Significant trends in manufacturing revolve around computer interaction and COVID-19’s lingering effects.

For 2021, one significant transformation is the concept of  Industry 4.0, the latest industrial revolution in manufacturing. This revolution embraces the adoption of computers and automation and enhances it with smart and autonomous systems driven by data and machine learning.

This interconnection of devices within an existing internet infrastructure relates to the Internet of Things (IoT) (part of Industry 4.0, along with the cloud, robotics, and other advancements). The purpose is to help manufacturers make informed and strategic decisions using real-time data.

Which also makes Predictive Maintenance possible. 

Predictive maintenance helps companies determine when it’s time for equipment maintenance. For manufacturers, they can avoid downtime by catching issues before they arise. Companies save on maintenance costs and downtime while extending the expected life of their machinery.

Regarding maintenance, doing things like equipping carts and other moving platforms with maintenance-free casters can help productivity and reduce labor costs.  Maintenance-free casters can last for many years without any changes in their ability to perform, whether they are used every single day or only on occasion.

Work-from-home opportunities.

The pandemic has also changed the work front. Gartner’s research and advisory firm found that more than 80% of the company leaders they surveyed plan to let their employees work from home. At least part-time. However, this increase in interconnection and digitalization of the work environment brings more than just the realization of improved productivity.  It also increases the chance of cyber risks, a concern for companies of all sizes.

On the supply front, shutdowns, lockdowns, and travel restrictions demonstrated the importance of supply chain resilience. Covid brought to light some supply vulnerabilities, especially when shipping products and parts from overseas. More companies are turning to reshoring due to the pandemic as well as other challenges, including trade wars and rising costs. For heavy-duty caster manufacturers like Caster Concepts, industry-leading turnaround times include five days or less for standard products and ten days or less for custom products.

Innovation is undoubtedly a central theme this year, and Caster Concepts continues to find ways to keep improving our products. Our ergonomic casters and wheels dramatically increase the safety of workers while decreasing overexertion injuries and related costs. To learn more about Caster Concept’s capabilities, please contact us at or call 888-972-9861.