Prediction Top 5 + 1 Tech for Manufacturing in 2022 and beyond
Here are my unfiltered predictions on what is going to take off in 2022 and beyond. I have a distinct lack of hardware, because of the supply chain issues and imagine that we need to look outside the norm to find success.
5) Artificial Intelligence
This has the theoretical opportunity of providing the most upside of any technology if we include Machine Learning and regression analysis
As a note, I think much of this will be built on Digital Twins moving into the future.
Holding it back: Many facilities have a nearly insurmountable amount of tech debt before we can leverage AI. Additionally, there are just not many people with the basic process knowledge and Data Science skills.
4) IIoT (Cloud Solutions)
One way to sidestep the tech debt of many companies to not tie all of these new sensors into legacy systems.
Additionally the fact that we cannot get PLC’s and other hardware is a major opportunity.
Sensors pushing everything to the could and then back into a MES or ERP, could be a major win on scale.
Holding it back: The disjointed offerings of many IIoT companies. Some companies give open API access, and others bogart your data. Plus many people not trusting cloud based solutions in this industry.
3) Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
We MUST push technology to the plant floor. We must enable people to have documents, tools, knowledge bases, and more while standing at the machines.
AR & VR has been steadily beating the drum of progress. COVID has absolutely pushed a much higher rate of adoption.
If we are going to find mass adoption, it will start in the next couple years.
Holding it back: People are not good with change. It doesn’t take too many poor experiences to completely turn a facility off of the technology for years.
In the last 3+ years, if we can build a robot, we can deploy a robot. Autonomous robots, cobots, UAV’s, welding and other specialized robotics are booming! It’s for the good, ideally we can get rid of hard laborious monotonous work.
I predict that we will increase deployments as quickly as we can build robots.
Holding it back: Capital expenses, lack of skilled labor to deploy the robotics, and the fact that a couple bad accidents could put us back to square one.
1) Tablets and Consumer Tech
It’s been way too long coming to move off of legacy hardware to consumer tech like iPads. Especially when nearly everyone has a smart phone and devices.
I predict this as number one as it’s been a long time coming and we cannot get legacy industrial hardware.
As a smart person mentioned – you know who doesn’t have that problem? Tim Cook and Apple.
Now is the time to bring Manufacturing to the 21st century and I think we’re going to make it there in the next couple years.
Holding it back: The mindset shift of “this is not how we do it…” Most of those people are going to be retiring and leaving the industry soon.
+1) Digital Twin
This might be the most important of all the technologies that we talk about as it’s the foundation to AI, Robotics, increased operational efficiencies and more.
I’m adding this here as a bonus because I think we’re going to see mainstream adoption in the next 3-5 years.
Holding it back: the lack of knowledge of the value of Digital Twin and how inexpensive some of these solutions can be: think starting in the low tens of thousands not hundreds of thousands.