The manufacturing industry accounted for more than $2.3 billion in total output in 2019. While the industry took some hard hits thanks to the pandemic, it continues to recover and grow.

There are new industrial innovations that are changing the industry as well. It can be a confusing time because so much is changing so fast.

You have to look at the latest industrial trends to know how to handle the future of manufacturing. You can strategize and develop a plan based on these trends.

Don’t click away because we’re going to help you out. Read on to learn what the top manufacturing trends are in 2022 and beyond.

1. IoT and Automation

The most noticeable industrial trend is the increased use of robotics and automation. Artificial intelligence gives machines the capabilities to handle repeatable tasks.

Machines don’t lose concentration or get tired during an eight-hour shift. They’re able to perform these tasks at a consistent rate and with higher accuracy levels.

Humans are still used for some tasks in manufacturing, but it’s possible that you’ll see completely automated manufacturing facilities.

Take a look at to see an example of autonomous industrial vehicles in action.

2. Cybersecurity

While the increased reliance on technology is great for manufacturers, it comes with a lot of risks. Manufacturing companies were attacked more than any other industry in 2021.

Hackers are trying to disrupt supply chains and cause chaos. IBM reports that 23% of cyberattacks were on manufacturing.

Almost half of the successful attacks occurred because software patches weren’t installed.

If you want to keep your manufacturing business online, you have to make cybersecurity a priority.

3. Shift in Hiring Needs

You’d think that with all of the automated work happening in manufacturing facilities, labor costs would get reduced dramatically.

You don’t need to hire labor to do the work because machines do it.

That’s not the case at all. What’s happening is a shift in the labor force. Instead of hiring someone to perform repeatable tasks, you need to hire engineers to oversee the automated manufacturing processes.

4. Supply Chain Issues

Yes, there are still supply chain challenges. Demand for raw materials remains high. At the same time, there are global shipping issues and rising costs.

These issues won’t go away anytime soon.

What will happen is that manufacturers will find more ways to get what they need. Instead of relying on one supplier, they’ll work with several.

This addresses the supply chain issues in the present and prepares them well when the next big disruption happens.

5. Return to Home Manufacturing

Another industrial trend is that companies continue to bring manufacturing back to the United States instead of offshoring.

This is a direct result of the supply chain issues.

It gives them more control over the supply chain and keeps production levels consistent. Those things are more important than the cost savings of offshoring.

6. Increased Governance Initiatives

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) are a set of initiatives and standards set by a company. It’s the social benefit part of the company.

This includes standards to improve the environmental impact of manufacturing. The governance part relates to internal policies to comply with regulations.

This is emerging as one of the top industrial trends in 2022.

7. Improved Employee Training

There’s a skills gap happening in manufacturing. You’d like to promote people from within the organization.

It’s not possible to have someone jump from the shop floor to a manufacturing engineer without the proper training.

There’s a skills gap in manufacturing, and it’s going to cost the industry more than $1 trillion in 2030.

It’s harder to find qualified workers. Give your employees the training they need, and you’ll be able to hire the right talent for the job.

8. Focus on Employee Retention

It’s hard to find workers with the right set of skills. It’s harder to retain workers. Employee turnover is costly, and if you’re paying more for top talent, it’s going to cost thousands of dollars.

Manufacturing companies that understand this focus on employee retention. They have employee recognition programs.

They do more to create a work-life balance. They’re clear on the company values and demonstrate them. These companies ask for feedback and listen to employees’ concerns.

9. Lower Maintenance Costs

The average age of industrial equipment is 10 years old. Most industrial equipment lasts for seven to eight years.

The older equipment is, the more expensive it is to maintain. Every time equipment breaks down, you lose valuable production time.

Expect to see technology assist with maintenance tasks to prevent breakdowns. Predictive maintenance tools lower the cost of maintenance and the number of breakdowns.

10. Increase in B2C Manufacturing Demand

The manufacturing industry is traditionally dominated by pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing. Consumer electronics and food manufacturing aren’t far behind.

While manufacturing has traditionally been focused on B2B business, there’s a coming shift to B2C manufacturing.

This shift allows companies to take direct control over branding. Companies also see higher profit margins.

It’s a result of the fast-growing ecommerce sector, which grew by 14% last year.

The Top Industrial Trends in 2022

What does the manufacturing industry look like after the pandemic? If these industrial trends are any indication, there’s an increased reliance on technology.

That puts more pressure on manufacturers to build a workforce capable of handling high-tech issues. They need engineers and other high-paying positions.

There’s a focus on reduced turnover and employee satisfaction to lower turnover costs. Your manufacturing business can get ready by creating a company culture that sees everyone’s contribution as valuable.

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