Four industry trends to look out for in manufacturing in the coming months of 2019 include increased reliance on digital technologies and China’s output growth.

The latter shows some signs of slowing and has uncertain factors that are likely to influence it – not least in trade tariffs with America.

In fact, global shifts in tariffs are showing signs of reducing manufacturing growth globally.

Mercedes Benz manufacturing plant

In the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, however, one area unlikely to slow is the rollout of digital technologies. The full spectrum of manufacturers from industrial surface preparation and finishing facilities to fabricated metal products will be investing.

An ongoing skills shortage will be a continued concern for UK manufacturers, however.

1. Increasing new digital technologies

In the most recent Annual Manufacturing Report, produced by The Manufacturer, 85 per cent of respondents said they are using digital technologies to transform their business.

Manufacturers accept that the future of manufacturing lies in the adoption of advanced technologies. The core benefit of which is the ability they offer manufacturers to monitor and act upon, data flowing from connected machines.

2. Skills shortage

As the area that generated most comment in the PWC Annual Manufacturing Report 2018, skills and training is bound to be an ongoing hot topic into this year (2019).

Manufacturers in the UK already face a skills shortage and the impact of potential free movement changes under Brexit will also take a toll. In the 2018 report, 86 per cent of manufacturers agreed they had a responsibility to get involved in schools and training to shape the workforce of the future.

3D printing for manufacturing

3. Continued decline in world manufacturing growth

Global manufacturing output growth has been consistently declining since the second half of 2017.

Amid uncertainties over trade and tariffs, particularly in America, Europe and China there was decline in world manufacturing growth toward the end of 2018.

Global manufacturing output rose by 3.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period of the previous year, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s World Manufacturing Report said. A drop from 4.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

The report bases figures on the index numbers of industrial production collected by UNIDO Statistics from national data sources.

4. China continues to be the manufacturing nation to watch

Whilst there have been some signs that the growth in China’s manufacturing output has slowed, it still rose by 6.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.

That was, in fact, the slowest pace of year-on-year growth for years, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization World Manufacturing Report report said.

Computer electronics, basic metals and machinery were areas of particular growth. Further additional tariffs between China and the US are expected at the beginning of 2019, however.

Product manufacturer

Any other trends spotted?

Do you discover other manufacturing trends than those mentioned above? If so, please share and do let us know what you think of the trends.