Being Thankful for Manufacturing Innovations

Around November, millions of people (and companies) take the time to consider for what and whom they’re thankful. As we wrap up the eleventh month of the year and look towards the calendar year change to 2018, there’s much to be thankful for in the manufacturing industry. Plenty of innovations are reinventing the manufacturing landscape, introducing new technologies, streamlining processes, investing in new talent and reimagining the way things have always been done. Here are a few of them.

  1. Adaptive, Automated Systems
    • Equipment and systems designed to adapt quickly to customer demand have made it easier to adjust to sudden industry trends, instilling flexibility and adaptability throughout the industry while increasing factory output.
  2. Big Data
    • A focus on automation and a push for interconnected systems reduces downtimes, giving customers what they need at a faster rate and better quality.
    • Logistical chains are being streamlined and globalized with more data available to optimize and expand the system beyond geographic barriers.
    • Interconnectivity has added an entirely new worker pool to manufacturing, including data analysts and software engineers.
  3. Additive
    • 3D printing has allowed manufacturers to completely design and imagine a part from scratch. Now, auto manufacturers can customize more of their designs, medical companies can print prosthetics completely to spec and new companies are popping up to fill the void of customized part supplier, to name a few of 3D printing’s side effects.
  4. “Reshored” Jobs
    • The push for more data and highly adaptable systems has turned companies’ focus away from cheap labor and more towards skilled, homegrown talent. As a result, analysts are seeing a more level playing field between the U.S. and its competitors now that offshoring and cheap labor aren’t mutually exclusive.

Innovations in how we view manufacturing have given rise to a rebirth of smart, adaptive U.S. companies. With more changes like this on the horizon leading to new companies and new jobs, there’s plenty to be thankful for in the manufacturing industry as we look ahead to 2018.

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