10 Technologies That Will Shape Future of Manufacturing

10 Technologies That Will Shape Future of Manufacturing

Dec 7, 2015

By Isacc M. O’Bannon, CPA Practice Advisor

Advanced technologies are shaping the future of manufacturing, according to a study conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (Deloitte Global) Global Consumer & Industrial Products industry group and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness (CoC).

The Deloitte Global and CoC study, “Advanced Technologies Initiative Manufacturing & Innovation,”–drawn from dozens of face-to-face interviews with chief technology officers, chief research leaders and nearly a dozen directors of national research facilities–highlights the strengths and future vulnerabilities of the US innovation ecosystem. It also identifies 10 of the most promising advanced manufacturing technologies:

  • Predictive analytics
  • Smart, connected products (Internet-of-Things)
  • Advanced materials
  • Smart factories (Internet-of-Things)
  • Digital design, simulation and integration
  • High performance computing
  • Advanced robotics
  • 3D printing and scanning
  • Open-source design / direct customer input
  • Augmented reality

“By investing in advanced manufacturing technologies, nations may enhance their competitiveness and drive economic prosperity,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP. “Investments in research and development (R&D) can lead to advanced manufacturing capabilities. This, in turn, can lead to more complex and exclusive products for export–and these high-tech, often high-value, exports can then make a nation more competitive.”

In the US alone, advanced industries support 40 million workers and account for $2.7 trillion in output, according to third-party data cited in the study from Deloitte Global and the CoC. “That’s 17 percent of the US gross domestic product (GDP),” said Giffi.

Giffi also indicated that advanced technologies directly benefit worker pay. “The average US worker compensation in advanced industries has increased five times that of all industries since 1975 and is now nearly twice the average of traditional industries.”

“Advanced technologies are one of America’s brightest economic lights–playing a pivotal role in our nation’s GDP, employment and ability to produce high-value products,” said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

“American executives consistently feel that our entrenched creativity and entrepreneurial spirit have given us an edge,” said Wince-Smith. “They see especially strong potential in technologies related to the Internet-of-Things–embedded sensors and connected devices, for example. They also see potential in advanced computing, 3D printing and next-generation materials. And they feel excited about the new opportunities that come from combining these advanced technologies in a synergistic manner.”

According to the Deloitte Global and CoC study, the US is expected to retain a leadership position in research, technology and innovation thanks to the strong foundation established over the last century. “The US innovation ecosystem possesses the critical attributes that put it at the forefront of cutting-edge science, technology and innovation,” said Michelle Drew Rodriguez, leader of the Deloitte Center for Manufacturing Insights and a senior manager at Deloitte Services LP.

These attributes include an educational system that fosters creative thinking, world leading universities and superior talent. They also include an excellent research infrastructure, low hurdles to entrepreneurial innovation and strong support for regional innovation groups. “America’s strengths position us to embrace the promise of advanced


One comment

  1. A connected factory is essential today. It allows management to see what’s happening on the shop floor remotely. If an issue arises it can be handled immediately from anywhere.

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