5 Manufacturing Trends in 2023
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In today’s global economy, manufacturers are searching for ways to compete on cost and quality. Supply chain pressures have led many companies to reshore or near source their manufacturing activities in order to increase their bottom line as a result of supply chain challenges. At the same time, new digital technologies are providing manufacturers all the resources they need to boost productivity, save costs, and enhance customer service. This article outlines how these trends will shape the future of manufacturing in 2023.
Supply Chain Pressures
After recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects on worldwide shipping delays, shortages and disruptions brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to affect the entire world. Despite the continuous growth of e-commerce we anticipate that in 2023 things will start to normalise and ease.
As procurement teams strive to manage costs while keeping up with new technology and innovation, they will face increased demands on their time. However, with proper planning ahead of time, procurement can play an important role in helping companies respond quickly when needed without sacrificing quality or service levels.
In addition, procurement will have to learn how to better collaborate with other departments. For instance, it is crucial for procurement teams to collaborate closely with finance and IT in order to give them the data they require for forecasting and analysis. They also must be able to collaborate effectively across company boundaries in order to support global supply chains.
Combating Labour Shortages
Manufacturing companies can address the labour shortage by investing in training programs like apprenticeships and trade schools. These programs provide opportunities for employees to develop skills that will benefit their careers while simultaneously contributing to the company’s bottom line by improving output efficiency while reducing turnover rates among new hires who may not have experience working with machinery systems before entering productions lines full-time roles.
Employee turnover rates are high, and employers are struggling to find qualified employees. One choice is training employees internally through more practical instruction, while another is to outsource your training needs with an external provider.
Another strategy for alleviating the labour shortage is to look into the expanding apprenticeship option for young people seeking employment in the manufacturing sector. Apprenticeships help students obtain valuable work experience while earning money toward their degree at the same time; some skilled tradespeople start their careers by completing an apprenticeship program that last at least a year.
Manufacturing Developing with Innovative Digital Technology
As you approach the manufacturing of the future, it’s critical to consider how digital technology might help your organisation achieve its goals. With a solid plan in place and access to data through tools like cloud computing and machine intelligence, we can spot areas that could use improvement.
A good example of this is an industrial robot manufacturer that uses AI-driven predictive maintenance programs in conjunction with cloud computing technology. By using these tools together, they’ve created a system where their robots send sensor data directly into their production database—a process that was previously done manually by employees at each location where these machines were installed. This saves time and increases accuracy while also providing valuable insight into how each individual machine is performing so that repairs can be scheduled before any issues arise on site (and thus avoid costly downtime).
In addition, companies should consider implementing IoT solutions such as wireless sensors or cameras throughout their facilities; these devices collect information about everything from temperature levels within specific compartments/areas within larger rooms/buildings/facilities. We can completely transform the manufacturing sector thanks to this technology, which offers a new degree of visibility and control.
In the coming years, manufacturers will continue to strive to reduce costs while maintaining or improving quality. The key is to balance cost with performance, quality, and compliance. This can be accomplished through:
- Real-time monitoring of data in the supply chain
- Strategic use of analytics from all aspects of production, from manufacturing equipment and materials use to sales data analysis
- Workflow optimization that maximizes efficiency by automating manual tasks and using artificial intelligence (AI) technology
The secret to cutting expenses while maintaining or raising quality is data analysis. For instance, businesses can use real-time data to optimise workflow, decrease waste, and boost efficiency by integrating AI technology into their manufacturing processes. AI can be used by manufacturers to increase quality by spotting and fixing problems in real time, or to increase the precision of production forecasts and help prevent excess or shortages. This allows manufacturers to plan ahead and adjust production levels appropriately, limit downtime, and save expensive repairs.
Green Energy and LEAN Manufacturing
The rise of green energy has been a long time coming and has received significant attention in recent years. The advantages are obvious: improved energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, decreased costs and waste, and increased productivity. Natural gas is cheaper than ever before thanks to technological advancements in extraction and it’s easy to see how this trend will continue as we move into 2023.
Along with the expansion of natural gas power plants around the nation and the globe, solar panels for residential rooftops have also increased. This makes sense given that photovoltaic cells have become more efficient since they were first developed more than 50 years ago by Bell Laboratories back when our nation was still recovering from World War II. Due to advancements in manufacturing techniques, the cost of installing solar panels has significantly decreased over time. However, some businesses are still unable to take advantage of these savings, primarily because they do not have enough capital reserves or do not have access to banks, who require collateral at high rates of interest, which can be challenging if not impossible for some companies with significant assets.
LEAN manufacturing is a set of tools that help companies improve their manufacturing processes by eliminating waste and increasing efficiency. LEAN manufacturing saves money, reduces downtime and improves quality.
Adopting Lean processes offers many benefits for manufacturers across any sector ranging from reduced costs to improved service. The following are considered benefits of Lean Manufacturing;
- Improved customer services – helping deliver exactly what the customer wants and when they want it.
- Improved productivity – Increased production and value added service
- Innovation – Staff are fully involved which results in higher morale within the workplace and increased participation throughout the business
- Reduced waste – Lean allows for less transport, moving, waiting, space and physical waste within the business.
- Improved stock turns – less work in progress and inventory resulting in less capital tied up.
For more on LEAN manufacturing read our blog covering LEAN manufacturing and waste.
Reshoring to Reduce Reliance on Overseas Suppliers
Many manufacturers are rethinking their supply chain strategy as trade barriers continue to fall and the world’s economy becomes more integrated. Interest in reshoring and near sourcing (the practice of manufacturing close to your customers) is on the rise as manufacturers look to reduce reliance on overseas suppliers whose product quality may not be up to par with what they offer. Reshoring has been increasingly popular for a number of reasons, including rising salaries in many popular offshoring locations, a lack of infrastructure to handle sophisticated manufacturing operations, and manufacturers’ ability to use software and robotics to automate procedures.
Robotics and cutting-edge software are enabling manufacturers to automate a number of previously labor-intensive procedures. These solutions can aid businesses in streamlining their supply chains, enabling them to spend less money abroad and maintain their competitiveness in an increasingly globalised market. With the advancement of technology, it is anticipated that these innovations would only get better over time.
Manufacturing will undoubtedly remain a significant sector of the economy. The question is not whether you should invest in tools and technologies that help your company stay competitive, but how much time and resources you want to put into this area. We hope these trends have given you some ideas about what might be best for your organization in the new year!
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