In the last two years, there have been many changes in every economic field in the world. This is especially true for the manufacturing industry.

Many changes have already taken place before the epidemic began. Thanks to the epidemic, many of these are being used for great effects. These changes have been kicked in high gear due to factors such as instability in the supply chain, high demand for products and changing customer demand.

Tesla Fremont Factory
Photo Credit: Maurizio Pesce / Flickr

The green trend to see in 2022

1. Smart digital thread

The big manufacturers have adopted IoT and IIoT to start smart manufacturing practices. These ‘digital threads’ play an important role in improving operational efficiency, improving product quality and improving brand loyalty. Companies are now seeking customer inputs to enhance the customer experience with innovations and design changes proposed by end users. The development of massive digital threads will result in not only green manufacturing practices, but also quality products. This has made it possible for secure digital platform connections.

2. Durability

Manufacturers are also paying close attention to sustainability. Sustainability through environmental, social and governance policies is no longer just a watchword. Resources are investing in scalable technologies to improve their production processes to reduce the use of resources while producing less waste.

3. More coastal production

To save costs, sourcing supplies for production were outsourced to China and other countries. The epidemic has disrupted the supply chain and there is no clear idea when the supply chain will be reset to pre-epidemic levels. Using domestically made supplies will create more jobs and reduce shipping costs as well as reduce reliance on foreign sources. It is set to dominate in 2022.

4. Transferring focus from B2B format to B2C

Manufacturers are now focusing more on B2C to offer low-end products to the end customer and to maintain brand control. Manufacturers have many reasons to focus on the quality of the customer experience.

3D printing of an item

5. 3D printing

Also called additive manufacturing, 3D printing is going to be a big thing in 2022. Some of the benefits offered by this approach are freedom of design, customized products and products that work well. This type of product promotes affordable, sustainable process and most importantly, a short time for the market. This process is automated and is being actively used in the space sector.

6. Increased use of automation

Automation has been used for some time in several industries, including PID controllers and PLCs. With the rapid availability of computers and many specialized software packages, automation has taken steps to fill the void left by staff shortages. Automated processes are now being used not only on the factory floor, but also in the back office. Technology and smart machines are helping with better decision making, product quality and consistency.

7. Predictive maintenance

Technology and automation are once again filling a void and eliminating speculation. Predictive maintenance programs track issues and inform managers about problems in the manufacturing process. Scheduled maintenance of equipment and replacement of parts so that there is very little downtime. This saves a lot of money which can be passed on to the end user. Digital transformation is the way to implement this and other such programs.

8. Talent in the workplace

The adoption of automation and other technologies in production means that the workforce needs to be technically proficient. Technology heavy industries such as automotive and aerospace will require access to a talent pool that is familiar with current practice. Many companies are working with vocational schools to find the right people for their jobs.

Manufacturing material inspection
Photo Credit: Cottonbro / Pixel

Conclusion

Most of the changes in production nowadays are driven by consumer input. End users want to know how their items were made and what materials were used. As energy and raw material costs increase, companies must deal with environmental and other regulations.

Consumers are driving change towards sustainability and companies are taking their social responsibility seriously. Fortunately, technology is helping to make these decisions and many of the possible changes Manufacturers are deeply aware of the connection between their brand image, manufacturing practice and profit.

Access to technologies such as AI, robotics and blockchain will fundamentally change the way products are made.

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