Pause for a moment and think about the first Industrial Revolution. Since that time, manufacturing has been the driving force behind the economical, industrial, and societal transformation. In this fourth industrial revolution, the manufacturing industry has begun taking shape into a highly connected, intelligent, and ultimately, more productive industry.
Previously, there were man-powered workshops or shop floors where everything was done manually. It is thing of the past now and has been replaced by smart manufacturing facilities where tech-savvy workers are now aided by intelligent robots.
Approaching 2019, let’s look at some of trends that will pave the way for more intelligent manufacturing and empower the industries to manage operations and build innovative products.
Here are 5 macro trends that will the shaping the future for intelligent manufacturing in 2019
Trend 1: The amalgamation of IT and OT
With the fusion of operational technologies with the power of IT, smarter, advanced, and connected solutions took birth.
In the coming years, it is highly likely that businesses are going to face an elevated cadency to meet dynamic customer demands that includes quick fulfillment and better transparency. Manufacturers will experience a pressure to integrate their existing systems, including IT and operational systems along as well as integrating new and legacy systems.
Trend 2: The birth of XaaS
Business models evolve over time and so do manufacturers. Industries are realizing more and more about customer demands and inclining more towards customer needs rather than raw business needs.
The need of the future will be pulled by the allurement of growing X-economies like on-demand services. This will in turn enforce the manufacturers to re-evaluate their value chain in order to better optimize the performance and meet rising customer expectations. In order to fulfill XaaS–Anything as a Service, manufacturers will resort to putting tighter control over their value chain and over their sales funnel.
This could be the harbinger of what we see as brands to explore direct-to-consumer options.
Trend 3: Intelligent manufacturing
Today, with increasing number of machines connected to IoT, we know that these systems leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in order to scale the business and make it smarter.
We will see the same shift happening into the manufacturing industry. In 2019, with technologies like the cloud, IoT, AI, and Machine Learning demonstrating instant intelligence, manufacturers feel the need to shift their existing artillery towards smart machines. This in turn will make the manufacturing supply chains more intelligent.
Trend 4: A step up
The new technologies we have been talking about also help revolutionize the R&D department along with frontline manufacturing and production.
Product manufacturing is forecasted to become smarter, safer, and more efficient. Digital twins–IT & OT are going to provide manufacturers with an economical way to test new products and environments and also monitor these products, machines, and inaccuracies remotely.
Taking a chapter out of additive and subtractive manufacturing book, we will start to see an increased adoption through hybrid manufacturing models. Innovations like autonomous devices, advanced materials, and AR/VR, are going to gain broader adoption in 2019.
Trend 5: An ever changing world
We live in the age of uncertainty. Every now and then we experience drastic changes across the globe, from tariffs to foreign policy, such uncertainties put a strain on ongoing businesses.
We experienced some unprecedented changes in 2018, and wisdom lies in embracing that 2019 will be no different. There are tariffs and trade policies to Brexit and data protection rights etc. Such major changes become a major roadblock for manufacturers and they must tread carefully through this turbulence.
Look around. The world is constantly changing with every passing minute. And so are the manufacturing industries all around. The road ahead turns towards intelligent manufacturing, it is our next pit-stop.
A vast majority of industries have largely benefitted from Microsoft business solutions over the years. Industry leaders and major organizations have trusted their services over the years. The journey forward is awaited with the next-gen technologies. It is up to us to embrace it, adapt it, and learn to harness it.