The manufacturing industry is undergoing a massive transformation. Technological developments and changing markets are redefining the competitive landscape for manufacturing organizations. The concept of a ‘smart factory’ has become more of a reality with more emphasis on speed, agility, and productivity.
Here are a few trends which are going to impact the manufacturing industry in 2016:
3D Printing — Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing has been a top technology trend for quite some time. With the growing affordability of 3D printing, more precise scans, and faster prints, manufacturers will be able to build parts and prototypes quickly. By applying 3D printing technology to product development and prototyping, manufacturers will be able to focus on innovation and reduce time to market (TTM).
Robotics — As advanced robotic systems become smarter, faster, and cheaper, manufacturers will be able to program their robots to perform virtually any task imaginable. This in turn will increase the quality of output. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), between 2015 and 2018, it is estimated that about 1.3 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world.
Internet of Things — Connected factories and plants will be making the manufacturing industry smarter by reducing waste and minimizing safety hazards. Real time communication between machines, factories, logistic providers, and suppliers has the potential to radically improve supply chain visibility in manufacturing. Smart manufacturing is about creating an environment where all available information—direct from the plant floor and from along the supply chain—is captured in real time and turned into actionable insights.
Advanced Analytics — Advanced analytics will help manufacturers predict demand and supply factors, which in turn will reduce the cost of production. Preventive maintenance will be possible using the analytics data before a problem occurs, making the workplace safer and more efficient.
Green Technology —The increase in environmental pollution levels has necessitated investment in sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, products, and services for manufacturers. Trends in consumption, supportive government policy, and increased cost savings all point towards even more green industry opportunities this year.
Planning ahead to accommodate these trends at your manufacturing company will highly improve your operations and efficiency, thereby giving you a competitive edge in the market. To start the adoption process, learning is key. Manufacturing companies that invest in innovative learning methods for their employees are sure to see an increase in their bottom line.
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