Manufacturing Predictions for 2016

It’s critical for every business big or small to have a sense of where the market is going for the coming year.  Many different private and government organizations pull data from various sources to make these predictions.  From nearly every account money will be spent and growth is predicted in 2016.

According to the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI Foundation) the predictions for 2016 include 3.4% growth in general manufacturing, 6.1% growth in computer and electronic products, and 3.3% growth in non-high-tech manufacturing.  This information was gathered from an assessment of 27 different industries in domestic manufacturing.

What’s fueling the growth?

The MAPI Foundation’s study found that there are several areas expected to drive this growth trend.  New housing for single family homes is expected to make a dramatic increase from the very low levels it’s been at recently which will result in growth for every part of that supply chain such as appliances, HVAC, construction equipment and many other areas.  Further the continued decline in gas prices is expected to further boost the domestic automotive industry as customers are more willing to purchase larger more expensive vehicles.  This will increase growth in suppliers for the big automotive companies as well as all of the parts suppliers.

Not all areas are expected to see growth though.  The drilling, mining, medical and public works sectors could see business decline or go flat for the coming year.  An assessment of the previous trends in government spending during an election year would set an expectation that military spending and other government areas will hold steady but not experience any significant growth.

According to two areas of dramatic growth over the coming year will be 3D printing and automation.  The 3D printing industry is expected to climb to being over a $7 billion dollar industry in 2016.  More and more companies are seeing the value that the time savings and operational efficiencies of 3D printing can add.  As the capabilities of the 3D printer have continued to improve and the price point decline it’s becoming much more feasible for companies of all sizes to enter this space.  Many people assume the use of manufacturing robots and automation has hit its peak however that has proven to be completely untrue as this industry has grown over 50% in the past 5 years and is now expected to be more than a $5 billion dollar industry for 2016.  Even companies that have embraced the use of robots for years are continuing to spend money in this area with new developments in robotics technology allowing them to become even more efficient.  The “Internet of Things” concept of better integrating machinery and robotics with a corporation’s IT infrastructure is fueling this growth.  Being able to collect real time data from every machine about it’s up time, through put, maintenance cycles, material waste, backlog, and more is becoming a requirement for many OEM’s looking to manufacture as efficiently as possible.  All of this requires the purchase of new machinery and robotics systems.

A look towards the future shows a positive outlook with many areas of growth potentials in 2016 and several years to come.

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