Future of Manufacturing

Future of Manufacturing

The adoption rate of digital manufacturing continues to grow substantially across all industries. As this occurs, manufacturers and entire supply chains are realizing greater benefits that include smoother exchange of technical data, improved operational efficiencies, and better order forecasting and planning.

While many past predictions of digitalization and seamless interconnectivity are just being realized, there is much speculation about what this means to the future of manufacturing. There are only two things of which anyone can be certain. The first is that change is happening at an ever-increasing pace, driven largely by the value being derived from these new solutions. The second is that companies embracing these changes early are benefiting from a first-mover advantage.

Growth of the Market for Digital Manufacturing Capability

All indicators are showing substantial growth in the technologies that enable digital manufacturing. The cost of key hardware like sensors continues to drop while the global manufacturing industries are expected to spend $189 billion on IoT in 2018, according to a recent Microsoft report.

More importantly, buyers are demanding greater digital manufacturing capabilities from their suppliers. As noted in the UPS 2019 Industrial Buying Dynamics Survey, buyers continue to purchase more materials directly from manufacturers. When those manufacturers are comparable in price, quality and delivery, the ease of working with the manufacturer makes them a more desirable supply chain partner. Digital manufacturing can have a major impact on a manufacturer’s desirability by facilitating more seamless exchange in near real-time of product and production data.