2021 is proving to be a unique year in the manufacturing industry. The impact of the pandemic can still be felt, but businesses are doing the best that they can to kickstart their recovery and achieve pre-pandemic levels of success as soon as possible.
Of course, the pandemic is also not yet over, which creates challenges that need to be managed. So, what are the main manufacturing trends in 2021? There are a handful of clear trends to emerge during the year that are helping those in the manufacturing industry to get back on their feet and find success.
Health & Safety Measures
Obviously, health and safety is a topic that is dominating in manufacturing (and other industries). Businesses have had to implement new measures and make changes to protect workers and public health as a whole. The pandemic is not yet over, and the situation is fast-changing, so making sure that all steps are taken to prevent an outbreak are critical. This means that manufacturing companies need to provide sufficient PPE, allow for social distancing, provide hand sanitizing stations, and perform regular testing.
With businesses desperately trying to recover from COVID-19, they need to do all that they can to prevent downtime. This is why predictive maintenance is so important as a way to keep machines in the best possible condition at all times. Smart machines with internal sensors can alert users when maintenance is required, which can prevent downtime as well as costly repairs.
CNC machining process (computer numerical control machining) is automated manufacturing that allows for extreme precision, high accuracy, and speed. When making intricate, complex parts where precision is key, CNC machining is the best solution and can greatly improve output. It is important to invest in quality CNC machines, which can be a large investment but can have a big impact on the success of the business.
Another trend that has emerged in 2021 as a result of the pandemic is lean manufacturing. In a time where the margins are fine, making the operation leaner can improve efficiency, reduce waste and lower costs to maximize the bottom line. This also helps to make businesses more sustainable, which is important in a time where consumers are becoming eco-conscious and selective of the brands that they use. On top of this, leaner operations also make a business more agile and able to adapt – this will be key moving forward in a time of change.
Manufacturers are also finding that it is not simply a case of back to business as usual as this mental health impact of the pandemic is having a great effect on the workforce. Businesses are having to prioritize employee wellbeing, including offering support and resources, developing a hybrid work model, and creating conditions that help the staff to feel safe and supported.
These are the main trends sharing the manufacturing industry in 2021. Businesses are desperate to get back to normal, but it is not quite that simple, and this has led to the emergence of trends like these.