The industrial revolution is a tremendous example of change and how adaptability enhances lifestyle. There have been four industrial revolutions, and we are experiencing the last one in the manufacturing industry. The fourth revolution has provided manufacturers an opportunity to enjoy technology in production. Technology has influenced every area of life these days, and enterprises have witnessed massive changes over time.
Advanced manufacturing capabilities and information technology are an opportunity for industrialists to make the product lifecycle better at every stage. It is fascinating to see that digitization and many other technological betterments have made manufacturing effortless. Traditional production methods were time-consuming and demanded extra effort of the workers – the trend has changed now.
The world now is more dynamic than ever, and adjusting to developments will give manufacturers a competitive edge quickly. Otherwise, competing may be the biggest challenge they could face. The ones who want to thrive rather than just surviving are adopting the latest industry 4.0 technologies. However, more developments are impacting industrial manufacturers. There are several ever-evolving trends and cutting-edge technologies that define the future of manufacturing.
2020 has been a rollercoaster for all industries, and the manufacturing industry is experiencing shocks too. The sector accounts for a significant part of the GDP, and developments significantly influence the operations. Let’s take a look at the new advancements that are waiting for industrial manufacturers.
- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CONQUERING THE INDUSTRY
Manufacturing degrees, especially masters programs around the globe, are now emphasizing on artificial intelligence. If you learn more about this program, you will discover the vitality of AI for this sector. Manufacturing is a diverse field, and it will take some time to implement all the changes on a broader scale. Nonetheless, adopting AI and machine learning can help improve efficiency and significantly cut costs.
- INEVITABLE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Strategic planning is essential, and the majority of manufacturers are still not buying the ROI concept of adopting digital trends. However, digital transformation is necessary now if a sector aims to achieve growth. Around 80 percent of the manufacturers now believe that digital transformation is the strategic priority now.
- INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) IS THE NEW GAME
The Internet of things is a connection between unique devices with the existing internet arrangement to achieve specific goals. These goals include:
- Cost reduction
- Better efficiency
- Efficacy to meet compliance requirements
- Innovation in products
Today’s manufacturers are extensively using IoT, and the trend will rise by the end of the year. It enables the production managers to achieve all goals efficiently. All it needs is an internet connection, cloud computing, and sensors to function. Michael Strand, Vice President of Hitachi America, says that IoT is having a significant influence on manufacturing and offers new opportunities for transforming business processes.
- PREDICTIVE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE
The manufacturing industry cannot bear any losses due to equipment breakdown. It can cost them a fortune; hence, predictive equipment maintenance is the new development trend that industrial manufacturers must adopt. According to a survey by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, one hour of downtime costs $300,000, as 81 percent of manufacturers reported. The study is from 2016, and today, the costs are multiples of the factor. In simple words, predictive equipment maintenance can save substantial costs.
- CHANGING FOCUS OF THE BUSINESS TYPE
Traditionally, business types include B2B or B2C. The trend of 2020 says that the focus of manufacturers has now shifted to a new business type. Instead of B2C or B2B, they are focusing on B2B2C. It sums up all the intermediaries involved in product development. Industrialists report that the profit margins have increased, and they get better customer data with brand and price control.
- SUPPLY CHAIN AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
- The supply chain is now an extended and diversified field than before. Pricing is critical in any business, but savvy manufacturers are now planning to leverage the supply chain for their competitive edge. It makes supply chain management effortless and offers numerous competitive benefits too. Few of these benefits are:
- Operation efficiency
- Inventory control
- Cost reduction
- Better customer satisfaction
- Customer retention
PwC states that three-quarters of the 2000 manufacturing companies will adopt this trend in 2020, whereas the rest are already benefiting from it.
- ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING CONTINUES TO PENETRATE
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system streamlines the business activities and provides real and accurate information. Moreover, it encourages cost reduction by increasing the efficiency of the management. Managers can make rational decisions quicker than before. Previously, the ERP implementation was annoying, but it has advanced, and managers can quickly implement it. Hence, the easy way of earning a competitive edge is ERP.
- MAN AND MACHINE PARTNERSHIP
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have created beneficial man and machine partnerships in the past. Now, these profitable ventures will increase and open gates to many opportunities. Manufacturers can reduce inspection time, and these assistive technologies can help in detecting errors earlier.
Technology is everywhere globally, and the manufacturing industry has numerous opportunities hidden in these betterments. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and ERP systems are no longer limited to marketing and management. The production sector should gear up to benefit from these advancements too. The COVID-19 pandemic may have threatened the world and slowed down the economic growth, but all these new developments can help speed up the growth.