11 Sep WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS? KEYNOTE SPEAKER SHARES HIS THOUGHTS
What we’re hearing from future of industrial products speakers is that the field will be shaped by a variety of technological, environmental, societal, and economic trends. Recurring themes and topics seem to be:
Sustainability and Circular Economy: As environmental concerns grow, industries are moving towards more sustainable practices. The best future of industrial products speakers say it ecompasses designing products that have a smaller environmental footprint, use recyclable or biodegradable materials, and promote a circular economy – where products are designed for durability, reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling.
Digitalization and Industry 4.0: The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is marked by the integration of digital technologies like IoT (Internet of Things), AI, blockchain, and advanced analytics into industrial processes. Doing so allows for smarter manufacturing, predictive maintenance, and more efficient supply chain management.
Advanced Materials: The development and use of new materials – such as graphene, bio-based polymers, and advanced composites – will enable lighter, stronger, and more efficient products or so future of industrial products speakers observe.
Customization and Personalization: With the aid of technologies such as 3D printing, industries are increasingly able to produce customized products tailored to individual or niche market needs.
Reshoring and Nearshoring: Due to factors like geopolitical instability, the need for faster responsiveness to market demands, and the desire to reduce carbon footprints, some industries are considering moving production closer to home or to regions with more predictable geopolitical landscapes.
Robotics and Automation: Robots, both physical and software-based, will continue to be integrated into production lines and processes. The best future of industrial products speakers say this will enhance productivity, reduce costs, and address labor shortages.
Supply Chain Resilience: The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains. In the future, there will likely be an increased focus on building more resilient and flexible supply chains, possibly involving greater stockpiling, diversifying suppliers, or employing digital twins to simulate and anticipate disruptions.
Servitization: Rather than just selling products, more companies are offering services related to those products. According to future of industrial products speakers, it might involve maintenance-as-a-service, product upgrades, or even selling “product performance” instead of the product itself.
Safety and Regulations: As technology evolves, so will the regulations governing its use. Industries will need to ensure that products are safe, comply with evolving regulations, and meet societal expectations.
Collaborative and Augmented Technologies: The use of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) in industrial settings will provide workers with real-time information, training, and support.
Disruptive technologies, geopolitical shifts, and unforeseen global events can alter the trajectory of these trends or introduce new ones. Nonetheless, a focus on sustainability, technological integration, and adaptability will likely be at the core of the future of industrial products.