Monday, May 06, 2013
The Manufacturing Leadership Council and Frost & Sullivan recently released the results of a study titled Factories of the Future: Building Fast-Moving, Highly Automated Future Factories and Plants. The survey details how manufacturing executives and their companies are thinking about and planning for next-generation factories and plants.
Many of the long-term, transformational trends under way in the manufacturing industry today—the shift to build to order, the digitization of business and production processes, the desire for greater speed and agility throughout the business—are reflected in the survey results. The study finds that over the next five to ten years, manufacturing will trend to highly automated facilities, staffed with computer-literate people who have a penchant for collaboration, and where the “Perfect Order” is the rule not the exception.
Even as manufacturers embrace digital manufacturing, collaborative management structures, and more real-time production models, certain time-honored disciplines will remain in force. Reducing costs, improving productivity, finding new markets, increasing customer satisfaction, and product innovation are at the top of manufacturers’ priority lists as they look forward to the next 10 years.
When asked what their main business concerns have been, profitability was the most significant factor cited by survey respondents, followed by their ability to expand into new markets, rising energy and fuel prices, difficulty in finding skilled workers, and fluctuating raw material prices.
Key Survey Findings:
The study encompasses factory and production models, process digitization, measures of success and challenges, workforce requirements, technologies required, and expected energy sources. Approximately 175 manufacturers across a variety of industry sectors participated in the study. Click here to download the White Paper.