The new year is under way and that means a brand new set of trends set to hit major manufacturing and tech industries. The manufacturing sector has seen considerable change at a rapid pace over the last decade, adding to the importance of knowing what will come next. These top trends of 2015 have the ability to make a big splash in the manufacturing sector, changing the direction of the industry as a whole.
1. Additive Manufacturing
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is changing the way that manufacturers, engineers, and product developers think about their products all together. Evolving rapidly in the last few years, this trend will continue to increase in 2015 with the ability to produce metals, plastics and even human tissues. For manufacturers, this technology and trend can lead to shorter production times, reduced waste and cost savings.
To give you an idea of how 3D printing technology is disrupting the construction industry, the video below shows how one company can “print” 10 houses in one day!
2. Boom in U.S. Manufacturing
This year, U.S. manufacturing production is expected to outpace the GDP. The United States will see an increase in domestic manufacturing instead of typical off-shoring practices. In November 2014, the national Purchasing Managers Index was 58.7 which indicates a very strong expansion in manufacturing activity. This could potentially cause a problem with the demand of manufacturing and the amount of employment available.
3. SMAC Adoption
“SMAC” stands for social, mobile, analytics, and cloud. The boom in manufacturing is being driven by these four factors as being essential for enterprises. These four factors help companies gain higher outreach to customers and stay ahead of the trends with rapid influx of data and growth opportunities. Adopters of SMAC are able to innovate and adapt quickly in a traditionally conservative manufacturing marketplace.
According to an article by Forbes, “The luxury of long technology evaluation cycles, introspective analysis of systems, and long deployment timeframes are giving way to rapid deployments and systems designed for accuracy and speed.” This means that companies should adopt new cloud based analytical tools to measure data to drive innovation and change.
4. Internet of Things (IOT)
While not a new term in 2015, this type of technology will have a huge effect on manufacturing this year. The Internet of Things refers to the technology that allows devices to communicate with one another without human input, in order to control various systems using sensors and wireless internet. Similar to SMAC, this can be applied to home systems to learn about habits and decrease energy usage, or throughout entire cities’ waste management systems to increase efficiency. More and more commercial and industrial IOT applications are becoming available every day.
According to the CSC Global CIO Survey: 2014-2015, 81 percent of manufacturers feel big data has a positive effect on production and efficiency. Greater visibility will be achieved in manufacturing floors due to big data analytics. Among other benefits, overall quality will be increased and maintenance requirements can be quickly detected.
5. Next Shoring
Rising wages in Asia, along with high shipping costs have caused manufacturers to switch their off-shore tactics to product manufacturing coming closer to where it will be sold. This tactic will increase the manufacturers ability to replenish store shelves and increase speed in delivery. It also decreases costs in shipping, and warehouse storage costs. Consumer demands will rise in 2015 and with next-shoring tactics, manufacturers will have the ability to meet these demands quicker. 2015 is all about the consumer, and next-shoring is just what manufacturers need to properly satisfy customers.
As 2015 continues, it will be excited to see how these trends unfold. Manufacturing has some truly intriguing technological advances. Transition in practices are prone to change the way business is conducted as well as how quickly it can be completed. It will be an exciting year with much to come for those that take advantages of these disruptive manufacturing trends.