Looking Ahead at 2023 Manufacturing Trends
Manufacturing is an evolving industry. As the backbone of the economy, it’s spurred forward by demand and assisted by an increasingly powerful scope of technologies.
Now, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, manufacturing is innovating at a never-before-seen pace. Each new year brings powerful developments that change how we think about manufacturing and how we go about producing products.
As we look ahead at 2023, a simple question remains: What’s next for manufacturing?
The rollercoaster year of 2022
From supply chain disruptions to runaway inflation, 2022 was an unprecedented, challenging year for every economic sector, especially manufacturing. Luckily, headwinds and uncertainty are often great catalysts for innovation. As manufacturers recognize that competing in today’s global market demands new approaches, they’re revamping their approach for 2023 and beyond.
From investing in advanced technologies to attracting new, qualified talent, manufacturers are adapting to meet demand while enhancing resiliency. The future is bright for producers who embrace change — especially ones who think ahead and plan for the future.
2023 trends for the future of manufacturing
What are some of the up-and-coming technologies that are revolutionizing the manufacturing sector? Here are some of the innovations set to take manufacturing to new heights in the new year:
- Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS). Historically, manufacturing has taken a transactional approach. Moving forward, it could take on a collaborative life thanks to MaaS. Digitally connected factories will work in harmony, sharing equipment to promote production that takes place at scale, in a decentralized capacity.
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) adoption and expansion. IIoT remains a leading manufacturing trend for the coming year and, likely, well into the future. There are new and emerging use cases developed every day using IIoT technologies. While many manufacturers have already implemented IIoT in key areas of their operations, there are always new use cases to explore.
- Digitization of assets (EAM/ERP/digital twin). Forward-thinking manufacturers are looking to digital solutions to aid in maintaining key industrial assets. With digital twins, engineers, maintenance teams, and operators alike can monitor, analyze, and predict performance. It all supports better asset maintenance and management, which can lead to benefits like reduced downtime and improved product quality.
- Supply chain reshoring and near-shoring. Producers are making the most of supply chain challenges by insourcing. Not only are manufacturers searching for nearby alternatives for raw material suppliers, but some are even changing their logistics model. Rather than relying on third-party transport firms, some manufacturers are cutting costs by developing their own in-house logistics teams or by acquiring established logistics companies.
- Sustainability and social responsibility. Manufacturers must put Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) processes at the forefront of their operations in the new year and beyond. Consumers are waking up to the fact that businesses — especially in the manufacturing sector — have an enormous impact on climate and other societal concerns. Manufacturers must measure the impact they have on the environment and society and create a plan with clear goals to address and reduce any negative impacts.
- Emphasis on education, training, and upskilling. There’s an unprecedented labor shortage in the manufacturing field. Some companies are making manufacturing careers more appealing by boosting wages and improving working environments. They’re also investing in upskilling; after all, it’s much cheaper to reskill a good employee rather than hire a new one.
Innovation is the way forward
While there’s no way to predict the future, it’s clear that the coming year is set to be one of innovation for the manufacturing space. Although 2023 is set to be a rocky year for every economic sector, based on projections, companies should still invest in technology, equipment, personnel, and more. The trends detailed above are good investments no matter what the coming year brings, simply because they’re needed.