Manufacturing Trends in 2017

Posted by Bill Pollock on Jan 3, 2017 12:16:49 PM


Where will the road take us and how will manufacturing change in 2017?  We may or may not remember the predictions for 2016.  Some of them happened in 2016; some are still on the list for 2017; some just weren’t as dynamic as anticipated and didn’t have the expected impact.  Technology moves quickly and trends change.  As we begin the new year it’s interesting to take a look at the leading trends, predictions and expectations for 2017.  MAPI, the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation took a look at manufacturing in the US and stated that manufacturing production should increase by 3% in 2017.  We know that most of this increase in production will be based on advances in technology and not increases in manufacturing employment. Innovation, automation, and increases in productivity will continue to be the bywords. 

There is an increased focus and a rise in the discussion about manufacturing and manufacturing jobs in the US because of the recent election and the anticipated “Trump Effect.”  This may have an impact because of changes in tax laws, tariffs or access to capital, but the real impact on manufacturing in 2017 is all about the implementation of new technologies.  The acceleration of advanced technology in the market means innovative changes will be critical to advancement in US industries.

Forrester is an American independent technology and market research company and provides advice on existing technology and the potential impact of technology.  Forrester does a lot of research.  Forrester reworked its 2017 U.S. tech market projections after Trump’s surprise victory.  They state that the technology sector will grow less under President- Donald Trump than it would have if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the election.  According to a revised forecast from Forrester Research, the tech sector under Trump will grow 4.3%, compared to the expected 5.1% jump it predicted under a Clinton administration.  There is no way to actually verify their prediction.

After a somewhat lackluster year in 2016, manufacturers are looking forward to the opportunities and advancements that 2017 has in store. For manufacturers, there's a lot of change on the horizon in terms of how to operate, the best ways to deliver value to clients and how to further evolve.

It is interesting to note that the Internet of Things, or IoT, which was high on many lists for 2016 barely made mention for 2017.  It isn’t like it really came of age in 2016, and effectively deployment will be slow, but many other trends have upstaged it for the present. Based on a review of internet searches I have a created a list of ten of the most popular trends in manufacturing for 2017.  In no particular priority order, here is the list: 

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Intelligent Apps
  3. Disruptive Manufacturing
  4. Going Green
  5. Digital Twins
  6. Service as a Product
  7. Automation
  8. Reshoring, Newshoring and Nearshoring
  9. Adopting Analytics
  10. Intelligent Logistics

Over the coming weeks we will take a look at each of them and their potential impact technically and economically on the US Manufacturing sector. 

Topics: Manufacturing, Trends

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The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  

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