What will manufacturing look like in the upcoming year? Will it offer higher safety standards? More high-tech processes? Changes in the supply chain? Here are our predictions for 2021.
Top Manufacturing Trends for 2021
Employee Safety Will Take Center Stage
Although safety standards have been a priority in manufacturing for years, Coronavirus changed the rules further. Now, organizations are not only worried about slips, trips, falls and faulty equipment but also, sanitizing, social distancing and contact tracing. When COVID-19 outbreaks crippled several plants across the country, manufacturing facilities scrambled to protect their workers as well as their reputations. Preventive strategies included everything from hiring additional cleaning crews to investing in health-tracking technologies. In next few years, look for both individual businesses and the government to develop more proactive workplace pandemic-response plans.
The IoT Will Continue to Revolutionize the Industry
Billions of physical objects currently are connected to the IoT or Internet of Things. And with the information collected from these smart devices, businesses can make strategic decisions using real-time data. According to a study from the MPI Group, 63 percent of manufacturers believe applying IoT technology to their products will increase their profitability in the next five years.
Predictive Maintenance Will Become More Popular
When equipment doesn’t work, manufacturers lose money. Fortunately, predictive maintenance keeps machinery functioning at optimal levels throughout the expected lifespan and beyond. Both predictive analytics and IoT technology allow companies to collect data and monitor performance even while equipment is operating. This gives businesses a better understanding of how and when systems could fail, so they can make repairs before breakdowns occur.
Manufactures Will Reevaluate Shoring and Sourcing
Even prior to 2020, many organizations were reshoring or returning to domestic production. This shift was due in part to rising transportation costs as well as higher wages in foreign economies. However, when COVID-19 interrupted the global supply chain, manufacturers had yet another reason to rethink shoring and sourcing. As a result, many companies have adopted a more diversified “China, Plus One” strategy in which they near–source some raw materials from local suppliers. Both reshoring and near-souring will reduce dependencies on foreign countries and provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy.
COVID Exit Strategies Will Change the Manufacturing Landscape (Again)
When Coronavirus hit, some manufacturers had to quickly increase production and hire more workers. Others saw decreases in demand and laid off workers. Still others, like GM and Ford, retrofitted their factories to manufacture personal protective gear and medical equipment. In the post-pandemic world, successful organizations will need to, once again, reset and/or reinvent themselves while continuing to navigate through an uncertain economy.
Is Your Company Hoping to Stay on Top of the Latest Manufacturing Trends?
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