Tag: Manufacturing Technology

manufacturing sector

How the US Manufacturing sector Compares to Other Nations

After several years of falling output and diminishing labor force, the industrial manufacturing sector in the United States has been enjoying resurgence over the past couple of years. According to manufacturing industry experts at Infiniti Research, factors including the strengthening economy, better workforce quality, favorable tax policies and regulatory environment, and reduced transportation and energy costs are catalysts for this revival. In order to move forward, it is essential to understand how the manufacturing industries across the world are performing in comparison to that of the U.S. manufacturing industry. In this blog, experts at Infiniti Research provide insights on the manufacturing trends and some of the manufacturing challenges faced by different nations. They also highlight how the US manufacturing sector compares to these nations.

China has one of the strongest manufacturing industries in the world in terms of manufacturing output and the percentage of its national output that is generated. Meanwhile, Poland has the highest percentage of its workforce employed in manufacturing.

United Kingdom

The drop in the value of the British pound against the U.S. dollar and the euro has strengthened the U.K.’s manufacturing sector, thereby facilitating an increased demand overseas for goods from the country. Furthermore, the manufacturing sector holds a strong presence in the country due to its significant role in the export economy. In fact, the manufacturing sector contributes to a good majority of the U.K.’s overall exports. One of the key manufacturing trends in the U.K. is the rising efforts made to capture a significant share of the overseas market. However, the weak pound can impose manufacturing challenges as it may increase the import cost of certain supplies. Furthermore, as Brexit negotiations unfold, the future of manufacturing in the U.K. will experience significant turbulence.

Most companies in the manufacturing industry often cite congestion, logistical issues, or connectivity problems as major barriers to overcome. Are you facing similar issues in your business operations? RFP to learn how our solutions can help you overcome to these predicaments.

Switzerland

The effective governance policy in Switzerland has played a favorable role in shaping its strong manufacturing g sector. As a result of their long-held international neutrality, the country has transparent and fair processes, strong judicial effectiveness, and good economic and political stability. Moreover, Switzerland prioritizes being a strong trading country. The country has also got a top-notch manufacturing talent pool with a large number of highly-skilled workers. The key manufacturing challenges faced by companies in Switzerland include the cost of production and the strong franc value that could hamper exports.

Brazil

The rising corruption in Brazil is one of the primary factors that has plagued the country, resulting in a flailing manufacturing sector. Corruption makes investors reluctant to pour money into business operations due to chances of long-term uncertainty. Consequently, this dampens the chances of long-term investment and business growth. This can have adverse effects on the country’s manufacturing sector. A healthy manufacturing sector is contingent upon transparency in financial transactions, relative certainty in a country’s political environment, and individuals being held accountable for illegal action.

Indonesia

Although a decade ago Indonesia’s manufacturing sector contributed a significant amount of their GDP, Over the years the industry’s contribution has considerably dipped. Indonesia is largely hampered by anemic labor productivity. The sizeable proportion of small and unproductive firms in Indonesia are dragging down the entire sector. To improve their global competitiveness, Indonesia needs to develop its workforce and advance its manufacturing sector. They must focus on incentivizing manufacturing companies with low productivity to either exit the industry or improve their productivity through technology and skilled labor.

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Manufacturing sector in the US

Skilled workforce, advanced technology, and pro-business policies have propelled the growth of the manufacturing sector in the U.S. Manufacturing contributes to over $2 trillion to the United States economy. The labor costs in the United States are significantly higher than in other countries. However, the levels of productivity found in the United States make up for this difference, making the country an attractive location for manufacturing investment. Furthermore, disruptive technologies including additive manufacturing, 3D-printing, robotics, and the utilization of the IoT and Big Data are revolutionizing the U.S. manufacturing sector. This has not only increased levels of productivity but has also made the United States one of the most attractive locations for high-technology manufacturing firms. The United States has, benefited from open trade policies, and in order to attain continued manufacturing growth, the country should avoid tariff wars or overly restricted trade policies.

The gap in labor costs in the United States in comparison to other countries has started to drop and is expected to continue as the cost of industrial robots falls.

Learn more about how manufacturing sector challenges vary from region to region and how our market intelligence solutions can help overcome them.

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Drilling Down the Workforce Management Challenges of the Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing industry in the U.S. has made impressive strides in the past couple of years. The country has witnessed a rise in public awareness about the modern manufacturing industry, increase in jobs returning to the country, and also the advent of new technologies that are driving the industry forward. However, the ongoing struggle to find skilled labor due to the rapid retirement of baby boomers from the sector is proving to be a major workforce management challenge for companies in the manufacturing sector. Apart from this, there are several other challenges that manufacturing companies must tackle in order to sustain the future scalability of the sector.

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Top workforce management challenges

 Hiring the right workforce

Manufacturing operations today are largely different from what it was a decade ago. The advent of digital technologies including robotics and advanced enterprise software are paving way for a new manufacturing environment. The modern workforce must have the skills and expertise to handle the digital systems which have become a part and parcel of the manufacturing sector.  Fewer schools offer shop classes and more students shy away from manufacturing, posing as a workforce management challenge for manufacturers to find the right talent.

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Consistent training and education

With rapid changes taking place in the manufacturing industry, even well-trained employees may face difficulties in keeping pace with these disruptions. Another key workforce management challenges for companies in the manufacturing sector is to ensure consistent training and education that would ensure that employees are up-to-date with the new tech trends and other market changes.

Overcoming stigmas related to manufacturing jobs

Throughout the United States, manufacturing has fallen out of style. High Schools, teachers and parents alike are steering children away from a career in the industry. This sector is currently bogged down by outdated stigmas such as being a dark, dangerous, and an ominous industry creating serious workforce management challenges for this sector. 

Cybersecurity threats

Technology continues to change how manufacturers develop products and interact with customers. As a result, information technology security risks have increased. Despite this, several manufacturers fail to take the necessary steps to protect their data. The number of connected products in manufacturing operations is on the rise, consequently, external and internal vulnerabilities are also increasing in the industry.

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Manufacturing Industry Trends: What’s New in 2019?

Despite the rising challenges, top companies are keen on orchestrating the latest manufacturing industry trends into their business strategy. As a result of leveraging advanced manufacturing capabilities, manufacturers are benefiting from increased visibility into operations, substantial cost savings, increased speed in production times and improved customer support. The future of manufacturing will continue to revolve around digitization and technological innovations. Based on our manufacturing industry trends analysis, here’s our take on the top trends expected to dominate the market in 2019 and how the recent trends in manufacturing technology are all set to revamp this sector.

Emerging manufacturing industry trends, market expansions, and technological innovations will underpin the growth of the manufacturing sector in 2019. Request a free brochure to learn how our solutions can help businesses adapt to the dynamic market.

Manufacturing industry trends 2019

manufacturing industry trendsPredictive maintenance

A manufacturing equipment breakdown could prove to be a costly affair for manufacturers – both in terms of repairs as well as the loss of productivity due to the downtime. In fact, a single hour of downtime could cost manufacturing companies thousands of dollars. Therefore, several companies in the manufacturing sector are turning towards the latest manufacturing industry trends like predictive maintenance to ensure proper functioning of all their equipment. In predictive maintenance, a number of performance metrics are used to monitor various equipment. Automating the data collection process using IoT technology helps manufacturers gain a better understanding of how systems work and when they are likely to fail. The ability to predict the maintenance cycle and requirements saves manufacturers valuable time, money, and resources.

Blockchain boom

The blockchain technology is now gradually taking the manufacturing industry by storm. In 2019, we can expect blockchain to be one of the most notable manufacturing industry trends that can have a direct impact on several sections of the manufacturing industry including- increasing speed, cost-effectiveness, and security. This technology is also likely to play a major role in enhancing the management, tracking, and transaction reporting in the supply chain.

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Reshoring

Reshoring or bringing back production operations into the United States is one of the key manufacturing industry trends to watch out for in 2019. There are several factors contributing to reshoring. Firstly, the increase in the standard of living of go-to offshoring countries is resulting in increased wages. Secondly, the countries that offer cheap labor do not have the infrastructure capabilities that are necessary to support the complex manufacturing processes. Today, one of the most notable manufacturing industry trends include automation for basic and repetitive processes, which is also a major contributor to the resurgence in reshoring.

Simplifying supply chain management

Delivering more value to customers when compared to the counterparts in the market plays an integral role in remaining competitive in the market. This is no longer accomplished through pricing strategies as savvy manufacturers are fast moving away from price wars and leveraging ways to gain competitive benefits. This includes simplifying supply chain management to gain operational efficiency, increased visibility and control, improved customer satisfaction, and lower operational costs. Some of the key supply chain technology solutions that can be used to address the challenges in manufacturing include- manufacturing optimization, sales and operations planning, business intelligence, and product lifecycle management.

ERP systems

New manufacturing industry trends such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) are playing a critical role in creating a lean and competitive advantage for manufacturers. ERP systems help manufacturers to streamline processes by automating business process and provide real-time and accurate information which helps reduce the administrative and operational costs. As a result, manufacturers can proactively prevent disruptions, manage operations, and facilitate quicker decision-making.

Why Infiniti?

Leading players in the manufacturing industry are confronting uncertainties in the face of digitization and new customer expectations. Moreover, with the rapidly changing manufacturing industry trends, industrial and manufacturing sector companies are facing the need to develop new strategies and invest in technology to gain a stronger foothold. Established in 2003, Infiniti Research is a leading market intelligence company providing smart solutions to address your business challenges. Infiniti Research studies markets in more than 100 countries to help analyze competitive activity, see beyond market disruptions, and develop intelligent business strategies.

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Top 3 Challenges Facing the Manufacturing Industry and Ways to Tackle Them

Leading players in the manufacturing industry are confronting uncertainties in the face of digitization and new customer expectations. The manufacturing industry is one of the important wealth-generating sectors of the global economy and accounts for a significant share of the global workforce to develop materials needed by organizations across various industries. Moreover, as the drumbeat for innovation and digitization grows louder, companies in the manufacturing industry are facing the need to plan new strategies and invest more in technology to gain a stronger foothold. Consequently, the advent of technology is posing a new set of challenges before the industry, which need to be addressed in order to maintain the growth momentum. In this article, we have discussed some of those challenges and have suggested a few measures to tackle them effectively.

Challenges in the Manufacturing Industry

Challenge #1: Shortage of skilled labor

With the baby boomer generation entering the phase of retirement, the manufacturing industry is facing an acute shortage of labor. Today, employers in the manufacturing industry need employees with a different set of skills. There are certain tasks that have become automated and machine sensors have become more commonplace. This has created the need for manufacturers to collect large amounts of data and is opening up new avenues for employment.

Solution: To tackle this challenge, manufacturers need to plan their strategic workforce smartly. Also, they should focus more on recruiting millennials who have technical skills and ‘know-how’. Additionally, there must be an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills to streamline recruitment initiatives.

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Challenge #2: Management of project

In the manufacturing industry, projects are typically cost, time, and quality sensitive and, as a result, tend to be rigid and tightly controlled. Such rigidity and tight control mean less ability to make adjustments or update scope as the project progresses.  Many of these projects need a design commitment, with little flexibility to alter as requirements change or new information pops up.  This becomes quite frustrating for a team that wants to produce the best product but is handcuffed by deadline constraints.

Solution: To deal with such manufacturing industry challenges, the team leader needs to ask for dedicated resources. Also, utilizing the project service automation software that includes universal resource scheduling can help the manufacturers to quicGet More Infokly find resources that are available and adjust the schedule based on the predicted completion date of the project.

Challenge #3: Analyzing the data

With the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT), the manufacturing industry is facing difficulties in aggregating and analyzing the data. While many organizations may have smart machines already on their shop floor, they lack the systems to extract and analyze the data being captured by these systems. This forces manufacturers to miss out on quality.  Therefore, manufacturers are facing the dire need to improve their data mining capacities to improve real-time decisions.

Solution: Implementing an IoT solution designed to help maintenance of predictive analytics, as well as remote monitoring, can help companies in the manufacturing industry to analyze their data in real-time. Also, this can help in predicting the time when maintenance of an asset is required.  Consequently, manufacturers can shift from replace or repair maintenance model to a fix and predict model.


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5 Manufacturing Challenges Affecting CIOs of Manufacturing Companies in 2018

MANUFACTURING CHALLENGESToday, chief information officers (CIOs) of manufacturing companies are facing numerous changes that will affect the future growth prospects of manufacturing companies. Driving this change are a number of opportunities to grow and boost manufacturing processes. Though research shows that manufacturing companies will have ample opportunities to grow, CIOs will witness the advent of new manufacturing challenges that will compel them to change the way they look at strategies to improve the scale, speed, and simplicity of manufacturing processes.

At Infiniti, we are constantly in touch with manufacturers and hear first-hand about the issues they face. Since the manufacturing challenges are real, we thought we’d list out a few so that CIOs of manufacturing companies can devise effective business strategies to address them head-on.Get more info

Top manufacturing challenges of 2018

Boosting revenues

One of the biggest manufacturing challenges that CIOs face today is boosting their revenue growth with the technology systems that they already have in place. Manufacturing companies will have to re-strategize their production workflows to meet the demands of short production runs for existing products and streamline new product introductions.

Shortage of skilled workforce

With Baby Boomers exiting the workforce and taking their valuable manufacturing skills with them, new reports claim that more than three million manufacturing jobs will become available over the next 10 years. Manufacturing companies are already feeling the heat when it comes to filling the vacant positions and the impending exodus of Baby Boomers will only add to their growing tally of manufacturing challenges for this year.Get more info

 

Advanced technologies

Though new technologies are aimed at making life easier for all of us, that’s not always the case for manufacturing companies. Technologies such as IoT, industrial automation, cloud and edge computing, and robotics are advancing at a break-neck speed. And by the time IT teams of manufacturing companies adjust and get approvals for new technology installations, a better solution emerges. This rapid development and availability of new technologies will be one of the biggest manufacturing challenges of 2018.

Data security

One of the major manufacturing challenges faced by CIOs this year is ensuring cybersecurity. With advances in technology and advent of new platforms, the risk of data leaks has also increased. Today, hackers aren’t just happy stealing data, they want to extort money by holding the confidential data hostage. In the past year, Ransomware attacks have almost doubled, and manufacturing companies can expect more frequent attempts as they integrate more technologies into their manufacturing processes.Get more info

Regulatory changes

Risk mitigation and avoiding uncertainties are a crucial part of any business process. When manufacturing regulations change, the costs associated with the manufacturing process also ebbs and flows. Tax regulations and trade agreements keep changing with every news cycle and amendments to government regulations can wreak havoc for manufacturing companies. Manufacturing challenges in the form of regulatory changes is one of the major factors influencing the profitability of manufacturers. As a result, CIOs need to be on top of their game at all times and predict changes before time to remain profitable.


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The World is Embracing Smart Factories – And Why You Should Too!

There have been rapid changes in the manufacturing technologies in recent times. The emergence of automation systems, Industry 4.0, and machine learning have resulted in the convergence of digital and physical worlds. Today, manufacturing is less about producing volumes and more about the intelligent and dynamic creation of value. Advancements in digital technologies have led to the preference for smart factories, where the machinery and equipment can improve processes through self-optimization and automation. The benefits of a smart factory extends Request Free Proposalbeyond manufacturing into functions such as supply chain logistics, planning, and product development.

Advantages of a smart factory

Asset efficiency

Advancements in sensor technology have enabled manufacturing industry to generate huge volumes of data that can be continuously analyzed to reveal asset performance issues, which need corrective optimization. A unique advantage of a smart factory is that human operators aren’t required to analyze such data and implement a corrective course of action. It is entirely possible for such factories to take corrective measures by itself through predictive analytics and machine learning. An increase in asset efficiency translates to lower downtime, optimized capacity, and reduced changeover time.

Lower cost

A smart factory enables manufacturing facilities to operate with lower inventory levels, which further lowers costs related to sourcing and supply networks. Additionally, the material handling costs also drastically decrease alongside wastages and downtime, which directly translates to cost-savings. Also, lower energy usage and quality processes will further reduce the warranty and maintenance costs.

Quality improvements

As discussed, smart factories are capable of implementing a corrective course of action on their own. Such principles can also be used to predict and detect quality defect trends sooner along with their cause. It will inevitably lower scrap rates and lead times; thereby, increasing fill rates and yield. As a result, optimized quality process will ensure quality improvements.

Maximum flexibility

Smart factory logistics systems are equipped to handle a host of different manufacturing environments and production setups. As a result, it can handle the differing nature of operational tasks, ensuring maximum flexibility. Additionally, advanced sensors technology can automatically recognize manufacturing demand fluctuations, which, in turn, allows a company’s supply chain to respond with better agility.

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4 Manufacturing Technologies That Are Trending Right Now

The latest disruptions in manufacturing technology are bringing about a change in the industry. Modern manufacturing companies are slowly accepting that being exposed to the most recent technological trends in manufacturing is less of an addition and more of a necessity to the business. This has resulted in the gradual shift of several companies from manual manufacturing processes to digital manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing technologies such as nanotechnology, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the face of the manufacturing sector. The execution of cutting-edge innovations in manufacturing has brought about a change that would have been unfathomable a decade ago, resulting in increased precision, speed, customization, and efficiency. Here is a look at four manufacturing technologies that are changing the look of manufacturing as we now know it:Request Free Proposal

#Manufacturing technology 1: 3D printing

The proliferation and application of 3D printing technology in the manufacturing sector have been one of the biggest news making headlines in the recent times. 3D technology can produce almost any component using metal, plastic, mixed materials and even human tissue. Aerospace manufacturers like NASA, GE, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin are already producing critical system components using 3D printing for their engines and systems. With the improving ability to print metal materials in 3D, large and small industrial manufacturers are starting to experiment with this technology to identify how to it can be beneficial for their business.

#Manufacturing technology 2: Light-based manufacturing

Recently, an international team of researchers formulated a light-based manipulation platform with which electronic components for use in smartphones and computers can be manufactured. This manufacturing technology will help replace expensive robots with light for assembling parts. The light-based method relies on devices that use light to manipulate small objects in liquids. This technology has the potential to mass produce electronic parts cheaply and quickly, which could overhaul the way items such as circuit boards are manufactured. At present, expensive robots are required to place and solder minute parts of circuitry into place. When electronic components get smaller, it becomes a time-consuming and challenging process. Micromanipulation manufacturing technology such as light-based manufacturing could prove to be a cheap and simple alternative.

#Manufacturing technology 3: Simulation

The capacity to simulate the production of a part from its design process to its final production will help reduce the present issues encompassing 3D printing in manufacture. Presently, additive manufacturing has mostly been based on trial and error, which can result in a costly development process as companies must tweak the system until they get it right. But simulation provides accurate predictions of how parts will behave, which, in turn, will eventually reduce errors and cut costs. Hence, integrating simulation into manufacture from the beginning to the end will help unleash the full potential of 3D printing in the manufacturing industry.

#Manufacturing technology 4: Smart factory

From smartphones to smart TVs the word ‘smart’ is slowly being prefixed to most of the things around us. We can expect to see this trend in manufacturing companies too in the form of ‘smart factory.’ Smart factories will integrate advanced technologies into every part of the manufacturing process. Companies will gradually start to use manufacturing technology in the form of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the internet of things. This will result in fully connected, flexible and hyper-efficient manufacturing systems.


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