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Trends in Manufacturing for 2021.

April 2, 2021

Trends in Manufacturing for 2021.

For 2021, there are a few trends of significance in manufacturing, primarily revolving around our interactions with computers and some lingering effects of COVID-19.

One big transformation is the whole concept of  Industry 4.0, the latest and fourth industrial revolution in manufacturing. This revolution takes what was started in the third — 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) and helps manufacturers make informed and strategic decisions using real-time data.

This also makes Predictive Maintenance possible.  Predictive maintenance techniques help determine the condition of equipment in order to estimate when maintenance should be performed. For manufacturers, downtime can now be avoided by catching issues before they arise. Companies save on maintenance costs and downtime while extending the expected life of their machinery.

Speaking of maintenance, there are some small but important things you can do in regards to maintenance out on the plant floor. For example, 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.

Increased work from home opportunities.

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

On the supply front, shutdowns, lockdowns, and travel restrictions clearly demonstrated the importance of supply chain resilience. Covid brought to light some supply vulnerabilities, especially when products and parts were being shipped 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 10 days or less for custom products.

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

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