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TMI: Industrial Manufacturing – An Exciting Year Ahead

We just ended a year full of incredible trends impacting the industrial space. From the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and robotics to artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Everything (IoE) – what’s in store for 2018? Certainly, more of the same, but a few new trends are coming.

No surprise, digital platforms will drive growth. In the IDC report titled “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2018”, the analyst firm shares 10 predictions such as: Digital platforms will be key to manufacturing growth. Intelligent systems leveraging IoT, blockchain and cognitive, will drive automation excellence. Data analytics will be essential for manufacturing efficiency.  And a new way of thinking to improve product development success rates (hint: smart customer collaboration).

A career in manufacturing? Yes, and here’s why.  The non-tech trends in this article are not necessarily new, but will be an important focus for companies in 2018.  The skills gap is growing as fewer students are interested in a career in manufacturing.  According to the author, over three million manufacturing positions are expected to be needed over the next decade and nearly two million could go unfulfilled. Another trend that companies will pay close attention to in 2018 focuses on the leadership gap, which often can plague companies that do not have enough talent in place to take over roles as current management hits retirement age.

AR, VR, AI, oh my!  The excitement around the use of Augmented and Virtual Reality in manufacturing is apparent – just take a look at any industry publication today.  This article highlights the various ways in which manufacturers can implement AR and VR to improve process design, smooth the transition of the aging workforce and even support MRO (maintenance, repair and operations).

We would love to hear about the trends you are seeing. Any surprises? Let us know in the comments or connect via Twitter @OutlookMktg, LinkedIn or Facebook!

Author: Christa Carroll, SVP, Outlook Marketing Services

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