Dymin Blog

Emerging Trends in Manufacturing Technology and How Your MSP Can Help

Posted by Scott Breitman on Jan 28, 2021 4:59:55 PM


Reliable IT systems are at the heart of every efficient manufacturing center. Whether fabrication processes are entirely automated or facilities are managing complex supply chains, high-performance software and hardware systems with little to no unscheduled downtime are essential. As manufacturing IT systems become more and more complex, MSPs — or managed service providers — are rising to the challenge. Manufacturers that use MSPs gain these key advantages:

  • Better compliance with industry regulations and quality standards.

  • Faster and more robust technological updates through legacy

    equipment replacement or software upgrades.

  • Fixed, predictable costs for maintenance and updates.

  • Better security.

  • Reduced downtime.

  • More (and more predictable) productivity.

  • Lean manufacturing processes with fewer full-time hires and reduced capital demands.

Both old and new manufacturing companies can streamline their entire business, not just their manufacturing processes, by partnering with the right MSP. This article explores some of the developing trends in manufacturing technology and how those trends may evolve in the coming months.

Trend #1: Sourcing and Supply Chain Data Will Become More Transparent

While cybersecurity is at the forefront of everyone's mind when it comes to technology, transparency is becoming just as important, and there are two clear trends in this:

Consumers Need to Know More About Your Sourcing and Production Practices

Ethical purchases are becoming a more dominant consumer trend. Wherever there is a competitive market and product options, customers will look into ingredient sourcing, fair labor practices, environmental considerations, and more. Manufacturing technology plays a big role in ensuring companies can deliver on the values end-users care about. For example, automated systems minimize reliance on human workers, especially for labor-intensive or dangerous tasks.

Smart sensors can track raw materials throughout production to assure consumers that they're sourced from fair trade or ethical origins. Being able to both profitably use and clearly prove the use of these practices will continue to be a priority.

All Parties in Your Supply Chain Need to Keep Each Other Informed

COVID-19's impact on the supply chain can't be ignored in any manufacturing industry. Companies ranging from raw goods suppliers and fabricators to assemblers and distributors need a connected network with reliable, transparent data. AI systems can search for trends that optimize logistics and remove bottlenecks. Developing technologies like blockchain can also create chains of product records and real-time tracking that are simultaneously secure and transparent.

How Your MSP Can Help in 2021:

Both of these trends rely on large amounts of data that old computing systems can't handle. Optimizing logistics and tracking goods requires lots of processing power and storage in order to accommodate them alongside other business demands. MSPs can optimize data collection, upgrade your hardware and software based on your business's goals, and protect the data.

Trend #2: Cloud Computing Infrastructure Is Becoming More Important

Cloud technologies have become an emerging — and essential —force in nearly every sector. But the different technologies, providers, and integration capabilities with different systems has made adoption difficult. Over the past year, manufacturing companies have adopted cloud computing so different systems can more easily speak to each other without delay during COVID-19-related supply chain complications, and the same technologies were used so remote staff can connect to centralized software and data. Cloud computing will continue to grow in the manufacturing sector, and the coming months will focus on normalizing it and streamlining rushed integrations from 2020.

How Your MSP Can Help in 2021:

Managed service providers can ensure your company is getting the right amount of server capacity and the virtual machines you need to manage data. They can also proactively strengthen and support your network so the data is accessible to all remote locations where it's needed without the risk of downtime.

Trend #3: The Focus Is on Resiliency, Not Just Disaster Recovery

According to TechRepublic's analysis of the 2021 predictions guide by Forrester, disaster recovery plans are not enough for long-term company stability. They are generally short-term plans in response to single-event disasters: a hack, major equipment malfunctions, or other massive but quick events. The growing trend now is the development of "resiliency strategies" — plans that allow manufacturers to pivot quickly in the event of long-term disruptions like quarantines.

The same predictions guide emphasizes the importance of remote production management. Lights-out manufacturing processes that can run themselves with remote assistance from humans (such as an employee working from home) will be an essential element of any resiliency plan.

How Your MSP Can Help in 2021:

Remote management relies on uninterrupted connectivity. MSPs can shore up a factory's network so the machinery can communicate with the system's PLC, which in turn speaks to the company's sales and inventory network and remote operators. Your MSP can strengthen remote processes before a disaster — long-term or short-term — interrupts business.

Dymin Systems Is Your Go-To Managed Services Provider

Smarter manufacturing, strong cybersecurity, and a focus on logistics management have been considerations for manufacturing technology for years. But recent shifts in consumer practices and the impacts of COVID-19 created new trends in manufacturing that will carry through 2021 and beyond. At Dymin Systems, we specialize in providing managed services for both homes and businesses so our clients can get things done without interruption. Contact us today to see how we can improve your cloud infrastructure, network, security, and more.


Image Credit: Unsplash @ Creative Commons 

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Topics: enterprise technology, network operations management, industrial internet-of-things, hardware selection, software infrastructure, systems infrastructure, network security, cloud services, emergency support, IIoT

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