How will manufacturing progress in 2019?

As manufacturers are continuing to run their operations as lean and efficient as possible technology is continuing to drive change industry. Decision Analyst, on behalf of IQMS, conducted a survey of 151 North American Manufacturers about technologies that they are using to transform their operations. Louis Columbus wrote about the results in his article “Ten Manufacturing Technology Predications for 2019” where he summarizes what the key technological advancements will be that transform manufacturing as we enter the New Year.

  1. More attainable lights-out production courtesy of affordable Smart Machines that are able to run unattended for two or more shifts.
  2. Real-time monitoring with Wi-Fi enabled shop floors and IoT enabled smart machines to improve scheduling accuracy, inventory control, plan performance, and greater flexibility in managing production lines.
  3. Greater adoption of analytics and BI to capitalize on data streams and improve capacity through better resource planning and scale their businesses.
  4. Mobile ERP and quality management applications will become mainstream thanks to advances in integration, usability and high-speed cellular networks and help companies improve data accuracy and operational efficiencies and reduce operational delays.
  5. Digitally-driven transformation with a customer focus by utilizing the above to offer short-notice production runs and achieve greater supplier collaboration.
  6. Replace old legacy machines with cheaper smart machines helping small and mid-tier manufacturers pursue new digital business models.
  7. There will be a major shift to fast-tracking of smart, connected products to avoid price wars and premature commoditization so that within two-years at least two –thirds of product portfolios will be connected thanks to IoT and other technological innovations.
  8. Spreading of the security perimeter thanks to a proliferation of IoT endpoints and an increasing amount of threats to operations from new sources.
  9. Utilizing IIoT to increase productivity by helping improve the inconsistent, inflexible legacy data structures form the shop floor to the top floor.
  10. Greater revenue streams from those manufacturers who were early adopters of IoT will widen the gap between those who adopted IoT early and those who did not.



  1. What will happen to manufacturers who don’t embrace these changes? Will they be able to catch up or will they soon become irrelevant?
  2. What will be the major challenges faced by manufacturers who try to adopt these changes in their operations? How quickly will they see the results from these changes?
  3. Looking beyond 2019, how will the manufacturing space continue to grow as newer technologies come out?


The Future of Smart Manufacturing

An article comprised of a Rockwell Automation informational cover letter titled “What is Smart Manufacturing” defines the new industrial movement called “smart manufacturing”, predicts how it will be implemented and change the U.S. and world markets, and issued a call to action for the general public. ( The article describes smart manufacturing as a “marriage between information, technology, and human ingenuity”, and predicts that any company that does not eventually adopt smart manufacturing practices will fail. Improved worker safety, along with a “zero-emissions” goal, are advantages to the new smart manufacturing industry. The integration of smart manufacturing is predicted to be via three phases. Phase 1 is described as “the integration of all manufacturing data throughout individual plants and across enterprises” and “will facilitate significant, immediate improvements in costs, safety and environmental impacts”. Phase 2 will “create robust “manufacturing intelligence” that will enable variable-speed, flexible manufacturing, optimal production rates and faster product customization”. Phase 3 is the prediction of “major market disruptions” such as “a $3,000 automobile or a $300 personal computer” that can be reached as the smart manufacturing process is refined. Lastly, as stated previously, is a call to action to the general public to seek out ways to support and invest in the new smart manufacturing industry. Is the rise of smart manufacturing actually going to build the workforce? Or will it take away many of the manufacturing positions help by many Americans today? What are some options for companies who may not have the funds to transition from present day manufacturing processes to smart manufacturing?