- Most manufacturers are optimistic about their industry's future, according to a recent survey by KLR. Growth is expected in existing markets and in innovative products and services, Cerasis reports.
- However, recurring historical issues remain in play, including weakening domestic demand, rising healthcare costs, and most importantly, lack of suitably skilled workers.
As a result, roughly 40% of companies surveyed say they intend to cut costs within the coming year and beyond.
U.S. manufacturing is an industry in flux, with enormous variance in technical investment.
Manufacturing is one of the leading industries investing in IoT technology, with a spending forecast of $105 billion in 2017. Smaller scale manufacturers, such as those in lower population cities, are also investing in items such as 3-D printers, though at a scale both slower and more economically conservative than that of IoT. Robots too are appearing, though again, the investment level is significantly smaller than that of IoT.
Although unevenly applied, there is universal technology investment within U.S. manufacturing despite company size. However, according to Automation World, 81% of industrial companies do not have a manufacturing execution system, meaning that they lack one of the fundamentals of digitalization. Whether this is tied to August's manufacturing activity decline to 52.5 versus July's 53.3 is unknown.