Manufacturing is one of the largest industries in the world. With so many people, countries and cultures involved, technological advancements continue to hit the industry at lightning speed. In order to stay ahead of competitors, manufacturers should always be on the lookout for new trends, technologies and processes to adopt.
As a new decade begins, windows of opportunity for increased efficiency and productivity are at the forefront. With the rollout of new technology and greater advancements across the board, where should manufacturers start? Here are the top four trends that will dominate the industry in 2020:
1. The rollout of 5G
5G is an advanced wireless technology that began deployment in 2019. This year, 5G is expected to be rolled out on a much larger scale, impacting countries across the globe. 5G will play a major role in reducing latency, providing high bandwidth and allow for reliable communication on a massive scale.
For manufacturers, this technology will promote an increased use of sensors, cloud, centralized tracking, quality control and smart manufacturing. While not everyone will make the switch over the next year, companies that do are expected to have greater opportunities to improve their processes and boost efficiency.
2. The overlapping of AI and IoT
The Internet of Things, or IoT, has provided manufacturers with helpful insights into cost reduction, productivity and efficiency through data collection. As AI continues to be implemented into facilities around the world, overlap between the two technologies is beginning to unfold. Some companies are suggesting that AIoT will be the next wave of IoT in the future based on the prediction that 80% of IoT projects will be encompassing AI.
AI and machine learning can offer advanced analytics that will improve the performance of complex processes. While this convergence of IoT and AI will not happen overnight, it is definitely a trend to keep an eye on this year.
3. Distributed Manufacturing
It’s likely that local distributed manufacturers will become more common throughout 2020. Distributed manufacturing is a form of decentralized manufacturing that uses a network of local facilities that are coordinated using the same information technology. This will allow companies to essentially collaborate to save on extra freight costs, reduced lead times and flexibility to source the best materials for their products.
4. Predictive Analytics
Data collection in the past has allowed manufacturers to predict patterns in production and optimize their processes. In 2020, AI and other data collection methods will bring predictive analytics to light. This analytical process will help manufacturers better understand their equipment, why it fails and how to prevent future failures altogether. It will also depict changes in the market, disruptions and other patterns that companies should be aware of in order to stay on track with the flow of the industry. This is a must-have for manufacturers in order to decrease unplanned outages and remain as productive as possible.
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