The world is evolving, and the events of today are shaping our future. 2020 is the year that technology gained critical mass, and its role in manufacturing became more significant than ever. Though the field is ever-evolving, it is clear that for businesses hoping to future-proof and determine long-term success, digital resource investment is essential right now. Here are three key manufacturing trends predicted to grow into the future…
The emergence of smart products and smart factory technologies are huge drivers for the manufacturing trends of the future. These will increase productivity by enabling data-driven decision making and will also allow for accelerated innovation within the plant environment. Factory digitalisation is key to securing the safety of aging plant machinery, without companies having to entirely replace this equipment, or take the financial hit associated with plant downtime. Connected services support customers, predict future equipment needs before they become a problem, and adapt to your changing business needs. For this reason, digitalisation is considered to be the best way to future-proof your business, ensuring your digital strategy integrates seamlessly with your offline endeavours. Digitalisation is the biggest trend that you can adopt now that will benefit your manufacturing business.
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Embracing 3D Printing
By the end of 2017, the 3D printing industry was worth $7 billion. By the end of 2025, it is forecast that this industry will have grown to be worth more than $20 billion. This huge growth trajectory means that this is the kind of technology we should be sitting up and taking notice of! Bioprinting and digital anatomy are both areas that will continue to mature in the coming years, helping to drive this increased financial investment. What’s more, mass customisation has a huge future, and the limitless potential for what this can bring to both businesses and consumers is only now really beginning to be understood. When a printer is produced that enables automated assembly of both metal and plastic parts, we will see a huge jump in demand for 3D printing. 3D printing is truly technology for the future, and one that savvy investors are choosing to approach today.
The Rise of the Robots
Finally, robotics and automation are becoming more and more integral in every aspect of our everyday lives, and their contributions are particularly thriving amongst smart manufacturers. According to the Robotic Industries Association, robot orders are up 5.2% through the third quarter of 2019, with 23,894 robotic units ordered, at the cost of $1.3 billion. This figure is only set to increase over the next five years, with collaborative robots set to continue playing a significant role in the future. These aren’t the walking and talking robots of sci-fi imagination, but rather systems that can work alongside your existing machinery to improve your efficiency and productivity. It is interesting to note that it is not just large businesses that are investing in collaborative robots (or cobots), but small and medium-sized enterprises. This isn’t just a trend for the big boys, but one for all businesses hoping to grow and future-proof their enterprises.