5 must-have trends in the manufacturing industry for 2021

l'manufacturing industry

First, 2020 has been a whirlwind for the manufacturing industry. But with all of its twists and turns; there have been valuable lessons that food manufacturers and processors will use to make 2021 a success.

So in the new year, both industries are poised to rebound from the lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result; digital transformation and empowering the frontline workforce will be more important than ever.

Thus, manufacturing trends such as employee health and safety; smarter manufacturing technology; and digital connectivity will dominate 2021.

1- Employee health and safety remains imperative

From the factory floor to the boardroom, employee health and safety has become the center of every conversation in 2020. And that trend is not expected to change in 2021.

In fact, this trend will continue to accelerate as global regulations continue to evolve and manufacturers strive to create safer environments for all employees.

Indeed, as in previous years, the manufacturing industry ranks third in workplace incidents; averaging 400,000 non-fatal injuries per year. And the food and beverage industry has an even higher total recordable injury rate.

Therefore, companies will rely on smart equipment and real-time communication technologies to ensure employee safety.

2- manufacturing industry gets smarter

AI, robots, 3D printing, etc. are all the latest trends in manufacturing technology - and have been for some time.

2021 is the year manufacturing technology gets even smarter.

Robots in the factory are growing at a breakneck speed thanks to their falling cost and increasing capabilities. According to the International Federation of Robotics, there are a record 2.7 million industrial robots operating in factories around the world.

In addition, spending on digital twin technology is expected to increase by 17% in 2021. With digital twins; manufacturers can digitally replicate new products before the production process begins; reducing costs, waste and quality issues.

Thus, 2021 will also be the year when 5G technology finally takes off. An estimated 25% of the world's population will have 5G coverage by 2030. And manufacturers could generate $400 billion to $650 billion in GDP impact by the end of the decade, all from 5G.

3- Digital connectivity to all things "To All The Things

In 2020, the food manufacturing and processing industries were hit hard by the global pandemic. From closed facilities to rigid communication channels, it was difficult for some to remain flexible. As a result, 94% of Fortune 1000 companies experienced disruptions in their supply chains.

In 2021, digital connectivity will be one of the dominant trends in food manufacturing and processing. Companies will look to digitally connect as many aspects of the production process as possible to avoid further disruption.

They will do so by adopting tools that connect:

  • Operations
  • Inventory
  • Employees
  • Equipment
  • Customers

For example, it is estimated that by 2025, over 75 billion manufacturing devices will be connected and communicating with each other.

4- Switch to green manufacturing

Today, manufacturing industry accounts for 54% of global energy consumption and 20% of global emissions. So it's no surprise that industrial companies increasingly need to go green.

As a result, circular manufacturing is rapidly gaining popularity given its advantages, such as:

  • Recovery and reuse of materials and resources
  • Switch to renewable energy to power plants
  • Monitoring of each step of the manufacturing process to reduce waste
    And sub-sectors, such as building material manufacturers, are seeing a more significant push toward sustainability.

Given the rapid growth in demand; the global green building materials market will continue to grow in 2021 and is expected to reach $425 billion by 2027.

5- The use of technology by front-line employees is a must

First, manufacturers must establish a digitally connected network between employees and Industry 4.0 technologies. Indeed, in the factories of the future, employees will need to communicate digitally with each other and with the machines they manage.

In addition, employee training in new technologies is an essential tool in the digital transformation process.

90% of manufacturing managers recognize the importance of training in new technologies; but only 36% feel they are meeting these obligations.

Digital transformation is not slowing down. It will only accelerate.

It's time for industrial companies to move away from traditional communication methods and equip their staff with mobile tools.

Mobile technologies, support the food manufacturing and processing industries through this digital transformation process:

  • Provide better communication to improve operations and maintain employee health and safety. When workers can effectively communicate real-time information to keep pace with the new manufacturing speed; it saves time and money.
  • Creating digital versions of essential materials that are easily accessible from anywhere is good business. Digitizing work schedules and training materials will keep employees safe, informed and engaged.
  • Automate: streamlining redundant processes can lead to productivity gains. For example, if your HR team receives repetitive questions, using chatbots will help them find time in their day and get information to employees faster.
  • Optimize: Using integrated workflows increases efficiency. Data silos are broken down and there is a unified flow of information between systems, machines and humans.

So, The next wave of digital transformation is here. So, now is the time to capitalize on these industry trends and adopt tools that help frontline employees through this next technological evolution

Do you need expert advice to optimize your production performance?

Follow our innovations on social networks

We frequently publish on social networks (LinkedinTwitter and Medium) our innovations and the new functionalities of our industrial management solutions.

Also, we would be happy to share with you the latest trends in industrial management 4.0 through high quality content that you could share with others.

Author: NAJI Faouzi