When you think of the things you use and interact with daily, you realize that almost all of them came from a manufacturer. From computers, phones, and cars to the clothes you’re wearing and the plumbing running through the walls of your home, just about everything is produced in some kind of manufacturing setting. In many ways, this industry is one of the pillars of our modern life.
Of course, manufacturing has changed drastically, especially since the dawn of the digital age. Today’s manufacturing plants look quite different than they did 100 years ago or even 50. And that innovation isn’t slowing down any time soon.
As we enter a new year, there are sure to be specific trends emerging in the manufacturing space. If you’re a manufacturing professional, you might wonder what to expect in 2023. These trends can impact everyone, from warehouse personnel to quality control inspectors, plant managers to safety supervisors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top manufacturing trends to expect in the coming year.
Manufacturing Recruiters Help Breakdown Rising Trends for the Upcoming Year
Industrial Organizations Investing in Advanced Technologies to Lessen Risk
Manufacturing organizations are investing in various technologies to make processes digital, more efficient, and easier to manage. There are many examples, from robotics technology, data analytics, and cloud computing to artificial intelligence and machine learning, 5G connectivity, blockchain, and even virtual reality. As we move through 2023, you can expect manufacturers to rely on these technologies even more.
It’s no secret that companies with higher digital maturity were more resilient and successful through the pandemic. Similarly, companies with higher digital implementation have increased supply chain visibility and can better adapt to changes in the supply chain itself. Simply put, organizations that invest in advanced technologies are more nimble, adaptable, and risk-averse. Other benefits include:
- Maintaining business momentum. Investing in the right technology helps manufacturers forecast future trends, accelerate value mapping of suppliers and raw materials, and help implement preventive measures during uncertain economic times.
- Ensuring long-term financial growth. Digital capabilities help to secure a company’s profitability by strengthening the core of the business while expanding into new areas to improve efficiency.
- Expanding advanced manufacturing abilities: Whether it’s automated machinery, artificial intelligence, robotics, or any other kind of advanced manufacturing technology, these advances help manufacturers adapt to today’s industry challenges while continuing to prepare for the future.
Investing in Talent Management Strategies to Reduce Turnover in the Manufacturing Sector
In today’s manufacturing employment market, voluntary exits outnumber layoffs and discharges – people leave the industry voluntarily, not getting fired or laid off. The turnover rate is still high, even though manufacturing recovered from the pandemic much better than other industries. This workforce shortage, only exacerbated by ongoing supply chain issues, is a real problem for manufacturing employers.
For manufacturing candidates, this is, in many ways, a good thing. Right now, organizations are taking active steps to invest in talent management strategies to reduce turnover. You can expect things like:
- Frequent pay increases. The talent shortage is compelling many manufacturing employers to raise their wages to attract new talent – and keep the talent they have satisfied.
- Upskilling and reskilling efforts. Manufacturers are utilizing continuous training to reskill and upskill workers to fit more roles. Some are taking unique approaches like reaching out to colleges and universities to find digital-savvy talent, or investing in startups to access new technology.
- Diversity promotion. The industry is focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts to attract groups to the industry that haven’t been represented heavily before. Women currently account for less than a third of the entire manufacturing workforce, and underrepresented groups like Black, Asian, and Latinx manufacturing workers are even smaller. Companies are trying to change that by meeting new representation targets and create inclusive, welcoming environments for all.
- Flexible work options. Hybrid work culture is becoming more common in manufacturing as employers seek to add flexibility to their operations. Hybrid work means working part of the week on-site and part off. Things like flexible start and end times are also more common in 2023’s manufacturing settings, and we expect to see these trends continue.
Predictive Maintenance Measures for Factories and Plants
Predictive maintenance is just what it sounds like: using technology to predict when manufacturing equipment and machines will need maintenance. In this context, sensor data and artificial intelligence are used to detect patterns of failure or weakness in machinery or machine components – this allows manufacturers to predict when a machine is likely to fail and take preventive measures to avoid it before it happens.
With today’s supply chain issues and part delays, predictive maintenance is a huge advantage for manufacturing facilities. In an environment where a mechanical breakdown can make or break an entire project or contract, maintaining equipment in this way is vital. Expect more and more manufacturing operations to incorporate predictive maintenance in 2023 and beyond.
Increased Automation Will Be Seen in the Production
You’ve probably heard cautionary tales about robots and automated technology taking over manufacturing jobs from living, breathing humans. The truth is that automation probably isn’t used in a manufacturing setting the way you might think. We’ll see increased automation use in manufacturing settings as the years go on, yes – but the way it’s used may surprise you. Examples of emerging trends include:
Digital Twins & Robots
Digital twin technology simulates any physical process or object, allowing manufacturers access to valuable insights and data through those simulations. An example would be using digital twin technology to simulate a new product’s physical dimensions or to evaluate how a machine operates in certain temperatures or under certain conditions. You can imagine how much time and money this kind of approach saves.
Robotics is another area of automation that will continue to rise. Robots are not there to replace human workers but to enhance their work and make their jobs easier. Robots and collaborative robots (“cobots”) can make the work more precise, faster, and safer.
Investing in Smart Factories
Smart factories are part of the broader “Industry 4.0” movement in manufacturing. While the first and second industrial revolutions were characterized by steam mechanization and assembly lines, and the third by the rise of computing, the fourth revolution involves things like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics. Smart factories use many technologies to make production faster, better, and more efficient. And they’re already here – expect to work alongside more advanced technologies in the manufacturing world as the decade progresses.
Increased use of AI, Machine Learning & Advanced Analytics
We’ve mentioned AI and machine learning multiple times already. But it bears repeating – today and tomorrow’s manufacturing operations will rely heavily on these technologies to keep track of machines and equipment, improve processes, remote monitoring, perform complex data analysis, and much more. The goal of this kind of technology is not to do the work of human employees but to improve it. Embracing that fact is the best approach as these technologies continue to see widespread implementation in the world’s manufacturing plants.
Partner with a Temporary Employment Agency in the Pacific Northwest to find a Manufacturing Job
Are you interested in growing your career in manufacturing? Opti Staffing helps job seekers find manufacturing jobs and connect with top employers around the Pacific Northwest. Changes are happening in this industry – and that makes it the perfect time to seek out new opportunities. Whether you’re looking for better pay, hours that work with your schedule and lifestyle, or a chance to showcase your skills in a job you love, you’ve come to the right place. We are the permanent and temporary staffing and employment agency to rely on when it counts.