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10 Manufacturing Industry Trends Taking Shape in 2018

Don’t set your quarterly goals without looking at the latest trends affecting your industry. Here are 10 critical manufacturing industry trends to watch.

It’s time for your business to look ahead to the manufacturing industry trends that are emerging in 2018.

Changes are coming from every direction with new technology and greener manufacturing processes being implemented. But that’s not all. Keep reading to find out how trends are reshaping the marketplace.

1. Reshoring

Today, many businesses are bringing their manufacturing processes back to the U.S. and technology has helped with the push.

Now, factories can implement robotics to perform a wide variety of tasks, automating many manufacturing processes that were previously labor intensive.

And as wages rise in China, companies that were lured by the promise of cheap labor are reconsidering their decision bringing their businesses back to America. This makes reshoring more attractive than ever.

2. Green Manufacturing

Not only does going green allow you to reduce your costs and function more productively, but it also gives your company a better reputation. It makes you seem like a responsible corporation to potential customers. Many people will go out of their way to buy a product from a company that is environmentally friendly.

As the resources used for manufacturing begin to dwindle, more demand will be placed for sustainable and renewable materials. This is a rise taking place in every industry.

This move towards greener choices can’t be stopped, no matter who is in office. Companies love to use the tax incentive programs that exist for their efforts at going green.

Changing your filters on your manufacturing equipment often is also a good way to keep your equipment working as efficiently as possible, making your company greener. Click here to learn more.

3. Cloud Technologies

Cloud-based technologies are another one of the manufacturing industry trends catching on in 2018. It is a great way for a business to combat the threat of a cyber attack.

Cloud providers monitor network traffic and only allow legitimate traffic to make it through to the web browsers and apps used by your company. That way, an attack never reaches your data and you don’t have to monitor everything yourself.

4. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is the network of devices all around the world that use wireless technology to communicate with each other. Most of these devices won’t be found in your home, they are installed in factories, businesses, and healthcare offices.

The reason businesses love to use smart objects is because it can make it easier for them to track their inventory, manage the maintenance of their machines, make operating costs more effectively and even, in some cases, save lives.

Companies are beginning to realize how important it is for them to strategize their operations and manage their data efficiently. They are gathering more data than ever through the Internet of Things and analyzing it for information to improve their manufacturing processes.

5. Artificial Intelligence

With the growth of technology for assembly-line robots and transportation options that are self-driving, AI is being used for all sorts of new tasks.

It is beginning to be used to analyze massive data sets to help with predictive maintenance of manufacturing equipment. It can also help with decisions to increase productivity by evaluating market trends. Companies will have more information to take into account when making a decision than ever before.

6. Augmented Reality

One of the most exciting manufacturing industry trends is augmented reality. New tools are developing that allow manufacturers to test a variety of different scenarios for their product line to make the most productive assembly line possible.

They can simulate the creation phase and help identify any issues before anything happens. This can save tons of money on production costs.

7. 3D Printing

3D printing advancements are allowing businesses to produce a variety of products seamlessly using only one machine. It can be a great way to save time and money on production during the development process.

It allows you to try out a variety of different options for your prototypes while reducing your cost for new product development.

3D printing is also great because it will free up space in your warehouse. Materials for the printer can be stored in boxes that don’t take up much room and you can just punch in whatever part you need and have it printed on the spot.

8. New Services

With the technology of the Internet of Things, new sales channels are available to businesses who want to sell the data on their products. They can gather the data from their products use by customers.

Then, they can use that information to tailor their products to the consumer’s taste or sell the information along for someone else to capitalize on.

Other companies are using their versatile equipment to produce products for smaller businesses on a pay-per-use model. This is a great way to offset the cost of equipment for your business.

9. Rise in Cybersecurity Risk

With all this new technology in manufacturing industry trends, it is no surprise that an increase in cybersecurity risk would follow. Businesses will have to step up their defenses if they want to be protected for the coming year.

In order to be ready, your company will need to put a focus on risk management. You need to make sure that your employees know basic internet safety rules.

You should also make sure they know not to give their usernames or passwords to anyone. Many cybersecurity attacks come from employees allowing them to get through with their negligence.

10. Automation

Increasing your productivity is the constant goal of any manufacturing business owner. While robotics have been used in manufacturing for decades, they will have an even larger role going forward.

Automation will allow manufacturers to make products safely and precisely, increasing productivity and quality of goods. Robots can perform tasks that are beyond the ability of any human even in environments that are less than ideal.

Beyond Manufacturing Industry Trends

With changes in technology that include automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and more, it’s starting to seem like the future is upon us.

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