Five Electronic Manufacturing Trends to Watch for in 2017

2017 Electronic Manufacturing Trends

The new year has come and gone. Celebrations were had, resolutions were made(and later discarded)and now people the world over have fallen back into their normal routines.

On the positive side, you do not have to wait as long to get into your gym. The year is just beginning, and there are some awesome things just ahead.

As individuals making up the electronics industry, we know that this year means we have a chance to innovate more, manufacture things that are smarter and faster than what came before, and focus on cost efficiency. Every year, every month, and every day the manufacturing process is changing. OEMs and EMS providers must be able to work with these changes. It’s clear that changing trends are not just found in technology. They also happen when people learn to improve the process.

As 2017 rolls on, here are five trends in electronics manufacturing that you should keep your eyes open for.

1. Along for the Ride with the IOT Wave

You cannot talk about the future of electronics or even talk about current trends without bringing up the Internet of things. Having a smart device that connects to the Internet is not revolutionary or new. However, the number of connected devices and the omnipresence of these devices is expected to continue to soar in 2017. In 2016, Internet of things spending amounted to about $480 billion. By 2020 it is expected to breach $1.7 trillion. Individuals in the EMS industry understand that this means machines will collect more data, they will be more responsive, and they will make decisions that are more accurate and in real time. Those looking at the circumstance from the standpoint of a supply chain see the Internet of things as a way to predict what customers are going to want and make sure that these products are always in stock to meet customer demand.

2. 3-D Outside of the Movies

Consumers want products immediately. This has led to a demand in quicker turnaround times and for increased manufacturing efficiency. As a result, more businesses are turning to 3-D printing technology. It is estimated that in the 2017 calendar year OEMS will increase its use of 3-D in an unprecedented way. Some who are considered to be leaders in the industry have predicted that 3-D printing and additive manufacturing will be key in the manufacturing of large-scale items as well as more delicate final production parts.

3. The Role of OEMS in the Market and Aftermarket

People, according to a report that was created by Harvard Business Review, spend $1 trillion every year on products that they already own. For many years, the aftermarket parts sales were controlled primarily by third-party resellers or various suppliers. Realizing the margin in high demand, a larger number of OEMs are looking to get their piece of the pie. They’re doing this by purchasing inventory or purchasing technology that will allow them to keep their products running at their peak performance for a longer period of time.

4. The Conquest of the Cobots

Any kid of the 80’s remembers movies that envisioned the 21st century as a place dominated by flying automobiles and robots. Well, the 20th century is here and we don’t have robots walking next to us on the street, as of yet. However, robots are taking on an even larger role in the manufacturing process around the world. Contrary to popular belief and negative hype, robots are not robbing jobs from humans. Instead, they are working as coworkers with human manufacturing employees. This is where the term “cobots” comes from. These co-working robots have been created to help human workers complete their jobs in a more efficient way. It is expected that in 2017 we will see an increase in the number of robots working alongside humans. This is because they are able to accomplish their task in a cost effective way, they are productive, they are efficient, and they can easily be programmed to adapt to any job or environment.

5. Risk Management

Discussing risk management is not as fun as talking about flying cars or robots. But you can definitely expect risk management to take a larger role into the electronic industry. Regardless of the industry, companies are always going to be looking at their business objectives, finding areas where they need to reevaluate things, and make changes reflecting their analysis. In the world of electronics and electronic manufacturing, you can expect contract manufacturers as well as OEMs to dedicate time and energy to risk management. Manufactures will take steps to keep their supply chain stable, and businesses will find ways to minimize their exposure to risk that could be created from unforeseen fluctuations in market conditions.

So there we go. These are just a couple of trends that you are going to want to keep your eyes on as we move through the 2017 year. If you feel that it is going to make the voyage easier, grab a cobot to accompany you.

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