It’s no secret that the United States’ once prominent and thriving manufacturing base has suffered over the past 4+ decades, as global competition eroded American competitive advantages. However, as global standards of living have improved and thereby increased the cost of overseas manufacturing, American manufacturers have embraced technology to regain competitive position. This adoption of automation, robots/cobotics, and data analytics have combined with manufacturing-friendly governmental policy to spark growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector. So what are these technologies and what do they project for the manufacturing sector at the quarter century milestone of 2025?
Automation: Improvements and cost efficiency in areas like machine vision, mechatronics, and additive and reductive manufacturing have driven significant efficiency and reduced labor requirements in the manufacturing arena. This has reduced the cost advantage held in many global production markets.
Robots/Cobots: Similarly, the use of advanced robotics and collaborative robots have become far more realistic for broad manufacturing applications, with Cobots in particular opening up small and mid-level manufacturers to a world of efficiency and quality previously unattainable. As with automation, these technologies have improved the cost competitiveness of manufacturing by closing the gap of lower wages offered by global competitors.
Data Analytics: Data Analytics, and the advent of data science, is being applied to manufacturing at a rapid pace, and this impact further levels the “production playing field” by offering increased assessment of process efficiency, predictive quality assurance and reduced equipment downtime. Manufacturers that are embracing the insights that the data produced on their production floors offers are gaining substantial advantages.
With these changes in manufacturing science and capabilities, the vision for U.S. manufacturing is clear—back on the world stage as a major competitor! For assistance with any of the technologies referenced or to understand other American manufacturing options, such and contract production, available, contact Fusion to learn more!