sales situations without the need to go through evidence available in in-house systems. The cloud offers quicker solutions that physical options. Apart from it being a quick option, it is also easy to access and customize.
Companies can extract information affecting the production line and analyze it through the use of cloud technology. Data obtained from augmented and virtual reality and continued customer feedback will impact research and development.
What Does The Future Look Like?
There is a widespread belief that manufacturing in the U.S. is disappearing because the country no longer makes things. This is merely speculation, and data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics proves it wrong: Real manufacturing output has risen by 75% in the past 25 years.
Manufacturing companies are optimistic about the future. Even as they continue to make investments in new technology, however, hiring people is still a vital part of the process.