Manufacturing is in the midst reinventing itself on the heels of the latest IoT innovations. The industrial automation paradigm, which some say also gave rise to the lean manufacturing management philosophy, continues to influence organizations that wish to find new ways to capitalize on business opportunities in the digital age. Through that lens we gathered the top articles from the week and found some interesting perspectives. Some reports started suggesting manufacturing is in a time of trouble, both in the U.S. and around the globe, namely in places like China. But upon further investigation, we also find exciting trends that are shaping the evolution of manufacturing.
We hope you enjoy this week’s roundup, and be sure to comment on your top articles of the week below!
Chinese manufacturing fall adds to evidence of sharp global downturn (The Guardian)
As the world watches Chinese manufacturing slow, many believe this is evidence of a major global downturn. The Guardian reminds us all that, “In another sign that manufacturers are braced for a long period of chasing business from a diminishing number of customers, they continued to lower their prices in February.”
American Manufacturing in Peril (U.S. News)
Gone are the golden days of domestic manufacturing, analysts now believe American manufacturing is in serious trouble. Andrew Soergel with U.S. News suggests that part of the problem for manufacturing is that, “The job market has changed. The generation has changed. The skill requirements to work in factories have changed.”
The Manufacturing Side of CPG’s Digital Disruption (Automation World)
In this era of digital disruption, consumer buying behavior will impact manufacturing practices. According to Stephanie Neil with Automation World, she thinks manufacturing could benefit from, “The use of standardized, reusable software modules simplifies configuration of robotic movements and integration with machine control functions. This allows machine builders to focus on increasing machine performance, added functionality, and equipment energy efficiency.”
Despite all this talk about downturn and disruption in the manufacturing industry, there are some positive trends we should mention as well.
Top 10: Manufacturing Trends of 2015 (Manufacturing Global)
IoT, nanotechnology, SMAC Stack and greater visibility were all key manufacturing trends last year. According to Manufacturing Global’s trends, “Additive manufacturing, or 3d printing, is big news in the manufacturing sector. The new technology has captured the imagination of the general public and manufacturing executives alike, however it has also proven to be a game-changer for the industry.”
3-D Printing Poised to Shake up US Manufacturing (New York Post)
In the last year 3-D printing has shown up in the medicine cabinet, operating rooms and even New York Fashion week. U.S. Manufacturing is getting a serious shake up with the launch of more 3-D printers. Catherine Curan with New York Post states that, “The 3-D printing boom isn’t big enough to single-handedly revive local manufacturing, but it will help.”