What Does Manufacturing Look Like in 2015?
Finally, the dust is settling after what has been a long, tumultuous span where manufacturing in the United States was suffering. Now, though it is not a guarantee, the future is looking brighter and the United States manufacturing industry has reasons to be optimistic. The following are reasons why American manufacturing could see a bounce back in the not too distant future:
- The Rise of Additive Manufacturing and Three Dimensional Printing: Though only available now on a smaller scale, three dimensional printing, also known as 3-D printing, should one day give manufacturing companies the ability to simply press the ‘Print’ button on a specialized 3-D computer, and have a tangible, complex industrial product built, from anywhere in the world where a 3-D printing system is located. Better known in the manufacturing industry as “Additive Manufacturing,” the ability to use 3-D printing to this degree, from anywhere in the world, and to print anywhere in the world could soon make creating an industrial product just that simple.
- Reducing the Environmental Footprint Associated with Packaging: Currently, several new packaging materials are being introduced to the manufacturing industry that will significantly reduce the environmental impact stemming from materials that are not biodegradable, and cannot be broken down. The use of eco friendly, green alternative packaging materials that are biodegradable will also lead to reduced expense due to the use of cheaper materials, as well as the reduction of the quantity of materials needed for packaging, such as foam for cushioning a fragile product.
- The Expansion of the Use of Data to Drive Decisions Involving Business Operations: The continued evolving and advancing of technology has given industrial machinery, along with Information Technology hardware and software, the ability to process more data, follow and decipher business operations through data analytics, enhance computational abilities, and take advantage of cloud-based resources that will make several key businesses functionalities much simpler and less time consuming. The precision and efficiency in which these Information Technology resources produce data enables businesses to rely on its accuracy, taking out the tediousness and human error involved when workers are tasked to such jobs. However, workers play an important role in analyzing the provided data and incorporating business strategies based on what the data has determined.
Manufacturing Enterprises will come to Rely more on Virtual Operations: Because of the expense of owning infrastructure, including manpower, inventory, and equipment, and how the price inflation of infrastructure has crippled many industrial and manufacturing businesses, manufacturers will have to rely more on seeking innovation externally. Information Technology, along with outside resources will need to become even more prevalent for manufacturing companies to prosper in the future. This will reduce the need for infrastructure, while dramatically lowering cost.