Experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along the way to recovery.
The year 2020 had been an extraordinary one, with the COVID-19 pandemic basically putting the global manufacturing industry on a standstill—at least except those essential industries that have scrambled to create medical equipment such as ventilators, and testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment including face masks and face shields.
The pandemic put into spotlight the agility and resiliency needed in every manufacturing industry, as supply chains get stuck and manufacturers are at a loss as to how to obtain their raw materials and parts.
Nevertheless, the show must go on. And as vaccines are now being developed, it won’t be long until we see light at the end of this tunnel. In this special feature, experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along our way to recovery.
The metalworking industry will continue to undergo major transformations in 2021. As customers continue to require more complex and sophisticated parts, it is becoming even more crucial for metalworking firms to implement new strategies and technologies to monitor the quality and compliance of final products—all while accelerating throughput due to demanding timelines.
There is no doubt 2020 will be remembered by most as a year to forget due to the pandemic and the global uncertainty, but it will also be considered as a starting point by those that were able to adapt to the market challenges by implementing or accelerating innovation-focused plans.
TRUMPF Asia Pacific
The outlook for the global economy in 2020 deteriorated significantly primarily due to the massive economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, we nevertheless are expecting global GDP growth to return back to the level of 2019.
Metalworking companies across all industries have been facing increasing demands for years now—albeit some levelling was and is still visible in the current pandemic. To hold their own fortress against international competition, companies need versatile and efficient solutions for a wide variety of production tasks. One solution is the digitalization and networking of production and logistics processes—the basic technologies surrounding Industry 4.0.
“Business as Usual” is constantly being redefined at ISCAR to meet the varying needs of global metalworking industries. In such a reality, innovative technologies and business opportunities emerge to meet all the challenges ahead.
Marposs KK Japan and SEA
2020 has seen the COVID-19 pandemic act on top of the existing geopolitical factors and on the shift to e-mobility, with the result of accelerating the evolution of the manufacturing environment. The trend of focusing on production resilience is set to continue, resulting in a more localized supply chain and a higher concentration on global players.
Paul Horn GmbH
Despite the restrictions predicted for 2021, most businesses have not stood still. In industries where exhibitions play a major role, it was more a question of how to bring innovations to market—especially with regard to communication. Many of the people I spoke to were initially very excited about the digital possibilities, and certainly rightly so.
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
The year 2020 was characterized by virtual work and learning, as individuals and businesses reinvented themselves to maintain productivity. Optimising the digital landscape will continue in 2021, as companies embrace innovation to meet their needs.
To stay competitive, manufacturers need to rely more on digitized processes and less manual interaction. To meet the new requirements, we need to continue to drive the development and digitalization of the manufacturing industry. Sandvik Coromant have a unique venture with Microsoft, combining Sandvik Coromant’s expertise in machining with Microsoft’s technical solutions.
Siemens Digital Industries Software
2020 underscored two important pillars of manufacturing: adaptability and resiliency. With COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, manufacturers need to inject their production chain with the agility to pivot and adapt to constantly changing market conditions.
SLM Solutions Singapore
“Change is the only constant in life” and this is characteristically so for 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Though businesses were disrupted, but in the same fast pace, opportunities arose for additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical frontline, responding quickly to severe restrictions in supply chains and traditional manufacturing bases.
Unusual times in 2020 have brough significant difficulties in all walks of life, and manufacturing is no exception. The downturn in industrial activity has been evident during these COVID-19 times—mandatory closures, disruptions to the supply chain, and the stringent social distancing regulations imposed a devastating impact worldwide including the ASEAN region.
VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association)
The coronavirus pandemic is leaving deep scars in the German and international machine tool industry. For 2020, the VDW expects a decline in production of 30 percent. After economic data and economic indicators showed an upward trend in the third quarter, uncertainty in the economy is currently increasing in view of the second wave of the pandemic.
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