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Industrial Manufacturing

March 2014

Industrual Manufacturing and Robotics in the Years Ahead

Rachel Greenberg writes marketing and technical content for Automation GT.

The beginning of 2014 has brought some exciting growth for American manufacturing and at Automation GT, we are excited to discover what this growth indicates for the automation industry in the coming year. According to Reuters, manufacturing last month grew at its fastest rate in three years.

After a slow period at the beginning of 2014, manufacturing is gearing up to launch back into full-scale production. According to Bloomberg News, there are a couple of reasons for that early year slump including the barrage of winter weather in many major industrial cities and investor fears over the international implications of events in Crimea for American manufacturing.

However, February saw some unexpected growth in American manufacturing at a higher than predicted rate, which suggests that recovery in the coming months will be excellent. With the winter season approaching its end and tensions slightly easing on the international front, manufacturing is ready for a rebound.

As a first order, manufacturers are starting to catch up on orders backlogged from the bad weather and accordingly are starting to see an influx of new orders as they catch up. Meanwhile, European and Asian markets had only mixed success, some of which may be a lasting effect of the temporary decline in exports resulting from the now-ending American manufacturing winter drop.

And in looking ahead to the coming years, specifically in industrial manufacturing, polls by PwC as quoted at suggest that many industrial manufacturing CEOs are confident about immediate and long-term growth potential.

However, among those polled CEOs, there were a few common concerns. Eighty-one percent believed that technological advances would transform their businesses in exciting ways in the next five years, but over 70% were concerned about exchange rate volatility, high and volatile raw material prices, and volatile energy costs. While these CEOs’ fears may suggest some reason to worry about low manufacturing in the future, other statistics give good reason to be hopeful. It was also announced this week that the industrial robotics market is expected to be worth $32.8 billion by the year 2017, which bodes well for both industrial robotics producers and industrial manufacturers. The stronger the industrial robotics market becomes, the better we will be at providing cost-effective and technologically advanced machines to manufacturers, thereby addressing many of their concerns for the future.

When taken altogether, this news demonstrates that it is an exciting time to be involved in the automation of industrial manufacturing. The future promises to bring exciting and likely rapid advancements in the types of automation technology we see at work in factories, which will be good for industrial robotics designers and manufacturers alike.