Top manufacturing industry trends of 2017
There have been many changes to the manufacturing industry in 2017. Immigration and trade policy, workforce shortages, distribution techniques, and more have influenced the manufacturing trends of the past year.
1. Companies use automation software and autonomous capabilities to boost productivity and profit.
Macola’s report found that most manufacturers feel that big data drives the most business value. The Industrial Internet of Things took second place. CSuite recently stated that companies endure high repair costs for every minute a machine slows down, but Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things dramatically cut these costs. IoT empowered machines have a central network to monitor usage conditions 24/7. The sensors predict machine failure and automatically schedule preventative maintenance to prevent further damage. This network can also store employee skill sets to automatically help dispatch certain technicians for certain jobs.
Example: Decades ago, plant workers didn’t document their work processes, which makes it hard to train new employees to do the same jobs. As a result, many companies pay consultants to interview retirees about how they did their jobs, which is expensive and inaccurate. What someone does on site may differ from what he or she says in an interview. An alternate is asset management performance technology, which logs worker actions in real time. This provides a framework on how and when to do maintenance. A user-friendly dashboard makes data easy to understand without the need for data scientists. APM’s algorithms can also translate years of messy data entries into meaningful machine health data, which helps companies develop better maintenance strategies.
Over the past few years, it has been getting old to mass produce parts in just one central facility. With distributed manufacturing, companies use technology that distributes materials to many small facilities. This way, customers across the globe receive their orders faster since there are shipping locations near them. 3D prototyping is one method likely to replace mass production for its ability to produce high quality parts. The Harvard Business Review recently stated that the biggest global brands use 3D prototyping these days, and 3D printers are becoming more affordable.
Stricter immigration policies may eliminate quality candidates
Baby boomer retirement calls for younger workers.
Mrinal Gokhale is a content contributor for MSI Data. MSI Data is a CFE Media content partner. This article originally appeared on MSI Data’s blog.