5 Manufacturing Sectors Poised to Break Through the Pandemic in a Big Way
It’s difficult to talk about manufacturing as a whole because there are so many diverse sectors that comprise it. Food manufacturing may be thriving while materials handling suffers. Consumer goods output might be trending up while chemical manufacturing lags. Manufacturing as a whole deserves qualification. This distinction is more important than ever in the wake of COVID-19 because some sectors of manufacturing are poised for growth while others continue to languish.
According to reports by McKinsey & Company, Deloitte, and other noted industry analysts, several niches of manufacturing are poised to come through the pandemic stronger than ever. Why? Because COVID-19 has driven innovation, demand, and opportunity for these sectors, rather than depressing them. Here’s a look at the five most promising segments of manufacturing post-coronavirus.
- 3D printing and rapid prototyping: We’ve talked extensively about 3D printing and additive manufacturing in recent months, and for good reason. This sector has a full head of steam and is charging into the next decade with new technology, demand, and exciting new prospects. Although there are still some obstacles to consider, additive manufacturing is getting the attention it needs right now to thrive in the future.
- Cannabis manufacturing: Cannabis legalization has and continues to be a hot-button issue at the federal level. But as more and more states legalize everything from medicinal marijuana to recreational use, cannabis manufacturing grows. The market for marijuana and hemp products is exploding where legal, setting up an even bigger industry boom for manufacturers when federal legalization finally comes down the pike.
- Drones and autonomous vehicles: From agricultural surveying drones, to underwater unmanned vehicles, to the eventual eVTOL taxis we’ll use to get from place to place in cities, manufacturing is getting ready to be busy with demand for autonomous vehicles. Lump self-driving cars into the mix and one of the largest segments of manufacturing could see a complete reinvention over the next decade.
- Consumer electronics manufacturing: The great work-from-home experiment caused by COVID-19 is likely to drive demand for consumer manufacturing both in the immediate and over the long-term. That, and the daily demand for more integrated digital devices. Someone has to manufacture these devices and, for the first time ever, it might be domestic companies as trade wars and muddled supply chains shake up the manufacturing industry.
- Textiles and apparel: Another sector of industry that could benefit from reshoring, there’s always strong demand for textiles and apparel. Now, post COVID-19, that demand could be fulfilled by U.S. companies. Textile outputs declined from 2019-2020, but analysts predict a springboard effect as early as 2023, citing 7% annual growth post-pandemic.
Better equipment, higher demand, and demand caused by COVID-19 link these segments of the broader manufacturing industry together. While other segments may struggle post-pandemic, these sectors are looking up. How much they’ll grow and evolve is impossible to tell right now. What we do know is that they have all the tools and the perfect storm to carry the greater manufacturing industry into the future.