Recently, the global tool manufacturing and knowledge sharing company decided to take a closer look at the macro trends influencing the future of the manufacturing industry. Through an extensive study, the company identified four areas of special interest: Rapid urbanization, sustainability, new advanced materials and new technologies.
“Traditionally the manufacturing industry has been conservative in exploring new opportunities. Now, the situation is different. Simply put, the world is moving at a much faster pace than before. In order to develop future solutions and meet customer demands, industry leaders have to be perceptive and forward thinking,” says Kevin Lorch, marketing manager innovation. Sandvik Coromant.
It was decided early on that the result of the study should be shared with the rest of the industry. The reason for sharing came out of an industry need for a more general discussion relating to the common challenges of the future.
“While many companies perform market and trend research for internal use, we decided that the result of the survey could be used to spark a dialog about the future of manufacturing and the attitudes in the industry toward new challenges,” Lorch explains.
In a future context, societies evolve rapidly. Global and local are no longer opposites, but part of an intricate network spanning across borders. Today, half of the world’s population – 3 billion people – lives in urban areas. Over the next 15 years, the makeup of the group of top 600 cities will change as the center of gravity of the urban world moves south and, even more decisively, east.
Environmental issues have been part of the manufacturing industry for a long time, perhaps especially in terms of legislation. However, in the future, sustainability will be a much more integrated part of the manufacturing business model in terms of recycling, energy saving processes, reduction of water use and green transports.
New Advanced Materials
A major influence on the manufacturing industry is material development. With new high performance materials like carbon fiber and super alloys, the demand on productivity increases. This also influences new methods of machine- and tool-design, manufacturing and software.
Digital solutions are a more integrated part of manufacturing than ever before. There are a lot of data to interpret and analyze in order to optimize manufacturing processes. Several CAM companies are deeply involved in projects relating to the use of digital data in the development of CAD/CAM services to the end customer. This opens up the use of digital products, which is turning into a competitive advantage.
“With the release of the trend report, we hope to spread a dialogue about the future across the manufacturing industry. No matter if it relates to products and productivity solutions or competence and labor needs; insights and knowledge about our constantly changing world are important keys to the future success of the manufacturing industry,” Lorch concludes.
The trend report and accompanying video is available at www.sandvik.coromant.com/us/lookingahead.