24th January 2022
As we are entering a new year, we wanted to share some of the leading manufacturing trends that will be continuing to pave their way during 2022. Of course, the last couple of years has made an enormous impact on how we do our business, whether that’s from the management, production or manufacturing perspective. Therefore, we aim to discuss some of the most important trends to be aware of.
There were undoubtedly hard lessons to learn during the last couple of years; however, the global pandemic forced many companies to adapt to the uncertainty and look for new ways of manoeuvring their business during these difficult times. Hence, for manufacturing companies, just like us, it was vital to keep up with the industry changes, focus on adaptation and implement necessary changes where possible.
The investment in tools and technology that provide companies with better risk management opportunities whilst allowing them to stay agile will be extremely important in 2022. Adopting new technologies and using the digital data provided will enable businesses to evolve and make informed decisions with confidence.
Sustainable Manufacturing Trend
The changes in our climate are directly related to industrial manufacturing. Hence, there is growing pressure to become low-carbon or carbon-neutral for manufacturing businesses across the globe. There will be enormous efforts needed to reach 2050 climate targets. Working closely together to achieve it has never been more critical. Therefore, implementing sustainable practices and moving away from ‘take-make-waste to ‘reuse-reduce, recycle’ will gain even more momentum this year. Although we refer to sustainable manufacturing as a trend, it’s clear that it’s becoming an irrevocable part of our lives.
Additive Manufacturing Trend
The invention of Additive Manufacturing (AD) is without a doubt, have reshaped the manufacturing industry. This type of manufacturing method allows objects to have more intricate designs at a fraction of a price or none at all. For instance, historically, it used to take months for manufacturers to make necessary fixtures and moulds for production, but with the adaptation of AD, these can be done in a matter of days and on-site. This manufacturing trend also allows businesses to reduce waste and improves the ability to customise and respond to market demands faster. For instance, companies that implement AD quickly started production of the medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This fast shift of the production was realistic even during the high disruptions caused by the pandemic; hence this showcases a significant benefit of AD – speed-to-market.
Virtual Reality Trend
Manufacturers can create augmented workforces and systems that blend technology and people and deliver hyper-personalised services and experiences. The pandemic has prevented many manufacturing technicians from visiting job sites, whether that’s to install, repair or provide maintenance services. Hence, the popularity of using VR to deliver basic services to customers has grown during the last couple of years. This particular trend will continue to grow into the upcoming years, as it’s effective and helps businesses explore new opportunities.
Employee Equipment Trends
Just like machinery, people are a critical asset to manufacturing businesses. There are many types of equipment that are often used by workers, such as smartwatches, headsets and innovative bands. These tools provide manufacturers with a constant flow of data. Furthermore, the data provided becomes extremely valuable when looking at the floor plans, productivity and efficiency as it helps to improve processes and layout designs.
Understanding the market changes and implementing emerging technologies into the business can go a long way. It supports companies goals to maintain a competitive advantage and allows firms to move together with the changing industry’s climate. Many manufacturing companies have shifted to adapt to the changing conditions and expand their working solutions further. Data-driven tools are extremely valuable sources of information, especially when managing resource efficiency and productivity. The virtual reality experiences will provide manufacturers to explore new lines of business. Sustainability in manufacturing will evolve further by leaving no choice for the companies to look into greener processes, carbon neutrality, and the overall approach to doing business in today’s environment. New technologies, such as additive manufacturing, will pave the way to creating yet unseen complex designs and customisation. All trends together support better decision making, operational efficiency and sustainability across manufacturing companies. It is with the most certainty that 2022 will bring a lot of new challenges; however, the valuable lessons learned in the last year will help to continue.
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