Manufacturers have faced a lot of disruption over the past few years and that trend looks set to continue into 2023. The disruption and challenges have forced manufacturers to adapt faster than ever before. And there is no doubt that manufacturers must continue to embrace change to stay ahead of the competition.

Those who wish to not just survive, but thrive, must leverage the latest technologies and trends. In this article, we’re sharing 9 Manufacturing Trends for 2023.

1.     Digital Transformation

60% of CEOs in Western Europe have automation and digitisation goals as their company’s long term strategy, according to PWC’s 25th CEO survey. Digital transformation has been a strategy for several years, but due to rapidly changing consumer behaviour and ever-evolving markets, manufacturers need to rapidly speed up their digital transformation.

2.     Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of interconnected physical devices that can monitor, report on, send and exchange data. E.g., Machines on a manufacturing production line can provide relevant information through embedded sensors about the production process and maintenance needs. Gartner predicts that 63% of enterprises expect they will achieve financial payback in 3 years for IoT projects.

3.     From offshoring to reshoring

The same need for resilience in the supply chain is driving dramatic shifts in reshoring – bringing imported goods or materials back to domestic production – and sourcing, especially in North America and Europe. While globalisation drove offshoring and lean supply chain movements for several decades, the recent disruptions have accelerated a trend for reshoring that started in 2010.

In a surprising study, KPMG revealed that Canada actually offers one of the lowest costs of manufacturing operations in the world, well ahead of China, India and Mexico.

4.     Sustainability

Manufacturers are leveraging sustainable manufacturing practices to reduce costs and waste, improve operational efficiency, gain competitive advantage and enhance regulatory compliance. In fact, in Deloitte’s 2021 survey, 2021 Climate Check: Business’ views on environmental sustainability, almost half of the 750 executives surveyed reported that their environmental sustainability initiatives measurably boosted their corporate financial performance.

On top of this consumers will increasingly gravitate towards products that are sustainable, reusable and recyclable, which is a factor many manufacturers will have to take into account.

5.     Digital talent to return

A Forrester study predicts that since many tech giants have announced hiring freezes and redundancies, manufacturing industries may now offer an attractive alternative job prospect. This is good news as many of the trends mentioned in this blog are of a digital and/or technical nature.

6.     Micro Manufacturing

The widespread effects of the global pandemic have also begun to impact how manufacturers make the things they make.

This change in thinking has led to the growth of the microfactory — small, highly modular setups that make use of leading-edge technology like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and big data, to enable hyper-autonomous manufacturing. Forrester research predicts that microfactories will gain momentum in 2023, with related advances in enabling collaboration and automation technologies that ensure efficiency, quality, and IP protection.

7.     3D printing

3D printing is one of the factors enabling the trends for microfactories and reshoring. 3D printing has actually been around for almost 40 years. These days, manufacturers depend on 3D printing to support prototyping — a highly cost-effective way for product designers to test and troubleshoot new products — and to produce items on demand rather than having to manufacture and warehouse them.

8.     5G Computing

In the PWC 25th CEO survey, CEOs rank cyber risks as the top threat to growth. One way to improve data security is by creating a private 5G network on their premises which will also give them superfast data speeds.

9.     Predictive maintenance

Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC), found that:

“98% of organisations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000; 81% of respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. And a record one-third of 33% of enterprises report that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1 million to over $5 million.”

Therefore, it’s vitally important for manufacturers to ensure that all equipment functions at optimal performance levels with many turning to predictive analytics and predictive maintenance to do so. Predictive maintenance is proven to reduce unplanned outages and to extend machinery life by years.

Sage X3 solution from Inixion

Most of these trends depend on having visibility across the company and the ability to adjust to new trends quickly. That visibility and agility are not possible without having a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, like Sage X3, providing a single-version-of-truth with all relevant real-time data, as well as having the ability to quickly adjust processes in your business system to adapt to changes.

Sage X3 integrates with other business-critical systems, providing you with a single overview of everything that is happening in your manufacturing operation, allowing you to forecast, plan and even schedule predictive maintenance. In addition, it’s highly configurable, providing the ability to adjust processes in line with new requirements.

Check out our guide: A guide to Sage X3 Manufacturing – so you can gain deeper insight into Sage X3 for Manufacturing.