For better or worse, the landscape of regulations influences much of what goes on in manufacturing and industrial environments. Whether regulations are created to ensure product or process safety, drive improvements in environmental performance, or reduce the risk of adverse events, one consistency tends to be that they’re becoming increasingly complex and demanding.
From toddlers to octogenarians, it seems just about everyone can navigate the UI of a smartphone or tablet. Don’t think so? Just look around any place where people are trying to kill some time (waiting rooms, airports, etc.). As the degree of power and knowledge at our fingertips continues to reach new limits and further pervade daily life, there seems to be many manufacturing professionals out there wondering what the holdup is on the shop floor, in the office, and in the field.
Every year, there are a few unavoidable topics as you scroll through your newsfeed. Throughout 2014, a main one has been industrial automation—specifically how the expected sharp rise in robotics investments over the coming years has the potential to cause mass unemployment in the industrial sector. Fear mongers and more rational thinkers alike seem to agree there’s cause for concern.
It’s become a common—somewhat ironic—argument that mobility has only made us more disconnected (see: passengers staring at their phones on any subway car). Sociological implications aside, there’s no denying that mobile connectivity has forever transformed the way we interact with each other as well as the way businesses interact with and collect information from their people and processes.
Life Sciences is an industry driven by innovation and growth. What lies beneath those two drivers is a world of complexity across the drug or device lifecycle. It’s clear that those companies that can continuously and collaboratively ensure quality, meet regulatory compliance, and mitigate risks in each stage of the lifecycle have a competitive advantage, but what’s needed to do so?
Quality management maturity is, no doubt, a journey. If you speak with executives from some of today’s most successful companies, you’ll hear a number of similarities about this topic. Whether in regard to skill development, business processes, technology, performance management, or something entirely different, early on, decisions tend to be made reactively, almost always to fix a problem. But as maturity progresses, decisions gradually start being made with proactivity and, ultimately, predictability in mind.
According to Cisco, there will be 13.5 billion connected devices in manufacturing by 2022. And JP Morgan’s Global Equity Research team has already pegged manufacturing with having the greatest Internet of Things (IoT) market potential. Although it’s difficult to accurately gauge the impact these technologies will have, it’s clear that experts are projecting it to be massive.
The third annual National Manufacturing Day is slated for this Friday, October 3, and more than 1,500 separate events are scheduled around the country to celebrate it. That said, it’s important to take a moment to discuss one of the major motives behind the day in the first place: raising awareness around the growing manufacturing skilled labor problem and exposing younger generations to what the sector has to offer.
At LNS Research, we're proud to say we've always put depth in expertise before the breadth of topics we cover. Keeping quality over quantity in mind, we've been selectively and strategically expanding our team in the past three years. You've probably noticed the number of writers on our blog and the areas of expertise growing accordingly. And today, you can find emerging trends, news, strategies, solution selection advice, and more on topics spanning nearly the entire value chain.
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