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4 Key Trends in the U.S. Industrial Machinery Industry

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Man stands in warehouse surrounded by large machines


Since the advent of its industrial revolution in the 1820s, the U.S. has been a mainstay in the industrial machinery manufacturing market. From Douglas T. Ross's invention of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) in 1953 to the introduction of ABB and KUKA-made industrial robots in 1973 and beyond, the U.S. has been a pillar of innovation.

Today, it remains an active player in the industrial machinery manufacturing market. While the Asia-Pacific region holds 48% of the market, the U.S. alone holds another 20%. U.S. industrial manufacturing companies across various industries pulled in combined revenue of $350 billion in 2018.

In this article, we'll examine the trends that will define the industrial machinery manufacturing industry in 2020.

1. President Trump's Tariffs and U.S.-China Relations Cause Uncertainty

President Trump's steel tariffs have already cost the American steel industry more than $5.7 billion, and manufacturers keenly felt the ripple effects.

The U.S. government's recent decision to support protests in Hong Kong also drew ire from China, compounding the effects of these tariffs. It remains to be seen whether or not China will actively muscle in on the U.S. industrial machinery manufacturing industry or its clients. Still, the potential is certainly there for an escalating trade war.

2. Machine Leanring and AI Will Continue to Revolutionize the Market

Innovations in manufacturing, such as the digital thread, model-based design (MBD) and auto-CAD, are the direct result of machine learning and AI advancements.

Not only do these technologies ease the responsibilities of engineers and designers, but they also interface with production-line assets, allowing for increased efficiency and decreased waste.

These technologies' potential is nearly limitless. Even the most basic machine learning and AI programs can result in dramatic profit gains for manufacturers, making them the holy grail of the market.

Expect to see manufacturers eager to snap up any new software that allows them to capitalize on machine learning and AI in 2020.

3. 5G will Improve Customer Experiences and Response Times

In 2020, 5G will see a more significant rollout than ever before. That's meaningful for manufacturers because it will enhance the efficacy of Internet-of-Things (IoT)-based applications - which are already revolutionizing the market.

As the use of 5G continues to expand, manufacturers will be able to enhance customer experiences by increasing response times. 5G will also allow production-line machines that use IoT to "communicate" with one another more effectively.

Manufacturers eager to boost their general efficiency will be anxious to invest in 5G capabilities in the coming years.

Distributed Manufacturing Will Continue to Rise

4. Local distributed manufacturing has been on the rise for a couple of years, and that trend will likely continue in 2020.

Using distributed manufacturing allows manufacturers to reduce lead times and drastically save on freight costs. Additionally, IoT-based applications - as well as machine learning and AI - make coordinating operations across multiple factories less challenging than ever before.

As new technologies make coordinating large-scale operations across countries and continents more and more viable, expect to see manufacturers invest significant resources in areas like distributed manufacturing. While these investments may cost manufacturers in the short term, their long-term gains make the cost easily worth it.

There you have it! Four industrial machinery manufacturing trends that salespeople and marketers should be aware of heading into 2020.

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