As we look back on 2016, it’s only natural to reflect on what’s ahead for global manufacturing in the coming year. Let’s take a look at the top manufacturing trends for 2017.
Trend #1: The Industry 4.0 and ‘Smart Factory’ Approach
The worldwide fixation on IIoT and Industry 4.0 for manufacturing will continue to dominate the discussion in 2017. However, the transition is upon us as hype and confusion give way to actual standards, implementations and benefits. In 2017 MES systems built on IIoT / Industry 4.0 concepts will become a reality for manufacturers. As that occurs, the operational benefits and the conversion of the technical potential of the concept into business results will truly begin.
Trend #2: A Continued Focus on Quality Improvements
Driven by steadily tightening industry and government regulations, production of high-quality product is growing in importance for manufacturers. This is especially true for such sectors as Medical, Military and Aerospace where a single event of non-compliance can threaten the reputation of the manufacturer and the safety of the product’s end user. It is no longer acceptable to simply identify a quality issue; action must be taken right away in order to identify cause and limit fallout. A stronger commitment to quality will remain paramount and is easier than ever with software that harvests big data analytics to drive improvements.
Trend #3: Advanced Analytics On the Rise
While 2016 saw a definition of big data and how it can help manufacturing, 2017 will see manufacturers beginning to incorporate these advanced analytics into their own facilities’ procedures. Manufacturing technologies such as MES systems are becoming more mainstream due to their proven ability to drive efficiency.
With the increased automation of data analysis that these technologies bring, all levels of staff can design and distribute reports. Corresponding mobile apps provide access to this data on the go, allowing business managers to react in real time. In 2017 we will see further adoption of such “smart” manufacturing technologies into day-to-day factory operations. Companies that are slow to implement advanced manufacturing analytics systems risk the inability to meet customer needs and eventually being outpaced by their innovative competitors.
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