The Technologies That Will Shape Manufacturing in 2024
The manufacturing sector is often perceived as deeply rooted in tradition and slow to evolve. However, beneath that notion lies the truth: Manufacturing is a highly dynamic sector that has long been at the forefront of digitalization.
In recent years, manufacturers across the world have been rapidly innovating and leveraging newer technologies to boost productivity and efficiency. With competition intensifying, manufacturers are now looking to drive better business outcomes by increasingly leveraging technology across all facets of their organizations.
Based on our experience working with manufacturers throughout Ohio and the Midwest, here’s how we see the role that technology will play in manufacturing in 2024 and beyond.
Cloud Computing Adoption Deepens
From production to supply chains, the manufacturing industry relies on a series of complex and distributed networks to optimize resources and reach global markets.
The increasing shift toward a more decentralized model is raising the complexity of managing and coordinating the supply chain, requiring several technologies to ensure seamless operation. Rapidly shifting consumer preferences are also putting additional strain on the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturers can no longer rely on mass production, as clientele and market demands shift quickly to diverse offerings. The cloud facilitates this transition by providing scalable and reliable solutions, allowing manufacturers to adapt to decentralization and enabling swift responses to diverse market demands, empowering the industry to navigate global complexities more efficiently.
The manufacturing sector has wholeheartedly embraced the cloud. The adoption of cloud computing in manufacturing has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, fueled by the industry’s evolving landscape.
According to a MarketsandMarkets report, the global cloud manufacturing market size is projected to reach $111.9 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8% during the forecast period. Notably, 80% of manufacturing companies worldwide that implemented cloud computing reported significant operational improvements within the initial months of adoption.
How Cloud Enables Manufacturing Transformation
We see a few key ways in which cloud is helping manufacturers streamline operations and improve their output.
Easy Scalability: Cloud computing offers unparalleled scalability, allowing manufacturers to expand or contract their IT resources in response to changing demands.
In a distributed manufacturing setup, scalability is crucial, as it accommodates the varying needs of geographically dispersed facilities. Whether scaling up during periods of high demand or scaling down during slower periods, cloud resources can be adjusted dynamically. This ensures that manufacturers have the computing power and storage capacity they need precisely when they need it. Thereby, optimizing efficiency and reducing the risk of underutilized resources.
Greater Reliability: Manufacturing operations rely heavily on consistent and uninterrupted access to data and applications. Any disruption in IT can stall production lines and bring operations to a standstill. Cloud infrastructure provides a level of reliability that is challenging to achieve with on-premises solutions. With robust data backup, disaster recovery, and redundant systems, the risk of downtime is minimized. This enhanced reliability is especially critical in a distributed manufacturing environment, where disruptions at one location should not compromise the entire production chain.
Cost Savings: Cloud computing solutions introduce significant cost-saving opportunities for manufacturers. It helps reduce the upfront capital infrastructure that traditional IT demands. Instead, cloud services help manufacturers tap into a pay-as-you-go model, allowing manufacturers to pay only for the resources they use. This cost-effective approach eliminates the need for large capital expenditures, making it particularly attractive for manufacturers with distributed operations and contributing to overall operational efficiency.
The Internet of Things (IoT) Makes a Greater Impact
Manufacturing encompasses a wide range of components and machinery spread across physical and digital environments. The internet of Things (IoT) helps bridge these siloed elements across various environments and enables seamless connectivity and data exchange.
This interconnectedness brings a multitude of advantages, which include giving organizations better real-time visibility and control over their equipment while also helping them improve efficiency and decision making.
The growing reliance on IoT in manufacturing reflects the industry’s recognition of its transformative potential. According to a Mordor Intelligence study, 34% of manufacturers in the United States believe that IoT adoption is essential for their operations. Overall, the global IoT in manufacturing market size is predicted to grow from $201.8 billion in 2021 to $1,5 trillion by 2030, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 24.9%.
How IoT Enables is Enabling Manufacturing Transformation
Predictive Maintenance: With a wide range of machinery and equipment, maintenance is a central part of the manufacturing business.
However, unforeseen breakdowns and sudden maintenance can halt production lines and disrupt business operations. By leveraging real-time input from sensors and equipment, IoT can help monitor the condition and performance of equipment, collecting information on various factors and usage patterns. Analyzing this data enables manufacturers to intervene in a timely manner by identifying potential issues and predicting when equipment is likely to fail. This approach minimizes downtime and reduces maintenance costs, as issues can be addressed before they escalate into critical failures.
Smart Manufacturing: IoT has enabled significant leaps across the entire manufacturing chain, enhancing production efficiency and quality by leveraging automation and data-driven decision making. By integrating IoT sensors throughout the production process, manufacturers gain access to continuous streams of real-time data. Having this real-time information at hand enables them to monitor various factors such as overall performance, resource utilization, and quality.
Thus, decision-makers can pinpoint bottlenecks, optimize workflows, proactively address issues, and thereby streamline operations. This results in better efficiency and product quality, as data-driven adjustments ensure consistency and adherence to quality standards throughout the entire production lifecycle.
Safety and Security:
IoT provides manufacturers with a detailed and ongoing view of their operational landscape, offering real-time insights into key performance indicators (KPIs) such as equipment health, vehicle location, and beyond. By comprehensively integrating analysis and monitoring across the entire organization, it also allows for the identification of patterns or potential hazards, enabling timely interventions.
Over time, IoT can also help organizations mitigate risks and proactively address safety concerns so that companies can foster a safer work environment. This cohesive approach also ensures that isolated safety incidents, such as near misses and minor injuries are not brushed away. Instead, it prompts a thorough examination of the overall impact, cause, and implementation of prevention measures, thereby boosting overall safety.
Technology Partnership to Guide Your Digital Transformation
The manufacturing industry will continue to evolve as we move through 2024. We’re just beginning to see the transformative influence of maturing IoT, and industry predictions are that artificial intelligence (AI) will help manufacturers dramatically improve processes.
If you want a skilled IT partner to help you navigate all these transitions, contact the friendly Astute Technology Management team at any time at [email protected] or 614 289 4102. We look forward to speaking with you!