Tag Archive for 'manufacturing'

Five Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2020

By Mike Schmidt, AEM

Both the immediate and long-term future of the manufacturing industry will be defined by the development of several ever-evolving and cutting-edge trends and technologies. Many of these trends and technologies are poised to have a significant impact in 2020 and beyond, so it’s critically important for manufacturers to develop a keen understanding of what they are, how they will grow over time, and how they will impact those within the industry – both this year and in the future.

With that in mind, let’s look at five manufacturing trends to watch in 2020:

Wearable Technology

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) in industrial applications has given way to the increased prevalence of wearable technology in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers of all types and sizes are increasingly looking into – and investing in – wearable devices with different sensors that can be used by their workforce.

According to a recent article from EHS Today, electronic features found in wearable devices allow for organizations to monitor and increase workplace productivity, safety and efficiency. In addition, employers are now readily capable of collecting valuable information, tracking activities, and providing customized experiences depending on needs and desires.

Improvements in bio-sensing now allow for health parameters such as body temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen levels to be monitored. Furthermore, employers now have the ability to leverage the data they obtain to complement welfare programs and reduce healthcare costs.

Factors leading to the increased adoption of wearable technology include portability, convenience, operational efficiency, and much more. Consumers use the technology for fitness and health tracking, mobile notifications at a glance, and even contactless payments. The business world has taken notice, and wearable technology is quickly becoming a fixture in manufacturing.

An article from Manufacturing.net notes that potential applications in the manufacturing sector include safety awareness and injury prevention, training, process improvements, situational awareness, augmented reality, remote management, as well as authentication and security planning.

Manager Technical Industrial Engineer working and control robotics with monitoring system software and icon industry network connection on tablet. AI, Artificial Intelligence, Automation robot arm

Predictive Maintenance

Effective equipment maintenance is central to the success of any manufacturer. So it goes without saying that the ability to predict impending failures and mitigate downtime is incredibly valuable. Predictive maintenance offers that and much more. Ultimately, it gives manufacturers the means to optimize maintenance tasks in real time, extending the life of their machinery and avoiding disruption to their operations.

Seebo outlines predictive maintenance for Industry 4.0 as a method of preventing asset failure by analyzing production data to recognize patterns and identify potential issues before they occur. Predictive maintenance for Industry 4.0 is a method of preventing asset failure by analyzing production data to identify patterns and predict issues before they happen.

Predictive maintenance isn’t without its challenges, however. In order to successfully build a predictive maintenance model, manufacturers must gain insights on the variables they are collecting and how often certain variable behaviors occur on the factory floor.

It’s absolutely critical for organizations to possess knowledge about each specific machine and a strong data set of previous failures in which they can review. Manufacturers also have to make decisions around lead time, as the closer to failure the machine is allowed to go, the more accurate the prediction.   

5G/Smart Manufacturing

The fourth Industrial Revolution isn’t coming. It’s already arrived. Smart factories are becoming the norm in manufacturing, and they rely on connected devices to leverage technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, IoT and more. In addition, these devices are capable of sensing their environments and interacting with one another. As factories of the future continue to grow and develop, manufacturers need to realize that they must be able to adapt the networks that connect them – efficiently and effectively.

According to a recent article from AT&T, 5G networks offer the industry opportunities to create new revenue streams. Along with energy and utility, the manufacturing industry stands to benefit the most from the rise of 5G. A report from Ericsson states that “the expected addressable market in 2026 will $113 billion, a substantial 7 percent potential revenue growth from current service revenue forecasts.”

The factories of tomorrow will rely greatly on sensor technology, and they will prominently feature connected tools, utilizing data to guide the tasks of the workforce. According to AT&T, 5G’s high capacity, wireless flexibility and low-latency performance make it the perfect choice to support manufacturers in these efforts.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

When it comes to using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in manufacturing, the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s helping make processes more efficient, improving product design and development, or maintaining machinery more effectively, these technologies are capable of becoming game-changers in the coming years.

Virtual reality allows its users to move around a 360-degree virtual world and – in some cases – even interact with it. When using virtual reality, real, physical surroundings are no longer a factor. And, thanks to advancements in technology, the virtual world is now being reproduced better than ever before. Augmented reality differs in the sense that its users are required to be at a specific location to augment their experience of reality, while those who use virtual reality are completely immersed in a virtual world.

According to an article from PwC, manufacturers are becoming more adept at finding ways to incorporate these technologies within their organizations in an effort to drive a future defined by digital connectivity. And, says PwC, one in three manufacturers have adopted – or will adopt – virtual reality and augmented reality in the next three years.

Cybersecurity

The importance of cybersecurity in manufacturing cannot be overstated. More and more connected devices are being integrated into organizational processes each day, so it almost goes without saying that the manufacturing industry needs to develop a keen understanding of how to best deal with them.

As the industry becomes more connected with time, equipment manufacturers and their customers will be impacted in a number of ways. For example, even the simple act of charging a mobile device in a nearby USB port may lead to dire consequences. As a result, companies must be diligent in their efforts to educate employees on the potential consequences of their cyber activities.

The ability for a manufacturer to effectively protect itself today hinges upon its willingness to take the following two key steps: address organizational concerns and implement a clear and effective cybersecurity strategy.

Cybersecurity is – and will – remain a major concern for companies of all types and sizes. With malware attacks on the rise and many organizations having been negatively affected by the increased prevalence of ransomware, companies (both literally and figuratively) can’t afford to overlook cybersecurity as a top priority in 2020 and beyond.Looking for more information about the latest trends and technologies impacting the manufacturing industry in 2020 and beyond? Visit aem.org/think and subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.

This feature appeared in the February 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

AEM Partners with SkillsUSA To Tackle Manufacturing’s Skills Gap

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has teamed up with SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives to help provide America with a skilled and developed workforce.

The partnership began with AEM and SkillUSA’s mutual respect for each organization’s commitment to be a solution to the skills gap, grow interest in skilled and technical trades, dispel stereotypes, as well as ensure all students are both college and career ready. From there, the collaboration seemed obvious.

“AEM is thrilled to be able to partner with SkillsUSA as part of our ongoing effort to open doors for the association’s members and allow them to gain access to uniquely valuable opportunities to enhance their workforce and help secure a bright future for our industry,” said Julie Davis, AEM director of workforce development.

SkillsUSA provides educational programs, events, and competitions that support career and technical in classrooms across the nation. More than 345,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA each year, and there are more than 19,000 local chapters across the nation introducing their members to skills that induce career readiness, responsibility, and effectiveness.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers:

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry supports 1.3 million jobs in the U.S., and 149,000 more in Canada. Equipment manufacturers also contribute $188 billion combined to the U.S. and Canadian economies. AEM is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019. Learn more about AEM at www.aem.org

AEM Hails North American Leaders on Signing USMCA, Urges Implementation

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) issued the following statement today on the recent signing of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) by U.S., Mexican, and Canadian leaders:

Dennis Slater, AEM President

“Equipment manufacturers applaud the recent signing of the USMCA and are advocating for its quick implementation,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “Ratifying the USMCA will ensure North America’s manufacturing competitiveness and supports our industry’s nearly 1.5 million men and women working across the U.S. and Canada.”
Nearly 30 percent of all equipment produced in the U.S. is intended for export. Since the creation of NAFTA two decades ago, the equipment manufacturing industry has benefited greatly from duty-free access to our industry’s largest two export markets, Canada and Mexico. AEM recently issued a statement of support for the new USMCA, calling a “step in the right direction.” AEM will be engaging the incoming 116th Congress in the New Year on the importance of the USMCA to U.S. manufacturing.
AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry supports 1.3 million jobs in the U.S., and 149,000 more in Canada. Equipment manufacturers also contribute $188 billion combined to the U.S. and Canadian economies.

Wells Fargo Reports: Construction Spending Softens in August

Wells_Fargo_Securities_logoFor the second consecutive month, total construction spending pulled back in August. The loss of spending momentum was broad based with lower readings in residential, nonresidential and public spending.

Broad-Based Weakness

  • Following a downwardly revised 0.3 percent decline in July, construction spending fell 0.7 percent in August. Private sector outlays declined 0.3 percent, while public sector spending tumbled 2.0 percent.
  • Private nonresidential construction, which has been on a roll recently, took a breather in August, led by declines in commercial, power and manufacturing.

Sector Outlook Still Constructive

  • While the August report proved soft, construction spending continues to reflect a sector with positive momentum. Through the first eight months of the year, construction spending is up 4.9 percent from the same period in 2015. Anticipation for the continuation of the U.S. economic expansion and a low interest rate environment supports our outlook for moderate construction spending gains in the quarters ahead.

Construction Spending Softens in August

Construction Spending Softens in August Construction Spending Softens in August Construction Spending Softens in August

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Spending Down Again in June, First Annual Decline Since 2013

1291931467352794367Nonresidential construction spending dipped 1 percent in June and has now contracted for three consecutive months according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential spending, which totaled $682 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, has fallen 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, marking the first time nonresidential spending has declined on an annual basis since July 2013.

“On a monthly basis, the numbers are not as bad as they seem, as May’s nonresidential construction spending estimate was revised higher. However, this fails to explain the first year-over-year decline in nearly three years,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “There are many forces at work, most of them negative, with the noteworthy exception of construction materials prices, which are down on a year-over-year basis. To the extent that savings are being passed along to purchasers of construction services, spending would appear lower in dollar terms than when measured in physical terms such as square footage.

“Thanks in part to the investment of foreign capital in America, spending related to office space and lodging are up by more than 16 percent year-over-year,” said Basu. The global economy is weak, and international investors are searching for yield and stability. U.S. commercial real estate has become a popular destination for foreign capital. However, the weakness of the global economy may also help explain the decline in manufacturing-related construction spending of nearly 5 percent for the month and more than 10 percent year-over-year.

“Though many contractors continue to report extensive backlog, the data suggest that average firm backlog may begin to retrench,” warned Basu. “The only significant driver of economic growth in America presently is consumer spending. Corporate profits remain stagnant and business investment remains underwhelming. Public sector spending does not appear positioned to accelerate anytime soon despite the passage of a federal highway bill last year.”

Precisely half of the 16 nonresidential subsectors expanded in June. Two of the largest subsectors—manufacturing and commercial—experienced significant contractions in June, however, and were responsible for a majority of the dip in spending.

Tepid spending by public agencies also continues to shape the data. Despite a monthly pick-up in spending, water-supply construction spending is down 14 percent on a year-over-year basis. Public safety construction spending is down 8.4 percent from a year ago, sewage and waste disposal by nearly 15 percent, highway and street by about 6 percent, education by 4 percent and transportation by more than 3 percent.

Chart_8_1_16 Spending_8_1_16

To see more visit:

http://www.abc.org/NewsMedia/ConstructionEconomics/ConstructionEconomicUpdate/tabid/270/categoryid/46/Default