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Manufacturing Trends of 2020

There is a feeling of uncertainty in the manufacturing world right now. Both the intermediate and long-term future of the sector will revolve around one thing: the manufacturing trends happening in 2020. With that in mind, manufacturers need to pinpoint the kind of developments to look forward to this year.

Manufacturers we work with share that enhancing their operational efficiency is most critical during this time.

We look at the top manufacturing trends to keep track of in 2020. We will also cover expected challenges, and how you can run your manufacturing business in the most agile way possible.

Top Manufacturing Trends, 2020 and Beyond

1. Smart Manufacturing & 5G

2020 is the year that we are likely to see the full rollout of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 5G technology is going to happen on a much larger scale and will have a substantial impact on Smart Technology. Manufacturers will be able to boost speeds and reduce latency in massive proportions allowing their technologies to interact in real-time.

Smart factories are becoming popular in the manufacturing field. They depend on connected devices to support technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence. Typically, intelligent gadgets are also capable of sensing the environment. As specialized factories continue to emerge, manufacturers must be able to adapt the networks that interconnect them effectively.

Based on a recent article from AT&T, 5G provides manufacturers with an opportunity to create regular streams of income. The industry will also benefit from cost-effective energy and utility. As pinpointed in a study by Ericsson, “the projected market value in 2026 will be $113 Billion”. That alone depicts an impressive 7% revenue growth from the current figures.

2. Machine Learning & AI

Manufacturing is quite a complex industry. Changes take a lot of time to incorporate. However, the use of analytics, AI, and machine learning will reach new heights in the coming months.

These technologies are sure to improve manufacturing efficiency and raise revenues. The more complexities your firm faces, the higher the chances to use machine learning and AI technologies to get that competitive advantage you need to be on top.

Manufacturers can also implement such technologies to improve performance in other areas of the business. Whether it is in your customer relations, on your factory floor, or in the supply chain department, they will come in handy.

3. Wearable Technology

The sharp rise in the use of IoT (Internet of Things) has paved the way for wearable technology. Manufacturing firms of all sizes and types are exploring- and investing in- wearable gadgets with sensors that can help their workforce optimize production.

Features present in wearable devices enable manufacturers to monitor and raise workplace productivity, efficiency, and safety. Employers will also collect valuable information, offer customized experiences, and track all production stages seamlessly. Headsets with heads-up displays, smartwatches, and other wearables will provide essential data more quickly than ever.

4. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a big concern for every sector, and manufacturing is no different. Connected devices will inevitably become the norm. And with this, vulnerability to cyber infiltration will grow.

As this manufacturing trend takes shape, manufacturers must be aware of cyber risks. They should streamline their processes to fit the requirements of today and the future.

5. AR & VR

The twin concepts of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are finally beginning to make imprints in the world of manufacturing. They are likely to impact the areas of machine maintenance and user training in several ways, including:

Remote support- Augmented Reality will enable maintenance personnel to carry out tasks from a remote location. As a result, firms will make strides towards bridging the skills gaps and boost overall efficiency.

“Hands-On” Training- Both employee training and testing can take place in a VR environment, thus yielding a low-risk process.

6. Greater Focus on Customer Service

Customer support has always been a top priority for most manufacturers. But with the consistent integration of technology, it is set to become even more crucial. As manufacturing tools of industry 4.0 become a standard feature, customers will have direct visibility into the manufacturing process. In the long run, there will be a concerted push for customer quality.

Manufacturing Challenges for 2020

As the new decade kicks in, manufacturers are already anticipating their fair share of challenges. One thing is for sure; industry 4.0 is here and evolving swiftly. While new technologies continue to unlock hidden value in multiple production processes, hurdles along the way are inevitable.

Here’s our pick for the top challenges manufacturers are likely to face.

  • Labor Shortage/Skills Gap

Deloitte estimates that nearly 4.6 million jobs will become available in this decade because of changing skillsets and retiring ‘baby boomers.’ Close to 2.6 million of those jobs, however, will remain vacant as the gap between job opportunities and the number of capable workers widens.

Even in the era of robotics and service automation, skilled employees are still crucial for their problem-solving knowledge, moreover, they can perform analytics and occupy managerial slots. To bridge the broadening skills gap, manufacturers will have to creatively train existing employees to cultivate a well-rounded workforce.

  • Ever-dynamic Technology

From cloud computing to robotics, the challenge for many manufacturers is to keep up with the frightening pace of technological growth. Often, there is a gap between understanding the need for device acquisition and the actual implementation. According to a recent Forbes study, 90% of firms understand the vital role that technology plays, yet only 40% feel that they are offering the best tools for success.

  • Supply Chain Collaboration

In the coming months, supply chain complexities will continue to trouble manufacturers and other stakeholders by creating persistent technical hitches and customer complaints. Human nature will once again become a top issue. There will be a lack of trust among key players, which will frustrate technology deployments and collaboration efforts even more. While experts continue to explore the reasons behind mistrust throughout the supply cycle, issues of pricing, data monetization, and data ownership will reign supreme.

Johnson Electric can help you achieve business agility in manufacturing through our top-of-the-line solenoid solutions. On the back of our core values, we endeavor to make our customers successful by providing reliable motion systems. You can expect the highest level of quality and performance. Whether you need microelectronics, relays, pumps, valves, or any other product in this specification, don’t hesitate to contact us today.


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