Five manufacturing trends to keep an eye on in 2020

The end of 2019 has seen the manufacturing sector slow, as a downtown in the global market begins to look a real possibility. The purchasing managers’ index has slumped below 50.0 – the difference between expansion and contraction.

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Deloitte predictions, using the Oxford Economic Model, suggest that by the end of the year manufacturing GDP growth levels may be declining, making even modest projections seem optimistic.

The impact of technological advances cannot be underestimated, and this may be the key to reversing future trends and making cost savings, improving production cycles and providing better customer support. Here are five trends indicating what is needed to hit those targets.

1. Supply chains

By using new technology to simplify your supply chain, you can avoid price wars with competitors. The benefits include improved control of inventory, savings on operational costs and improved customer relations. The majority of industrial companies are due to digitalise supply chains in 2020, according a recent survey.

2. Data visibility

The Internet of Things has transformed data collection, meaning manufacturers have a real time insight into the day-to-day operation of their business. By linking departments, either via their own intranet or accessing cloud storage, managers can drive data to provide an overview of operations and improve production.

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3. Finding the right partners

In a fast-changing manufacturing world, ensuring you are working with the right partners in your manufacturing process is essential. Surface treatments, for example, are often the last part of the manufacturing process. Ensuring your service partner is able to provide this key service to fit with your own timetable is essential for success. New technology and processes mean that production can be streamlined and extra costs saved by checking potential partnerships online, at sites such as

4. VR and AR

Augmented reality and virtual reality continue to have a positive impact on the manufacturing sector. VR helps product developers to modify parts and components prior to the manufacturing process. Even when this is underway, AR and VR can spot errors and cut inspection time.

5. Personnel issues

As technology continues to dictate much business planning, the challenges facing human resources departments will increase. Finding employees with the appropriate skills will be essential to drive your company forward. Improving training within the company could help to alleviate the problem.

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