8 Trends in Manufacturing Industry that are Dominating in 2021

8 Trends in Manufacturing Industry that are Dominating in 2021

In India, manufacturing accounts for 78% of total industrial output. There are new innovative ways to improve operational efficiency, reduce manufacturing costs, and better interact with customers, thanks to Industry 4.0. 

While Industry 4.0 focuses on connectivity via cyber-physical systems, it is moving towards Industry 5.0, which addresses the relationship between "man and machine", otherwise known as robots or cobots, while also aligning with platforms made feasible by Industry 4.0. 

Human-machine collaboration, machine-to-machine collaboration, and connectivity between the plant, logistics, supply chain management, and the end-user were all made possible by Industry 4.0. All stakeholders will be connected under one platform thanks to digital integration.

Companies digitized many activities 20 to 25 times faster as a result of COVID-19. (Source: McKinsey and Company).

Hence, manufacturers must keep up with the latest technology, systems, and business practices in order to stay ahead of the competition and gain market share in an ever-changing industry.

Here are a few key manufacturing trends reshaping the industry's global landscape:

  1. B2B to B2C
  2. Additive Manufacturing (AM) 
  3. Internet of Things (IoT)
  4. Big Data & Data Analysis
  5. Predictive Maintenance (PM)
  6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
  7. Employee Safety
  8. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

1. B2B to B2C

In recent decades, many manufacturers have chosen to transition from a traditional business-to-business (B2B) model to a business-to-consumer (B2C) model.

This trend is expected to continue. The B2C version includes a number of appealing features, such as:

  • Increased Profits: Providers can find the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) for their products rather than wholesale costs.
  • Faster time to market: The time it takes to deliver your items to a wholesaler (and the wholesaler to a retailer) is no longer an issue. This means that your customers can have their hands on the goods as soon as it's ready.
  • Brand Control: B2C eliminates the possibility of third parties misrepresenting a producer's brand. Manufacturers have the ability to strengthen their MSRP through price control.
  • Better Customer Data: Selling directly to customers allows manufacturers to acquire information about their customers, which can lead to better products, stronger connections, and higher profits.

To effectively promote directly to customers, you need to choose a platform for your eCommerce operations that can handle both B2B and B2C sales.

When providing a 360° picture of your B2B and B2C client relationships, it may need to provide on order fulfilment and monitoring, secure payments, customer support management, and sales and marketing action tracking. 

Venwiz, a service vendor discovery platform for manufacturers, aims to digitize and smoothen the broken and inefficient process of vendor discovery and management. 

2. Additive Manufacturing (AM) 

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a game-changing method for creating components and products using CAD software.

Models, prototypes, moulds, lost-wax castings, and product components can all benefit from additive manufacturing, which is a new trend. 

Brad Rothenberg, founder and CEO of 3D printing software company nTopology, says “The application of advanced manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing and other digital processes, will enable the most advanced products to enter the market — design will, once again, become the differentiator for companies releasing better, more sustainable products.” 

Additive manufacturing is a cost-effective technique that has a wide range of applications. Manufacturers can now layer materials on top of each other to print small jet engines, engine parts, turbine engines, ultrasonic transducers, pump impellers, and appliances by using digital data from a 3D model.

Additive manufacturing can be used to create clothing, ceramics, shoes, eyewear, orthopaedic implants, and a variety of culinary products. 

"Additive manufacturing technologies have been adding up rapid advancements in their applications such as defence, automotive, aerospace, space, consumer products, biomedical, engineering industries and jewellery," says Dr Jyothish Kumar, President, Additive Manufacturing Society of India (AMSI).

He also adds "These applications have a low volume production for high-value products with complex design and fantastic fuel efficiency, (like) for aircraft."

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects that have been integrated with sensors, software, and other cutting-edge technologies.

These are then used to collect and share data with other connected devices over the internet.

IoT is a term used in the manufacturing industry to describe the use of networked sensors and intelligent devices in factories.

As a manufacturer, it will provide you with the tools you need to make informed and strategic decisions based on real-time data.

By 2027, it is expected that there will be more than 41 billion IoT devices. In fact, more than 80% of industrial manufacturing companies are already using or planning to deploy IoT devices. (Source: Business Insider

Some of the advantages of IoT in the manufacturing industry include:

  • Smart manufacturing
  • Connected logistics
  • Smart digital supply chains
  • Smart power grids
  • Connected devices
  • Preventive or predictive maintenance

4. Big Data & Data Analysis 

Manufacturers are figuring out how to collect, analyse, and apply data analytics to prevent problems from occurring and drive uptime and quality improvements.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced big data are assisting manufacturers in addressing important quality and productivity issues.

Not long ago, manufacturing companies had systems that were isolated from one another, with little or no interaction between humans and machines.

Data was difficult to obtain and was only exchanged through spreadsheets and word of mouth, making it difficult to forecast difficulties.

It's not just the humans interacting with machines now, but the machines among themselves too. Massive amounts of raw data are travelling through the air at breakneck speeds, providing a wealth of information. 

Manufacturers can slice and dice data in ways that give them a comprehensive understanding of their business - thanks to the ability to collect data from a variety of sources and increasingly powerful cloud computing capabilities. 

5. Predictive Maintenance (PM)

Predictive maintenance prevents a lot of problems from becoming problems in the first place. You will be able to track the performance of your production equipment and automate the data collection procedure as a result of this.

The resulting report will show you how to save time and money while assisting manufacturing companies in reducing downtime and maintenance costs. 

"In case of downtime, we get things done faster and get solutions in real-time. The person on the shopfloor is able to make changes as guided by the person sitting somewhere in another part of the world,” quotes Senthil Kumar KK, National Manager, Supply Chain Transformation, Hindustan Coca Cola. 

The global market for Predictive Maintenance (PM) is estimated to reach $6.3 billion by 2024. More than 83% of manufacturers already use or plan to employ the PM tool.

According to a PwC report, the following are some data on the advantages of predictive maintenance:

  • 12% costs are reduced.
  • 9% increase in uptime. 
  • 14% reduction in hazards to safety, health, the environment, and quality.
  • 20% increase in the life of old equipment.

Even McKinsey & Company projects that predictive maintenance programs will reduce costs by about 20% for maintenance and cut unplanned machine outages by 50%. 

6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI-powered technologies are expected to be widely used in the manufacturing industry by 2035. In fact, it is predicted that by 2025, the top 50 consumer goods manufacturers will have invested in a brand app using AI, embedded technology in the product, videos as a digital asset and/or integrated innovation with IT and R&D teams. (Source: Gartner) For instance, Machine learning can readily estimate the impact of multiple variables in highly complicated circumstances.

Improving the overall equipment efficiency (OEE) and raising production results can be another area where artificial intelligence and machine learning can be implemented. 

Several areas of the manufacturing process can benefit from AI and machine learning, including:

  • Stock Management
  • Tracking of goods and services
  • Quality control and checks
  • Cost-cutting in warehousing and shipping
  • Failure mode prediction
  • Supply chain visibility 
  • Generative design

Almost 50 per cent of the decision-makers in the machine learning industry believed that machine learning solutions have a high impact on organizations. (Source: Statista

7. Employee Safety

Worker safety is, without a doubt, a major trend for manufacturers in 2021. Workplace security has long been a priority for manufacturers, but in light of this outbreak, it takes on new significance.

In addition to basic security measures such as enforcing social bookmarking steps on the manufacturing floor and ensuring workers disinfect their workspace, manufacturers must carefully and diligently track who enters and exits their centres, as well as individuals or equipment they associate with.

As a result, many manufacturers have outsourced facility management and maintenance, as well as placed a greater emphasis on traceability, necessitating manufacturers recovering internal gear data from OEMs.

"A renewed focus on employee safety and wellness is likely here to stay. Manufacturing leaders will continue to invest in technology that prioritizes worker health and safety while maximizing speed, productivity, and service." quotes West Monroe. 

Furthermore, as manufacturers monitor claims and issues during the manufacturing process, this trend is likely to have an immediate impact on supply chain visibility.

8. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

The pandemic has proven to be a significant roadblock for manufacturing companies' field service departments, prohibiting technicians from visiting job sites to install equipment or perform repairs.

Fortunately, assistive technology such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) has enabled technicians to provide remote support to clients by sending AR and VR equipped devices and leading them through simple troubleshooting and repairs.

This is a fantastic opportunity for many manufacturers. Clients have previously been hesitant to explore touchless service options, preferring instead the convenience of having a professional visit to their location to make a repair.

Because of COVID-19, more clients are now open to this approach, allowing producers to test new processes and procedures with the long-term goal of making them permanent fixtures.

Customers and field service professionals benefit from reduced risk of exposure, while manufacturers benefit from the opportunity to expand into new markets.

“Adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality for training purposes to replicate real-life situations and instil quality training by prestigious institutions is expected to fuel the market growth,” says Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research.

According to Statista, The global augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) market is forecast to reach 30.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, rising to close to 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.

The manufacturing industry's rapid expansion is being aided by technological advancements. Businesses are using improved technologies and procedures to increase revenues, cut costs, obtain market intelligence, and monitor the market.

As our machines become more complex, so do our employees and products, ushering in a new era of manufacturing.

Manufacturers who want to thrive in this new era must embrace Business 5.0 completely and reinvent their companies' futures as soon as possible.

Venwiz is trying to use technology to solve a big problem and believes that tech will eventually solve a lot of the manufacturing industry’s problems.

It digitises and streamlines end-to-end service engagements for every manufacturer, from discovering and curating the best service vendors to engaging with them and completing jobs more efficiently.

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