The ongoing growth of intelligent manufacturing facilities
2023 will witness a significant shift in the adoption of smart factories as factories and manufacturing facilities move towards fully-fledged systems from occasional or sporadic implementation of smart equipment. This shift will enable them to leverage the complete potential of data analytics and communication between machinery and central monitoring tools. The reasons for this shift are manifold:
- Newer machines come with onboard sensors and monitoring tools as older equipment is phased out.
- Manufacturers will have a greater incentive to adopt smart technology in order to stay competitive with their counterparts who are already experiencing the advantages of such technology.
The expenses associated with aftermarket sensors and other software and equipment for smart factories are decreasing, while the advantages, such as improved maintenance and greater insight into process efficiency, are becoming more evident.
Growing attention towards sustainable practices and achieving carbon neutrality
With ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues gaining more significance, manufacturers will need to give more emphasis to sustainable practices and pursue carbon-neutral processes. This shift towards sustainability will become more prominent as governments, municipalities, and institutions impose sustainability requirements for contracts. In addition to this, manufacturers can expect commercial customers to demand ESG compliance as well.
Supply chain reworking
In the years following the initial global supply chain disruption of 2020, it has become clear how fragile the typical status quo is for most businesses and facilities. Therefore, it is expected that in 2023, the supply chain will remain a critical area for ongoing monitoring, management, and enhancement. Companies will seek innovative ways to add flexibility and reliability while preserving value. Data analysis can be one such solution, with the implementation of data-driven inventory management providing an efficient way to identify previously unknown supply chain efficiencies. By leveraging data, manufacturers can quickly adapt to the unpredictable COVID-affected supply chain environment and work to minimize disruptions.
B2B to B2C
Many manufacturers are rethinking their consumer relationships due to advancements in technology and supply chain strategies. Instead of depending on retailers or distributors as intermediaries, numerous manufacturing companies are opting to sell their products directly to consumers using e-commerce and other methods. As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, the trend towards a shift from business-to-business (B2B) to business-to-consumer (B2C) is expected to become more widespread in the upcoming year.
The advancements in 3D printing technology over the years have made it more precise, adaptable, and affordable, which is expected to have significant implications for the industry in the upcoming year and beyond. Rapid prototyping and product customization are made possible by this technology, and it has the potential to greatly simplify maintenance and repair processes. Technicians can print replacement parts in a fraction of the time it would take to obtain them from a warehouse, reducing downtime significantly.