5 Manufacturing Trends Coming This Year

The long-term direction of the manufacturing industry is in the process of being changed by some cutting edge trends. These trends are expected to have a significant impact this year and in years to come. Industry professionals in manufacturing should always have a strong understanding of the industry and what the future of manufacturing looks like.
There are so many new and exciting things happening this year in the manufacturing sector.  Here is a list of the top 5 trends this year:

Efficient Thinking
One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face today is determining how to achieve operational goals such as reducing costs, improving efficiency, increasing safety, supporting compliance and growing product innovation.
Companies are beginning to recognize the value of thinking strategically and operationally, as well as having a better understanding of the importance of data management. Gathering operational data, analyzing it and leveraging valuable information from manufacturing processes is creating positive change in the industry.

Next Level Industry
The rise of the manufacturing industry has given manufacturers more opportunities to utilize advanced manufacturing capabilities throughout the product lifecycle.
Recent advances can increase production processes, efficiency, and improve safety on the factory floor.
Manufacturers can improve productivity and efficiency, business needs, development of new services, and increase the speed products are brought to the market.

Additive Manufacturing
There’s no doubt about it, the increasing acceptance of additive manufacturing processes has led to a widespread adoption in the manufacturing industry.
For example, heavy equipment manufacturers produce machinery with product lifespans measured in decades. From its beginnings as a plastic prototyping process, additive manufacturing has grown and developed greatly over the last 30 years or so, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Automation
Groundbreaking advancements in technology are propelling manufacturing into a new age of automation. Robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence are said to be taking over the manufacturing industry in the years to come.
Companies will soon have to decide what to automate (and what not to automate) in order to keep their company running at its highest potential.
Technology makes it possible to not only automate tasks on the show floor, but also to automate jobs in other areas of a business, such as maintenance, management and administration.

Augmented Reality
This one is still debatable.  The concept of augmented reality is definitely not new to the manufacturing industry, but this new technology is still in its early stages and its potential impacts on the manufacturing industry have yet to be realized.
AR is a trend on the rise, though. Many companies are currently exploring the use of wearable technologies, including head-mounted devices integrated with AR. These devices provide employees access to data that can help perform a certain task while staying safe on the job.

Some of these manufacturing trends might still seem quite futuristic, but that’s really not the case. AR is currently being used in manufacturing facilities across the United States and around the world. And companies utilizing it are experiencing a number of benefits, including cost reduction, speed increases, fewer errors, and overall improved safety.
Here’s to a bright future for the manufacturing industry.  The industry is on the rise and there’s still much more to come.

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