Manufacturing in the United States accounts for over 10 percent of all economic activity in our country.
As our economy continues to emerge from the recession, several technology trends are emerging that present new possibilities as well as questions for manufacturers.
The technology trends identified in the report The Transformation of Manufacturing by Deloitte University Press include
- New production processes……like 3D printing are influencing everything from product design to material selection to supply chain configuration.
- New materials……with high performance characteristics such as carbon fiber composites, nanomaterials ceramics are increasingly finding uses in large consumer oriented markets.
- Digital manufacturing……..digital design & collaboration tools enable manufacturers to simulate appearance, performance, interoperability & even manufacturability of products. For instance, Steelcase is using augmented reality on an assembly line to boost productivity of workers.
But………these technology trends raise many questions for manufacturers, including:
- How can manufacturers use advanced materials to differentiate themselves and improve product performance?
- How can manufacturers use new production processes such as additive manufacturing to boost efficiency?
- Where should manufacturers locate production facilities in light of shifting demand patterns and increasingly complex determinants of cost and risk?
- How will manufacturers need to redesign supply chains to take advantage of new materials and production processes?
- How do manufacturers gain access to workers with the skills required for increasingly sophisticated production facilities?
Macroeconomic and technological shifts will continue to change the basis of competition and value creation in manufacturing.
Success is no longer guaranteed for the manufacturer with the lowest costs………new materials and new processes give manufacturers the opportunity to provide more value to their customers like faster delivery times, customized products and flexible production volumes. How this all happens…….including how the supply chain needs to change……continues to evolve.
Are you ready for the future of manufacturing? And if not what does your company need to do to be ready? Please SHARE & LIKE this blog……and as always – thank you for subscribing to EVERYTHING’S CONNECTED.