The COVID-19 pandemic, trade wars, and constantly evolving regulations have brought about unprecedented disruption and uncertainty in the manufacturing industry. With production and supply chains seeing the impact, manufacturers are realizing the need to transform. They’re reworking their business models and processes.
Top 5 Changes in the Manufacturing Industry
As manufacturing companies march ahead in the new normal, they must familiarize themselves with the changes and quickly adapt to them to survive.
1. Increased Dependability on Cleaner Energy Sources and Electrification
As per the 2021 State of Manufacturing Report, 40% of the respondents were looking at prioritizing investments in sustainable manufacturing processes. Manufacturers are consciously progressing toward a greener, cleaner tomorrow through electrification. Many manufacturing processes and industrial fleet operations that heavily relied on oil and gas are now going electric.
The industry is realizing the long-term cost and efficiency benefits of investments in energy-efficient electric machinery and tools. At a time when there’s an increased focus on sustainability, renewable power consumption is also environmentally and economically justifiable.
2. The Movement from Global to Regional
The pandemic drove manufacturers to rethink their supply chain processes and strategies. Many companies decided to go local and the move helped them thrive during uncertain times.
Quality assurance and faster delivery have emerged as the most prominent outcomes. Consider the example of an on-demand manufacturing company–it can offer pricing even for complex parts within an hour, early-stage prototypes with rapid turnaround times, and high-quality CNC-machined parts in just two days.
Regional emphasis has been offering many other benefits:
- Freedom from the consequences of ongoing trade wars and constantly changing trade pacts affecting imports
- Shorter lead time to procure materials and parts
- Cost and energy savings due to shorter shipping distances
- Waste reduction with need-based sourcing versus bulk overseas procurement
3. New Technologies Shape the Future of Manufacturing
The State of Manufacturing Report recently issued by Fictiv, revealed that 91% of respondents increased their digital transformation investments over the preceding year. Advanced data analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), additive manufacturing or 3D printing, automation, the Internet of things (IoT), etc., are transforming how manufacturers conceptualize, develop, and deliver offerings.
Manufacturers are looking at harnessing the complete potential of new and emerging technologies to derive cost, productivity, and quality benefits. For example, they’re combining CNC machining and 3D printing techniques to develop better-quality products and parts faster than ever before. Demand for robotics continues to rise, affecting other technologies. One example of this is seen in the demand for CNC Machining in Pittsburgh which will likely continue to rise due to the thriving robotics industry in that area. That demand will lead to additional improvements and efficiencies within CNC machining itself.
4. A Skilled Workforce to Stay Relevant and Competent
As new technologies and digitization reshape the manufacturing landscape, companies will also need the right talent to keep pace with change. Workers will need to possess the right skills to manage and work with cutting-edge technology.
Hence, manufacturers are investing in training their workforce and increasing skill levels. They’re also hiring talent with expertise in CNC machining services, 3D printing, robotic process automation, and other automation technologies.
5. A Rush to Accelerate Product Innovation and Development
Manufacturers are fast-tracking the product development cycle — from prototype to production. The reemergence of “made in America,” the advent of new technologies, and a competent workforce are helping companies shorten time to market.
With instant pricing and super-fast production, CNC machining services have been helping manufacturers shorten cycle times by up to 50%. Two-year development cycles are now a thing of the past.
Be a Part of the Change
An increased focus on sustainability, technological advancement and innovation, and the need for agility and accuracy are driving a big shift in the manufacturing industry. Introducing automation, CNC machining, 3D printing techniques wherever applicable can offer manufacturers the competitive edge — developing better products with speed.