The future of manufacturing

Using predictive analytics can help a manufacturing company grow.

The future of manufacturing

A question that resonates with business leaders in nearly every industry is a simple one: "What's next?" Nobody knows exactly what the future has in store, but a company that can anticipate and prepare well for what may be to come will be in much better position than a competitor with a more laid-back approach. Understanding emerging technologies and having a guess to where the industry is going will, more often than not, be beneficial to a company.

Within manufacturing, there are several different theories as to what will be the next big wave that changes the entire industry. However, a recent survey offered a bit of a hint. Deloitte Global asked researchers, technology leaders and other manufacturing professionals about what innovations would most impact their job moving forward, and the top result was predictive analytics. Connected products and advanced materials also were among the top answers,

Craig Giffi, Deloitte's vice chairman, explained that countries all around the world are seeing how interconnected manufactured goods can improve efficiency and provide income.

"By investing in advanced manufacturing technologies, nations may enhance their competitiveness and drive economic prosperity," Giff said in a news release issued by Deloitte. "Investments in research and development 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."

For companies that want to be a part of these investments and profits, understanding how predictive analytics impacts everything a business does – from decisions made by executives to production on the shop floor – can be a massive difference maker. Predictive analytics are all about anticipating what's to come next, the exact thing a manufacturing business can do by understanding how the technology works for them.

In order to gather the proper insights, however, advanced cloud software is needed.

Getting the most from data
Manufacturing has been tied to data for a long time, but as technology has advanced, the connection between the two has strengthened. Predictive analytics attempts to use the statistics a company naturally generates about its production lines and sales, then incorporates detailed mathematical formulas to try and predict behaviors or trends in the future, based on the past data. These insights can help determine future strategies and point a business in the right direction.

"Predictive analytics attempts to use the statistics a company naturally generates."

TIBCo explained that there are several ways manufacturing can be impacted by predictive analytics. One way is anticipating demand. By studying former trends and getting an advanced understanding of changing customer views, a manufacturing business is better equipped to churn out the products to meet that demand.

More manufacturing companies are sensing the growing changes that predictive analytics provide. According to the Deloitte study, the market for machine-manufactured intelligence is growing. As more data is brought in, the better insights a company can make. In 2013, that industry was worth less than $1 billion. By the end of 2015, the industry – which combines technology with computing power – will be worth upwards of $36 billion.

Turning info into changes
Having data can only do so much. Without the proper tools to implement the information that has been gathered, there is very little to be gained. That's why advanced cloud computing software goes hand-in-hand with predictive analytics. If a company is going to make the investment into figuring out where the manufacturing market is headed, they should also be willing to spend on making it work to their advantage.

As Manufacturing.net stated, advanced manufacturing comes in many forms, including robotics. The Deloitte study showed though that insiders within the field are confident that predictive analytics will make the biggest difference in the long run. With so much demand out there to know what's next, it is those insights that do the best job in answering that very important question.

Atachi's NGIMES works to collect data and help manufacturing companies, giving them the information they need to look ahead. Because it is cost efficient, companies that use NGIMES will have the resources available to invest in the future. They will also be saving time, because of how quickly the Atachi software can begin working for a business.

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