Whether you are immersed in the manufacturing industry or simply a casual economic observer, you have certainly heard about upcoming changes related to technology — from automation and artificial intelligence to more cloud-based data systems.
It’s fair to say many of these advances have already taken hold to some degree with more around the corner. So, here are some predictions for what technological advances are on tap in manufacturing as we head into a new year.
Data capitalization. Over the next few years, up to 75 percent of manufacturers globally will utilize clouds for collection of data. Even so, as many as two-thirds will find it challenging to monetize those data contributions.
A push to the service gig economy. The writing on the wall is widespread, but mobile devices will continue to fuel the transition to the gig economy in coming years. That means 20 percent of customer service employees are destined to be replaced, much of it in electronics and consumer durables.
Crowdsourcing for customer-driven designs. In the next year or two, up to half of all manufacturers will collaborate directly, via the cloud, with consumers to help design certain products. This will be possible through cloud-based crowdsourcing and virtual reality.
Supply chain improvements. At the current pace, 80 percent of all supply chain business in manufacturing will occur on cloud-based platforms by 2020, which should improve reliability and reduce the prospect of disruptions.