Four Factory of the Future Market Trends to Keep an Eye on
Global Smart Manufacturing Market
Attributed to the rapid growth in the adoption of automated systems in industrial processes, the is predicted to grow from US$$175bn (2020) to US$303bn by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% between 2019 and 2026.
While COVID-19 has somewhat slowed down the market’s growth, it is expected that by the second to third quarter of 2023 there will be a ‘considerable’ rise in growth for the market.
Key players in the industry: Schneider Electric, General Electric, Siemens, Honeywell International Inc., Rockwell Automation Inc., FANUC Corporation, and Emerson Electric Co.
Industrial Automation Market
Making people’s lives easier, and their work more accurate and effective, the global demand for automated technologies such as robotics - especially in science and technology - is driving its increase in global market value.
Key players in the industry: ABB, Siemens, General Electric, Schneider, Endress+Hauser, Yokogawa, Honeywell, WIKA, Azbil, Fuji Electric, 3D Systems, and HP.
Smart Factory Market
Expected to grow from US$80.1bn (2021) to US$134.9bn by 2026, the - with a CAGR of 11% between 2021 and 2026 - is experiencing growth driven by fiscal policies adopted to keep manufacturing facilities afloat during COVID-19.
Other driving factors include resource optimisation, cost reduction in production operations, increased demand for industrial robotics, rising demand for technologies, and the growing significance of energy efficiency.
Key players in the industry: Emerson Electric Co., General Electric, Rockwell Automation, Inc., Schneider Electric SE, ABB Ltd., Siemens AG, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Honeywell International Inc., Endress+Hauser AG, and Yokogawa Electric Corp.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Manufacturing Market
“It is undeniable that the manufacturing industry is at the forefront of artificial intelligence implementation,” says . “Manufacturers are using AI-powered analytics to increase performance, product quality, and employee protection, from substantial reductions in unplanned downtime to better crafted goods.”
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.