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Top Trends In Manufacturing in 2017

If your in the manufacturing industry there’s a lot of things that are happening currently that will set the precedent for the future of manufacturing in the United States. Below are our top trends in manufacturing to be thinking in the year 2017 .

Trend 1 – 3-D Printing (Additive Manufacturing)

30 printing will continue to be used in a variety of new applications. The capabilities of 3-D printing will continue to be further refined and improved to allow for printing of greater precision, more complex, unique material parts.  Considering GE and their latest acquisition of two 3D printing machine manufacturers, it seems clear that 3D printing is only set to continue to grow in application and use.

Trend 2 – Technology Improvements in Manufacturing

Whether its in reference to the internet of things and how data sensors will continue to be implemented in a variety of manufacturing systems to collect data and improve machine performance as well as factory performance, or its in reference to a focus on improved programming solutions geared toward manufacturing applications technology improvements will continue to be prime focus in manufacturing. A few specific technology trends to watch for in manufacturing include

  • 3D visualization – 3D visualization allows for manufacturers to create a scale model of a concept, in reality, to show what it may look like and applications continue to grow
  • Ultrasonic Manufacturing

Trend 3 – Increased Automation in Manufacturing

Manufacturing will continue to see the use of robots and machines to replace the positions of workers. Workers will shift from performing tasks to maintaining the robots that perform tasks. After all automation can help reduce labor costs, reduce manual repetitive routines, reduce lead time, improve worker safety, and more which can be read about here.  Even Northrop Gruman recently automated its F35 line.

Trend 4 – Big Data in Manufacturing

Data will continue to be harnessed to gain competitive advantages in manufacturing from reducing lead times to reducing material and product costs, to improving systems design. Big data will continue to accelerate as methods of gathering helpful data continue to improve. Additionally, big data may be used in the following areas

Trend 5 – Skill Shortages

While manufacturing may be a smaller percent of our nations employment, it still produces 2.17 trillion of our Gross Domestic Product. With an estimated 2.7 million in jobs potentially opening up in manufacturing and the age of a manufacturer employee being higher there is a lot of potential job needs that will be growing in manufacturing. Specifically in manufacturing jobs that require technical skills including computer applications and more.

Trend 6 – Reshoring

There are a lot of hidden expenses in sending manufacturing overseas.  Costs like the additional price of effectively servicing your product, providing customer service from afar, and potential for loss of patent or similar rights.  Due to these factors and others companies may continue to return to America for manufacturing of certain items.

Trend 7 – Green Manufacturing

Manufacturers will continue to seek to reduce their impact on the environment. From implementing lean manufacturing principals to help reduce material and labor costs, to investing in technology to improve efficiency Green manufacturing will continue to become more prevalent. Technologies that will help to fuel green manufacturing include 3D printing and automation mentioned above.

Trend 8 – Robotics

While we mentioned automation the use of robotics will be further spread then just being used to replace human jobs. Robotics in manufacturing will also be used to work alongside human operators to achieve greater efficiencies and increased precision in manufacturing. Airbus is a great example of implementing robotics alongside humans for superior results.

Ultimately 2017 should continue to be another year of advancements for manufacturers. Some are even going for automated essays online they can assist you on how to create an emotional companion dog environment to provide comfort for your pet. With a focus on improving productivity, reducing costs, improving quality, and ensuring safety there are a lot of trends that should help promote further advancements in manufacturing.

Photo By Mixabest (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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