How will manufacturing change in 2017

Robotics and connected industrial control systems are growing in importance. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Robotics and AI will play a large role in manufacturing in 2017. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

This year will see a significant number of changes in manufacturing around the globe.

Some of these changes are being brought on by economic changes such as Brexit, but most are due to ever-evolving manufacturing technology. Here are a few highlights of what to expect.

New markets require new products

If a hard Brexit occurs, although we won’t know much until after March, it is likely that British manufacturing companies will seek out new markets and new products. To cater for this, come companies may need to produce new products, which in turn will require companies to revamp their hardware and production lines.

If this is the case, significant investment would be needed to upgrade this tech. Is your company prepared for this? Can your system handle increased workloads? If not, your computer system may need upgrading as well, so begin with the memory. Check with a memory supplier like Offtek to see if your computer system is running optimally to handle increased loads.

Increased reliance on AI and robotics

Although many workers fear AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics in the workplace, today’s factories have come to rely heavily on this technology. In 2017, you can expect to see a greatly enhanced amount of AI and robotic technology used by the manufacturing industry that will aid factories in both speed as well as in efficiency. Despite this increased reliance on AI, it is unlikely this will result in significant near term job losses. Instead, look for job descriptions to change as valued workers get shuffled around to other departments or tasks where they are needed more.

A greater dependence on ERP platforms

Within the past few years, software designers have gone full steam ahead creating Enterprise Resource Planning platforms that have grown to become the ‘mind’ of an organisation. This is in a way a one-size-fits all solution for today’s tech savvy manufacturing companies and will be the central hub of all departments from HR to production, from reception at the front desk to warehousing and shipping.

This one central piece of software will interface all aspects of a manufacturing organisation and will help to streamline all kinds of workflows through increased transparency. In other words, with this one technology, production can check inventory and if it’s not available, simply hit an order button to keep inventory on site. Expect more manufacturing companies to rely heavily on ERP platforms into the future.

Are you looking to implement or upgrade an ERP System? Don’t miss The Manufacturer’s Connect ERP event taking place on 22 March at the Mere Golf Resort and Spa, Cheshire.

While this is just a taste of what we can expect to see in manufacturing in 2017, it is enough to indicate just how central computer technology will be this year and for many years yet to come. Any manufacturing company that wants to remain competitive should begin upgrading its systems now to handle an increased work flow going forward. This includes having sufficient memory to handle all those tasks simultaneously. The future isn’t around the corner, its already here. And that future is high-tech.