2020 saw a significant amount of change in the manufacturing industry, especially as new technologies emerge and greater tolerances and precision are achieved. But 2021 will see even further evolution of standard manufacturing processes, as well as changes in how the manufacturing industry works. Here are some of the major changes we can expect to see.
1. Even manufacturing is going to go remote.
Because of the pandemic, many jobs are being shifted remotely. Traditionally, manufacturing was an area where everyone needed to be on-site. 2021 is going to see a lot of companies exploring whether they can do their supervision and other administrative tasks remotely.
2. Manufacturing machines are becoming “smarter.”
Machines today are connected to the Internet of Things and are highly automated. This will continue into 2021. Machines are going to be able to operate increasingly autonomously, faster, and cheaper, making for a wealth of new possibilities.
3. A lot of manufacturing has been shut down.
The pandemic caused a massive shake-up in the world of manufacturing. Many manufacturing plants have shut down. Some of them will never open again. Other manufacturing plants are doing better than ever before. In 2021, we will see which manufacturers survived the pandemic, and which were able to become stronger for it.
4. Many companies are shifting toward “local.”
Because of tariffs, taxes, and shipping issues, many companies are starting to become hyper-local. Manufacturing is happening not only within the country, but within the city. Even at a higher cost, it has become faster and more reliable. This may broaden as the effects of the pandemic wane.
5. Digitization is increasing — as is a reliance on the cloud.
There was a time when most manufacturers still wanted to work with primarily analog machines. But that time has passed. Today, many machines are becoming increasingly digital, with an increased reliance upon the cloud. Manufacturers are able to push products directly to machines remotely and are able to track their progress from wherever they are.
6. Rapid prototyping and customization are becoming critical to the industry.
3D printing has shaken the manufacturing industry up. Increasingly, businesses are finding themselves needing to create smaller, customized runs of products rather than larger, generic runs of products. The ability to rapidly prototype products and customize them on-the-fly is going to become increasingly important.
Industries change. It’s up to businesses to assess and evolve with trends. The manufacturing industry in 2021 is going to have an unprecedented about of flexibility, access, and customization. To find out more about plastic fabrication and precision CNC machining, contact the experts at Acrylic Art.