With the first quarter of 2019 more than halfway over, there are some key trends to watch for this year in the manufacturing sector. They involve technology, streamlined processes, and the continued drive for energy savings and sustainability.
Our teams are in factories every week helping plant and facility managers solve issues with insulation and surface protection, and we’re always amazed at the innovations that spring to life in the heart of a factory.
Here are a few of the upcoming trends that you’ll most likely being seeing more of in industry throughout the year.
Anyone that’s worked on a manufacturing line knows that keeping that line operating is crucial. Downtime costs can significantly hurt a company’s bottom line and get them behind on filling orders. According to a survey by ITIC, 98% of organizations say that just one hour of downtime costs them over $100,000, and 81% say it costs them over $300,000.
Predictive maintenance applications help get to issues before they cause downtime by monitoring equipment using multiple performance metrics. This automated process alerts staff when maintenance should be done, saving manufacturer’s time, money and resources.
More Sustainability Initiatives
Now that many organizations have several years of experience creating corporate-wide sustainability goals and exercising good corporate responsibility, they’re realizing the positive cost-cutting impact that goes hand-in-hand with being more sustainable.
Thus, they’ll be focusing even more attention on the cornerstones of sustainability in order to further streamline, reduce waste, lower costs, and increase employee retention. Areas they’re targeting include:
- Energy use
- Water use
- Waste reduction
- Employee safety
- Carbon emissions
- Social programs
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
If you’ve got spreadsheets of data in each different department, trying to pull that all together to make sense of it can be nearly impossible, unless you have the right tool. Many corporations are making the move to ERP systems, which include software used in multiple areas of an organization – such as accounting, procurement, engineering – that bring together all of their shared transactional data into a single place.
Data can then be analyzed in real-time for insightful and timely business decisions. ERP systems also enhance collaboration, reduce operational costs, and improve consistency and efficiency.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet-connected devices are already taking over our homes in the form of smart doorbells, security systems, and voice assistants like Google Home. Now they’re making their way into offices and factories thanks to smaller sensors, cloud-computing, and business focused options.
From smart locks that can be remotely programmed with user access to sensors on production lines that allow predictive analytics, IoT is helping drive business growth and innovation.