Between Industry 4.0 and a global pandemic, the manufacturing industry has seen a fair few changes unfold over the course of the past twelve months.
Those changes are set to continue into 2022, and we’ve decided, with the help of our Founder and Managing Director Clint Johnson, to put together our predictions for the trends that are likely to impact the manufacturing industry in 2022.
#1: IIoT (Internet of Things)
“Although IIoT – The Internet of Things – is far more widespread within the manufacturing industry nowadays, I’d still class this at the top of the trends to look for in 2022 as widespread adoption continues,” says Control Freaks Managing Director and Founder, Clint Johnson.
The Industrial Internet of Things is completely adaptable, innovative, and works in conjunction with predictive maintenance technologies that are capable of saving companies a huge amount of both time and money.
#2: Predictive Maintenance
This brings us nicely on to our next point: predictive maintenance.
“Predicting potential failures and side-stepping machining downtime through smart conditioning monitoring is something that we’ve been a big advocate of for some time now”, says Clint, “after all, downtime costs serious money.”
In fact, unplanned downtime costs UK manufacturing businesses £180bn annually, which is a huge amount of money to lose, particularly when there are systems designed to prevent unplanned down time available.
With the many manufacturing businesses feeling the pinch of COVID, this kind of technology will be a vital element to securing manufacturing success in 2022.
#3: Big Data
“Big data and data mining are big topics in the manufacturing world at the moment,” says Clint, “this is because the increased adoption of IIoT and predictive maintenance, means that big data is absolutely vital and the debate remains on how best to utilise this increased data.”
The biggest benefit to adopting IIoT is that every movement; every input is registered and stored, which means that there is always a wealth of data available to study.
This data can tell you everything from when repairs may be required, to new ways to work in a more productive environment.
If your business has the ability to collect such wide-ranging data sets, all in real-time, it gives your business a much clearer image of exactly how the company is performing.
#4: 3D Printing
This is another instance of emerging technologies that has had a considerable impact on the industry, and will continue to do so in 2022.
“3D printing allows producers to manufacture more dependable and economical machine components with far fewer resources than previously thought possible,” says Clint.
“This improves the overall manufacturing process, and when you consider that all manner of things, such as machine components, engine parts and even edible products can be made using 3D printing, I can only see this area expanding further in the coming twelve months.”
#5: Industry 4.0 Adoption
The term ‘Industry 4.0’ is used to describe trends that lean towards a greater reliance on smart tech in manufacturing.
“We’ve been utilising Industry 4.0 technologies for some time now, and the idea is to merge current industry trends such as IIoT and cloud technology, with the experience and insight of the human work force.
This trend will only continue to grow in 2022, and will continue to do so until the Fifth Industrial Revolution starts to become common place.” Says Clint.
#6: Shifting Industry Back to Onshore Production
“Onshore versus offshore has been a considerable talking point in the industry for the past few decades now,” says Clint, “many businesses have had to return to onshore manufacturing due to the pandemic, particularly so in the UK and US.”
“Rising production costs, trade shutdowns around the world, and tax enticements were enough in 2021 to bring a great portion of many manufacturing sectors back to onshore production. I expect increasing AI capabilities will prevent rocketing labour costs in 2022 as well, encouraging further onshore production.”
#7: Increasing Customer Awareness
“Manufacturing typically operates in the B2B realm, but we’re certainly seeing a shift towards recognising the end-user and other consumers too.”
“This creates opportunities for increased profit margins in 2022, as businesses continue to focus on brand awareness, customer analytics and improving end products,” concludes Clint.
Clint also says the reason he expects this to continue into 2022 is because many organisations have seen the benefit of improved customer communication as they look to recoup often huge losses due to the pandemic and Brexit.
#8: VR & AR Integrations
Virtual and Augmented reality are already used across the manufacturing industry and Clint doesn’t expect this to slow down any time soon, especially as the technology grows stronger.
“We’ll start to see VR and AR as a common place fixture, particularly in service management, where technicians can guide machinery repairs remotely.”
“This will be especially useful for those who outsource equipment overseas, and those which are looking to shave maintenance times, as well physical travel costs as well.”
We believe that these eight trends will continue be top of the list in the industry and manufacturing fields for 2022, and perhaps even further into the future too.