As the COVID-19 pandemic swept its away across the world in 2020, it brought with it a wave of devastation to many industries, with manufacturing among its casualties. Over the past 12 months, however, the manufacturing industry has slowly risen to its feet, ready to embrace the latest and greatest inventions, strategies, and systems to take business to a whole new and exciting level.
In this ever-evolving industry, manufacturers must leverage the latest developments to not only survive, but thrive. Here are the top manufacturing trends of 2021 and how they are changing the manufacturing world as we know it.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
As technology develops at a rapid pace, manufacturing companies are gaining access to unprecedented amounts of data. In order to utilize this data and the benefits it unlocks, the industry is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to reshape its processes across several areas of business.
Artificial intelligence refers to computers and machines that can simulate the awareness, learning, problem solving, and decision-making abilities of the human brain. Machine learning, on the other hand, is a subset of AI, which describes a machine’s ability to learn from first-hand experience and improve their decision making or predictive accuracy over time.
Just some of the areas in which manufacturers are applying AI and machine learning include:
• Inventory Management
• Transportation Cost Reduction
• Supply Chain Visibility
• Asset Tracking
• Forecasting Accuracy
Industry 5.0 and Mass-Customization
Known as the fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0 refers to the industry-wide implementation and understanding of the latest manufacturing tech, including the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud, advanced computers, and more. As the world slowly recovers from the global pandemic, however, industries are now moving toward Industry 5.0 at an accelerated pace in order to pandemic-proof their business.
At its core, the fifth Industrial Revolution focuses on an increasing collaboration between humans and smart systems – or, in other words – man and machine working together as one. It is believed that when robots are used to their full, advantageous capabilities, it will allow for mass customization and personalization for customers, therefore moving away from a “one size fits all model” and providing more value than ever before.
Employee Health and Safety
While employee health and safety in the manufacturing industry is not a trend, but rather something that’s focused year-to-year, 2021 will see this area shift in new ways. Coronavirus has changed the way all industries and workplaces respond to keeping their staff both safe and healthy, and this is no different for the manufacturing industry. Precautionary protocols such as sanitization, employee temperature monitoring, and personal protective equipment (PPE) will continue in 2021 and beyond – likely for multiple years to prevent workplace virus outbreaks.
Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing allows manufacturers to use computer aided design (CAD) software to custom build parts and products for their customers one layer at a time.
• Lost-Wax Castings
• Components of Final Products
As a manufacturing trend, additive manufacturing is now growing at a rapid rate, especially among manufacturers who build with metal components. This is because 3D printing uses selective laser sintering (SLS) technology, which aids the cost-effective mass production of metal parts that were once previously impossible to make.
Wyatt Seal Can Help You Move Forward in 2021
Here at Wyatt Seal, we understand how important it is for manufacturing businesses and customers to keep up with the ever-changing developments of the industry. After many industries came to a halt in 2020, manufacturers are now making meaningful modifications in their processes to adapt to a new climate of data and analytics, and these shifts require a company with the same forward-thinking mindset.
For nearly 50 years, customers have trusted Wyatt Seal to find solutions for even the most complex sealing conditions. We are proud to be aligned with some of the largest seal manufacturers in the world, offering our customers access to thousands of manufactured seals, gaskets, O-rings, and many other specialty items.
Want to learn more about how Wyatt Seal’s technology could help your business adapt to the changing landscape of 2021? Contact us today to talk to an experienced team member.