A Real Economy publication

2023 manufacturing industry outlook

Aug 11, 2023

Manufacturing industry outlook: Key takeaways

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AI can play a key role in predictive maintenance, quality control, supply chains.

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Companies should be ready to capitalize on opportunities arising from EV supply chain build-out.

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Tech infrastructure, data strategy are key in future of industrial automation.

Manufacturing trend #1: The rise of artificial intelligence

The manufacturing sector is undergoing a transformative shift through the adoption of generative artificial intelligence (AI), with the potential to revolutionize processes and unlock new human capabilities. AI's application extends to optimizing supply chains, enhancing quality control through defect detection, and improving process efficiency. However, manufacturers are grappling with concerns related to job displacement, data security, ethical considerations, reliability, and the evolving legal framework. 

Disruptive artificial intelligence technologies signal another market transformation may be upon us alongside other forces reshaping supply chains. In thinking about what supply chains will look like in 2030, we expect AI will play a larger role in helping manufacturers manage costs strategically. Proximity to end markets and the increased presence of digitalization and automation will also be increasingly important.

Manufacturing trend #2: Surging EV supply chain investments

Global electrification is reshaping the automotive sector, with EV sales projected to rise from 10.5 million in 2022 to 27 million by 2026. Governments in the United States and Canada are incentivizing EV adoption through tax credits, grants, and subsidies, spurring historic investments exceeding $200 billion in the United States and attracting major players in Canada. This transition unlocks vast economic opportunities, fostering job creation, circular economies, and new market prospects in technology, manufacturing, energy, logistics, and services.

Manufacturing trend #3: Technology and operational efficiency

Amid rising production costs and supply chain challenges, industrial organizations are driven to enhance efficiency and productivity through technology, particularly operational technology (OT) and industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capabilities, which offer new opportunities but also pose risks. The remainder of 2023 and beyond will see enhanced data access and utilization playing a crucial role in achieving organizational success.

With accelerated usage over the last decade, additive manufacturing is now a prominent growth driver for manufacturers, the leading industry of 3D printing adoption. Anticipated growth in the additive manufacturing market is attributed to rising demand for manufacturers to solve problems while delivering benefits to supply chain resiliency, sustainability goals, and innovation optimization. 

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