Global manufacturing and industry are still reeling from recent turmoil, with supply chain and workforce disruptions remaining key issues. At the same time, the world is entering an era of unprecedented economic uncertainty. At first glance, this seems to suggest slowing growth and declining profits are on the cards. But who can successfully navigate these challenges while leveraging the opportunities offered by automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and other pillars of the “4th Industrial Revolution” to drive innovation and modernization? , you can get everything. With that in mind, here are my predictions for what will be the most important trends in manufacturing and the industry as a whole over the next year.
Investing in Skills to Address Workforce Challenges
From artificial intelligence engineers to blacksmiths to veterinary nurses to tour guides, the demand for skilled workers of all kinds is growing as industries struggle to keep up with changing workforce dynamics. Behavioral trends such as “big resignation” and “quiet quit” are emerging as workers reassess their work-life balance and take advantage of the different employment models offered by the gig economy. At the same time, work itself is changing as technology reduces the need for humans to spend more time on repetitive manual tasks. But there is also a growing demand for skilled workers who can build, design and deploy technology and manage the changing human needs of organizations.
All of this has led employers to better understand the importance of skills-based training and recruitment. While a traditional college degree is likely the standard passport to professional employment for now, companies will find candidates with the skills and experience needed to get the job done. focus is shifting to opportunities to upskill existing workforces where possible. Industry will also increasingly recognize the value of ‘soft skills’ such as communication skills, creativity, problem solving, strategy and conflict resolution.
AI, Automation, Digital Twins, Internet of Things
I’ve grouped them all together because they are closely related. Technology has the potential to provide solutions to many of the challenges facing industry and society in 2023, and the convergence of these trends will create real value. When we talk about AI in business, we generally mean machine learning. Machine learning includes algorithms that improve in their ability to perform certain functions as they are exposed to large amounts of data. These algorithms are the cornerstone of automation, enabling machines to perform ever more complex tasks without the need for human intervention. And connecting these smart learning machines creates the Internet of Things (IoT).
In the context of manufacturing and industry, this means connected machines and equipment using analytics and sensors to operate at optimum efficiency. Downtime is minimized thanks to predictive maintenance. This automatically dispatches spare parts for repairs to locations where the system is known to be needed. Sensors powered by machine learning techniques such as computer vision perform automated quality control, monitor final product quality, and automatically adjust manufacturing processes to fine-tune results. Algorithms also monitor energy distribution around modern manufacturing facilities to maximize efficiency and reduce waste, pollution and emissions. Digital twinning, another concept related to data and analytics, uses information gathered from real-world sensors and IoT devices to create systems in the virtual world, from individual parts to entire manufacturing plants. Create a digital simulation. Here it is much cheaper to measure, analyze and experiment than in a real physical system. Gain insights learned from digital twins and apply them to real-world objects, systems, or processes.
By 2023, we will see more and more smart factories and manufacturing plants harnessing the power of AI, automation, IoT and digital twins to drive more efficient operations and ultimately improve business outcomes. will be
Ongoing supply chain disruption
Problems stemming from widespread industry shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic continue to persist through 2023. These problems are only added by new and ongoing issues such as the war between Russia and Ukraine, inflation, recession, geopolitical issues. These include Brexit, tensions between China and the West, cybercrime, international sanctions, and climate-related issues, including increasingly extreme weather events. All of this will continue to affect the movement of goods and products across global supply chains required for manufacturing and industrial activities.
As with other challenges facing manufacturing in 2023, this can be damaging, while enabling the emergence of leaders and disruptors who find innovative ways to harness technological solutions. There is also. Automation and his IoT technology have the power to increase efficiency, reduce waste and combat fraud across the supply chain. The companies that thrive from these turbulent times are those that have developed the ability to be agile in changing conditions and use technology to enable end-to-end visibility and control of their supply chains.
Net zero, ESG, sustainability of manufacturing
All parts of society strive to reduce their environmental impact and, in particular, the CO2 emissions they produce, and manufacturing is no exception. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy sources, manufacturers are accelerating their efforts towards net zero emissions. The big buzzword for 2023 is traceability. Manufacturers strive to demonstrate that they can prove the origin of everything they use in their products. The energy used must come from textiles and materials produced in clean, child labor-free environments, fair wage workers, recycled plastics wherever possible, and minerals mined sustainably and responsibly. must be With consumers showing interest in and willingness to make purchasing decisions based on sustainability and ethical production, 2023 will be a business priority for businesses, and questions of morality and It will be another year.
The concept behind distributed manufacturing is that products should be built as close as possible to where they are ultimately used. This is in contrast to being manufactured in centralized hubs and transported across countries and the world to final consumers. Helping manufacturers achieve net zero and his ESG goals by eliminating waste in transportation, logistics and distribution, as well as reducing warehousing costs and speeding product delivery to customers , allowing for massive customization and personalization. Fablabs – Short for “fabrication laboratories,” makerspaces are an example of distributed manufacturing. Here you can quickly design, test and prototype your products to create small batches of customized products. Distributed manufacturing processes often include additive manufacturing (3D printing). In this case, the product is built and manufactured layer by layer. This is the standard for centralized manufacturing processes and is often more efficient in terms of raw material use than subtractive manufacturing processes, which involve cutting products from raw materials. Pop-up factories are used on construction sites to create prefabricated parts for buildings that are closer to the construction site, as well as retail stores that manufacture personalized products such as skin his creams and cosmetics tailored to individual customers. used.