Manufacturing Trend Predictions for 2016
2015 was a big year for the manufacturing industry, with great strides being made in more progressive manufacturing techniques, and automation becoming commonplace on the factory floor.
But what changes can we expect to see in the manufacturing industry over the course of 2016?
Below we go into detail on four trends we expect to see in 2016, from the increase in millennial and Gen X workers to an ever more prominent role of the Internet of Things.
1. Younger workers entering the manufacturing workforce
Due to the skills shortage facing the manufacturing trade, the industry will see an increase in manufacturers actively seeking out young workers. Apprenticeships will be one of the main methods used to entice the millennials and Gen X employees into the industry, where they are given the opportunity to train on the job whilst gaining beneficial qualifications. An opportunity that will appeal to many instead of the high costs you can expect to pay for a university education.
2. More technology in the workplace
With a goal of increasing productivity and efficiency along with making work easier for employees, more and more technology will be introduced into the workplace. This technology can come in the form of fast, reliable broadband connection, all encompassing ERP systems and advanced computers, smartphones and tablets etc.
Many manufacturing businesses are failed by their slow internet connection and out-dated computer systems. If businesses are going to keep up with competition within this era, then complete technological overhauls are in order.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
With the increase of technology in the workplace, the Internet of Things will play a more prominent role. IoT will be seen in supply chain management using improved predictability of customer demand. This will include real time visibility of product and service demand signals.
Where IoT is implemented manufacturers can easily address regulatory, compliance and quality reporting requirements. Therefore resulting in more proficient tracking shipped product warranties, returns and predictive support for maintenance.
4. Additive Manufacturing
As we saw in 2015, additive manufacturing made a big impact on the manufacturing industry and shows no signs of slowing down in 2016. With improved resolution in 3D printing and the ability to print with new materials such as graphene, the scope of what can be achieved is widening greatly. This allows the customer to have improved customisation over their finished products.
Whatever 2016 holds for the manufacturing industry, you can be sure that emerging technologies will have a big impact, in particular IoT. Long gone are the times where manufacturers can ignore these new technologies. By failing to adapt to these technologies manufacturers will struggle to keep up with the rest of the competition.
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