2016 Forecast for Manufacturing

Here’s a few things you’ll want to watch in 2016.  Don’t get left behind!

The Internet of Things – One of the skills that a new crop of workers should bring to the table are ones that can analyze the data they get from IoT output.  Even better are employees that can design the IoT product themselves!

Robotics – Instead of being worried about being replace with a robot, many employees will be called to work beside them.  The goal of “cobotics” will be to make processing pieces more reliable and safer for the workers involved. Better sensors and advancements in the functions the robotic equipment is able to perform will lead to easier interaction in the manufacturing environment.

Augmented Reality – Many manufacturers are moving towards using augmented reality for training.  Manufacturers can walk employees through complex steps with more accuracy leading to a higher skill and knowledge base faster.  Augmented reality is also used for tracking stock and handling maintenance requests.

3D Printing – In the beginning phases, manufacturers would do well to use 3D printing for mock-ups.  3D printing is also well suited for low-volume parts or the tools to build the final product.

Training – A common misconception is that employees will move to a different company once they are thoroughly trained.  There is much more evidence indicating that employees actually value not only their new skills but also a company that continues to provide them with useful skills.  The employee more likely to look for a new job is the one that feels like they’re in a dead-end job at an outdated company.

The Workplace – Beyond the actual machines manufacturers can invest in, the overall appearance of the company becomes an asset.  Companies that are moving forward with new technology are more attractive companies for millennials to come work for.  If they’re not making timely upgrades in the workplace, manufacturers will have a hard time attracting new employees and new customers.  “Processes will become streamlined and communication will foster new leaner manufacturing lines. Once the proper technology is in place and millennials flock to that organization, they might even be able to help implement these new systems because of their born ability to understand and work with new technology that might seem foreign to the baby boomer manufacturer.”



Pillsbury, S., & Bono, R. (n.d.). 2016 Industrial Manufacturing Trends. Retrieved from Strategy&: https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/perspectives/2016-manufacturing-trends
The Elusive Millennial Manufacturer. (2016, February 15). Retrieved from Manufacturing Talk Radio: https://mfgtalkradio.com/the-elusive-millennial-manufacturer/