5 manufacturing trends to watch for in 2016

Oct 25, 2016
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This year looks to be bringing big things to the manufacturing world, and Valco is here to serve as a guide to all the exciting developments and innovations we can expect across the industry.

With that in mind, here are five manufacturing trends to look for this year:

1. 3D Printing

3D printing has seen enormous growth, both in terms of its technical abilities and in its applications for businesses and consumers.

As Cerasis reports, 3D printing allows manufacturers to create “microscopically identical parts” for their consumers, ensuring an incredibly reliable and uniform product. With this level of precision, it’s no surprise that the manufacturing trend of 3D printing is expected to exceed $20 billion in revenue by 2019.

2. E-Commerce Systems

Already a major facet of most retail businesses, many in the manufacturing sector are predicting that e-commerce is going to expand rapidly within the industry in the near future.

According to Design 2 Part News, manufacturers in 2016 and beyond will begin to take a more active role in customizing e-commerce solutions and smoothly integrating these solutions into their day-to-day operations.

While manufacturing certainly differs from retail in terms of the requirements and goals of the customer, manufacturers can no longer allow e-commerce’s unparalleled connectivity to go underutilized.

3. Augmented Reality

According to information reported at Strategy &, the use of augmented reality systems is expected to take on an expanded manufacturing role in 2016 and beyond.

These systems, often utilized through goggles or other interactive displays, supply their users with real-time reactivity. Augmented reality systems are perfect for:

  • Instruction
  • Training
  • Inventory tracking
  • Maintenance requests
  • Operation overview & monitoring
  • Safety

With all of these benefits, it’s clear that augmented reality systems are a manufacturing trend worth keeping your eye on so you can implement them to their fullest potential in your business.

4. Increased Automation

Automation and robotics have been a facet of the manufacturing sector for decades, but with new technologies being invented and refined every day, the role of automation is sure to increase.

In fact, according to The Manufacturer, a recent study conducted by Cognizant stated that 50% of manufacturers polled believed automation would significantly improve workplace processes in the coming years.

With the role of robotics increasing, manufacturers and those looking to enter the field should certainly research the coming changes to find the best ways to prepare for and incorporate these new innovations.

5. The Internet of Things

As automation and the role of robotics increases, so too will the importance of the Internet of Things (IoT), as 2016 is primed to see an increased role for this form of network connectivity.

However, as Enterra reports, the importance of having safe and secure systems to prevent hacking is going to be vital going forward, so expect to see a focus on these safety systems and procedures in 2016 to help prevent any problems with the IoT.